The evaluation and approval of installation plans for X-ray machines
Did you know, there are approximately 7,500 X-ray facilities in Ontario, which house approximately 30,000 X-ray machines?
According to Ontario’s Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act (HARP Act), all schematic plans for the installation of X-ray machines in Ontario must be approved by the province’s Director of X-ray Safety at the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
Once hospitals, health clinics and dental professionals submit their installation plans to the Ministry, they are reviewed to ensure compliance with the technical requirements of Ontario’s X-ray Safety Code – or Regulation 543 under the HARP Act – including sufficient shielding (such as lead) to protect the public from scattered radiation in the vicinity of X-ray machines.
An installation plan must also satisfy the requirements of Ontario’s Building Code to ensure that the proposed plan includes a shielding design that is structurally feasible, for example. The owner of an X-ray facility is responsible for providing a Building Code-compliant installation plan to the municipality in which it is located.
Municipalities then provide their seal of approval with respect to the Building Code and require that the Director’s letter of approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is included as part of this approval process.
Procurement of vendor to evaluate installation plans
The X-ray Inspection Service (XRIS) in the Long-Term Care Inspections Branch (LTCIB) is seeking qualified experts to evaluate schematic plans submitted to the Director, to help ensure that the plans satisfy the requirements of the X-ray Safety Code.
As a vendor, you will not be responsible for evaluating a proposal’s compliance with any other codes, such as the Building Code or the Fire Code.
The vendor’s team must include at least one licensed professional engineer who:
- is a member in good standing with the Professional Engineers of Ontario regulatory body (Ontario P.Eng.)
- has the appropriate qualifications and expertise to evaluate installation plans and, for those plans that satisfy statutory requirements, to stamp and sign those plans to indicate professional approval.
The vendor’s team must also include at least one medical physicist (either in-house or external to the engineering firm) who:
- is a Member and/or Fellow in good standing of the Canadian College of Physicists in Medicine (CCPM)
- has certification in at least one ionizing radiation sub-specialty
The engineer who reviews, professionally stamps and signs an installation plan has the ultimate accountability for the evaluation of the plan. The role of the medical physicist is to provide advice whenever the engineer requests it.
Volume of work
In recent years, the number of installation plans requiring approval from the Director has more than doubled from approximately 600 plans annually to over 1,200, due to factors such as an accelerating trend in conversions from film to digital X-ray machines.
The amount of time required to evaluate a plan is a function of the number of rooms in the plan and the number of machines (which may also be of different types). The evaluation time per plan tends to range from one to three hours, with the average time being about two hours.
Submission of bids
Interested vendors may access the Opportunity Listing by logging into the BravoSolution website. Then, simply search for the project information for Tender 7975 under Current Opportunities, as per the screen shot below: