Safety, Health and Wellbeing

Working rules for OHCWA extra-oral X-ray units

Our role is to develop and assist in the implementation of the UWA safety, health and wellbeing programs in order to minimise the risk of injury, illness and property damage.

We provide consultancy and other services to promote best practice and legislative compliance in all University and related activities.

Working rules are essential to ensure that all extra-oral dental x-ray units are used in accordance with legal requirements and with a high standard of safety for patients, staff, students and others.

  1. Extra-oral dental x-ray units may only be operated by a qualified dentist, by dental ancillary personnel (Refer 2) under the direction and supervision of a dentist, or by a qualified radiographer on the instructions of a dentist or medical practitioner, and only for the purposes of panoramic or cephalometric radiography. No other person is authorised to operate these units and they must not be used for any other purpose than the above.
  2. Dental ancillary personnel means a person who has satisfactorily completed a Radiological Council approved radiation safety training course.
  3. These units are not to be operated or used for human diagnostic radiography unless covered by a current Certificate of Compliance.
  4. The exposure values must be selected according to the image mode, adult/child exposure times, kV and mA.
  5. When taking a radiograph ensure the patient remains as still as possible. No one except the patient may remain in the radiation area whilst the radiograph is being taken.
  6. Operators and observers must conscientiously use any protective shielding provided.
  7. Maintain visual contact with the patient and x-ray unit during the exposure.
  8. Check that the ready light is on. Press and hold the exposure key on the control panel for the duration of the exposure. An audible warning signal will precede the exposure signal. The exposure indicator light will illuminate and the audible exposure signal will sound during the exposure. Do not release the exposure key until the light goes off and the audible sinal stops, indicating that the exposure has been completed.
  9. Immediate measures must be taken to remove potentially hazardous situations arising from x-ray beams that may be emitted due to an equipment defect, misalignment or any other reason.
  10. The OHCWA School Radiation Safety Officer (SRSO) is: A/Prof Johan Aps (ext 77835)
  11. Servicing of x-ray machines may only be carried out by a technician with a suitable license from the Radiological Council.
  12. All incidents and injuries must be reported to the SRSO and UWA Safety and Health. If the machine is faulty, do not use it - instead, tag it out and report the unit for repair.
  13. These working rules are to be prominently displayed by the x-ray unit control panel at all times.
  14. For further information please refer to the Code of practice and safety guide entitled "Radiation Protection in Dentistry" issued by ARPANSA.