In a previous post about the Texas Department of State Health Services’ required X-ray inspection process, I mentioned the need to present your facility’s Annual Evaluation of Protective Devices (AEPD) documentation to state inspectors.
Let’s discuss this evaluation of your radiation protection devices more thoroughly.
The radiation protective devices referred to in the AEPD are commonly known as lead aprons, but also include the following X-ray safety equipment:
- One-piece full apron
- Skirt & vest
- Gonad shield
- Thyroid shield
These radiation protection devices will be on the inspectors list of items to check when they arrive for the required random inspection of your X-ray equipment.
Read more about the State Health Services’ X-ray inspection process here.
How to Inspect Radiation Protection Devices
There are 3 steps to the inspection process that can uncover defective protective devices:
1. Visual Inspection
A thorough visual inspection should be conducted to identify any outward evidence of damage or need for repair.
2. Tactile Inspection
By feeling the entire apron, you should find any abnormalities or cracks in the protective material that are present.
3. X-ray Inspection
By taking a radiograph of the apron itself, cracks and tears in the lead will show up easily, and creased sections will indicate weak points that need to be addressed.
For more information, read this study about effective X-ray protective aprons.
When to Inspect Radiation Protection Devices
It’s important that all protection devices are inspected by facility employees immediately upon arrival, and then subsequent in-house inspections should be consistently conducted every year following.
All of these in-house inspections should be logged in an inspection tracking system. All radiology safety assets should have logged inspections on file for the inspectors to review.
The state inspector will definitely be checking them for safety concerns when they arrive for regular inspections, so make sure you have them on hand.
Need to Replace Defective Radiation Protection Devices?
By conducting thorough and consistent inspections, you will occasionally uncover damaged or faulty protective devices — that equipment will likely need to be replaced.
Southwest X-Ray can help. For assistance, visit our Techno-Aide online store for all your radiation protection device needs — click here.