Abstract The automated Risø TL/OSL DA-15 reader is widely used for luminescence dating applications. The nature of the device is such that the irradiation and illumination of a sample during the OSL procedures may affect discs in adjacent positions. It is critical to confirm that these factors do not introduce significant systematic errors. The effects of such cross-talk (cross-irradiation and cross-bleaching) are examined and quantified, both for specific and general cases. Depending upon the protocol used, cross-irradiation and cross-bleaching could accumulate to have an effect on the D e estimate, and for the latter this could be significant (i.e. 10%).