To ensure that adequate lead is installed in the walls, floor, ceiling and/or operator's booth, Chapter 246-225 WAC requires that new, remodeled or re-located medical X-ray facilities submit shielding calculations before construction begins, or before the X-ray machine is moved.
Look up these requirements in your copy of the WAC or call 1-800-299-XRAY for a copy.
The following sequence of events should take place:
1 - Plan Review
Work with your architect, contractor, or X-ray installer to hire a qualified expert to perform the shielding calculations. You will need to provide information on projected workload, techniques to be used, exam types to be done, layout of room, occupancy of adjacent space, etc. A Qualified Experts List is provided. You should contact several experts on the list to see how much they charge and when they can do the calculations for you. When complete, the floor plan and shielding calculations are sent to us for review: X-Ray Shielding Plan Review Procedure (Word), packet for registrants.
A shielding design is allowed one free revision for the purpose of room/machine changes prior to machine installation. If the machine has already been installed, a new shielding design and fees are required for the revision.
Send the documents by e-mail or mail them to:
Washington State Department of Health
P.O. Box 47827
Olympia WA 98504-7827
Without the cover sheet and appropriate plan review fees the plans will be returned to the sender. If the plans meet shielding requirements, we send an acceptance letter to you. Use of the X-ray equipment cannot begin until after you have received the review letter from our office.
There is a $656 late fee if our review is not done before X-ray machine use.
2 - Installation, Registration and Fees
When your X-ray machine is installed (or moved) the installer is required to send us a Report of Assembly. Other copies of this report go to you and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. When we receive this report, we then match it with the shielding calculations and the floor plan. You must then submit a Registration Application Package (for new facilities only) and any appropriate fees to the Department of Revenue Business Licensing Services (DOR). Fees are charged based upon the type of practice (medical, dental, veterinary, industrial, etc.) and number and type of X-ray machines. Every year thereafter, your facility will be billed through Department of Licensing (DOL) for re-registration. There is no additional fee for routine inspections.
3 - Inspection
The final step in this process is the inspection done by one of our X-ray inspectors who will call you and make an appointment. The facility floor plan and shielding will be verified against the plan submitted, and the X-ray machine will be tested to ensure that it is performing according to standards found in WAC 246-225.
Note that radiographic diagnostic veterinary, podiatric and dental facilities are exempt from submitting shielding calculations and floor plans, but the radiation safety standards in WAC 246-225 must be followed. For dental and podiatric facilities, these standards include the requirement for a proper exposure switch/button placement (permanently mounted in a protected area), and for podiatric and dental extra-oral (cephalometric or panoramic) systems, a means of viewing the patient during the exposure (plate glass window, mirror or video). For dental cephalometric and podiatric facilities, primary beam shielding should be considered if the primary beam is directed toward occupied areas.