Bosnia and Herzegovina has a well-built infrastructure for protecting its approximately 3,000 workers who are exposed to radiation as part of their jobs, according to the conclusions of a recent Occupational Radiation Protection Appraisal Service (ORPAS), the second to be hosted by a European country.
The 7-16 October mission found that the State Regulatory Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety and the technical support organizations working in medicine and in industry, agriculture and other fields are committed toward ensuring the safety of workers in line with the IAEA safety standards.
Burcin Okyar, an IAEA Radiation Safety Specialist and the coordinator of the IAEA ORPAS team, noted that the country requested the mission just nine years after establishing a regulatory body.
“The ORPAS team was impressed with the national arrangements in occupational control set up in a relatively short period of time that has passed since its legislation was drafted and enacted,“ he said.
The team, which comprised 10 occupational radiation protection experts from Belgium, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Ukraine and the IAEA, also noted that the country has created a written policy on the safety of radiation sources accompanying the established legislation.
“We were very satisfied with the ORPAS recommendations, which represent a great support for my country," said Emir Dizdarević, Deputy Director, State Regulatory Agency for Radiation and Nuclear Safety, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The team found that the regulatory body, technical support organizations and end users such as hospitals all benefited from a well-established information exchange.
The team recommended that occupational exposure control should be strengthened in fields such as mining and mineral processing industries, where industries and workers might not always be aware of the exposure due to natural radioactive materials.
The IAEA has conducted 19 ORPAS missions in 18 Member States since launching the programme in 2001 to support countries, on request, in their work to strengthen occupational radiation protection.
The Dominican Republic, Indonesia and Panama also hosted ORPAS missions in 2018. The appraisal service was implemented under the TC regional project RER9140 “Strengthening Protection of Radiation Workers and Occupational Exposure Monitoring".