Physical control and medical surveillance of workers exposed to radiation

General information

Workers whose radiation dose may exceed the limit for the general population (1 millisievert per year) are defined in the Strahlenschutzgesetz (Radiation Protection Act) as "exposed workers". Exposed workers must be protected as far as possible from ionising radiation.

Depending on their potential annual dose, a distinction is made between category A (more than 6 millisievert per year) and category B (up to 6 millisievert per year).

The dose of exposed workers must be determined systematically (dose assessment). For persons in category A, additional medical examinations must be carried out.

The responsibility for radiation protection lies with the licensee or the user of a type-approved device. For external workers, licensee and the authorisation holder must define the respective responsibilities for the radiation protection measures by means of contractual agreements.

Analogous provisions also apply to activities involving naturally occurring materials. 

The obligation to protect human health from radon in the workplace has been significantly extended. In some cases this may lead to an obligation to continuously determine the dose.

The aircraft operator must also carry out radiation protection measures against cosmic radiation for his/her aircrew.

Dose assessment

The dose assessment of exposed workers must be carried out by a certified dosimetry service. The external dose must always be determined using personal dosimeters. In some cases, the responsible authority may also require a determination of internal exposure (incorporation monitoring).

Medical examinations

Exposed workers in category A must be under medical examination in all areas of activity: medical examination prior to employment and control examinations (at least once a year) must be carried out. Only persons whose medical fitness has been confirmed may continue to be employed as category A exposed workers. An examination must be carried out without undue delay in cases where an exposed worker has been exposed to occupational exposure above the established dose limits (immediate examination). Medical examinations must be carried out by medical practitioners, occupational health services or hospitals that have been certified for this purpose.

The collected dose values and the results of the medical examinations are stored in the Central Dose Register in accordance with the legal requirements.

Enterprises affected

Competent authority

Dose assessment and medical examinations shall be agreed directly between companies and the bodies certified to carry them out.


The company must commission

  • an appropriate certified  service for the dose assessment and
  • a certified medical practitioner, an certified occupational health service or hospital for the medical examinations of exposed workers in category A due to their occupation.

The results of the dose assessment and, where appropriate, of the medical examination, shall be made available to the persons concerned.

Data transmission to the Central Dose Register is carried out by the body that carries out the dose assessment or the medical examination.

Costs and fees

  • The cost for a personal dosimeter evaluation is about 8 Euro.
  • For other dose assessments and determinations, expenses vary depending on their types and extent.
  • The costs of medical examinations are usually borne by the state.

Further information

Central Dose Register ( BMK)German text

Legal bases

Last update: 1 January 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology