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2. Defining the areas of safety and responsibility within the MRI department

For further details please refer to the publication Guidelines for Magnetic Resonance Equipment in Clinical Use.2

2.1  Responsible Person

The MRI Responsible Person:

  • has day to day responsibility for MRI safety in the MRI Centre;
  • shall be required to have training in, and have good working knowledge of, MRI training and safety;
  • shall be delegated as Responsible Person by Chief Executive or General Manager;
  • may effectively be Clinical Director, Head of Department or Superintendent Radiographer in an MRI department;

NB. An MRI Responsible Person should not take on the role of an MRI Safety Advisor see 2.2.

Duties of an MRI Responsible Person:

  • to ensure adequate written safety procedures, ethical approvals, work instructions and emergency procedures are issued to all concerned after consultation with the MRI Safety Advisors and Authorised Persons. See 2.2, 2.3.
  • to maintain an appropriate record of  MR training undertaken by  Authorised Persons

2.2  MRI Safety Advisor

The MRI Safety Advisor:

  • shall be conversant with MR Safety issues;
  • shall be in contact with Safety Committees and relevant professional bodies.

Duties of an MRI Safety Advisor:

  • to advise on safety aspects of clinical and scientific use of MRI scanners with reference to safety committees, local ethics committee, MRHA HPA (Radiation Protection Division) and other professional bodies;
  • to advise on training materials, consent forms, questionnaires, safety record sheets and ensuring appropriate screening for persons entering the controlled area for approval by the MRI Responsible Person and the local ethics committee;
  • to be competent to cover the scientific aspects of the department.

NB.  The MRI Safety Advisor may be a physicist.

2.3  Authorised Person

The Authorised Person:

  • shall be on a certified list to be given access to controlled area;
  • shall be one of the MRI Centre personnel, including the MR Operator. See 2.4;
  • must have read and understood the MRI Centre safety training materials, and have completed and passed a screening questionnaire annually;
  • shall be one of certain external users with access to scanner rooms, such as engineers, researchers, research assistants, cleaning and maintenance staff;
  • must have an appropriate record of their MR training which is kept by the Responsible Person;
  • shall satisfy his/herself at all times that they conform to the requirements of the screening process.

NB:  the MRI safety  screening questionnaires of all authorised personnel are to be kept by the Responsible Person.

Additions to the authorised persons list can only be made by an MRI Advisor and/or the Responsible Person, after appropriate training and screening processes have been completed.

Unauthorised persons, including carers escorting patients and the general public, must be accompanied by an Authorised Person who is responsible for them while in the controlled area: they must be screened, and have been authorised to enter the controlled area.

2.4  MRI Operator

The MRI Operator:

  • is an authorised person deemed to have sufficient experience (knowledge and skills) and appropriate training and is responsible for operating the scanner in a safe and appropriate manner;
  • Is also responsible for the safety of patients, volunteers and accompanying carers who are undergoing MR Imaging at all times, and also for ensuring that any equipment taken into the controlled area for the examination is MR compatible.

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