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Individual monitoring for both external and internal exposures is well regulated in Switzerland. The article gives an overview on the occupational exposure to external radiation of workers based on the data collected in the Swiss national dose registry (NDR) in 2013. The NDR records the monthly doses of radiation workers since the introduction of ICRP 60 recommendations and is manifested in the Swiss ordinance since 1994. Annual dose limits for effective dose are typically exceeded once a year in Switzerland, mostly in medicine. The NDR is a useful optimisation tool to identify and characterise areas with the highest exposures. While exceeded dose limits were often related to accidental acute exposure in the past, they are now more related to continuous exposure during normal work, especially in medicine.