Open Source Radiation Training - Module 5
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Government Regulations and the Radiation Safety Program
This module provides information about the following topics:
- Inspections and Audits
- Radiation Safety Program
- Radiation Safety Committee
- Environmental Health & Safety Office
- Authorized Users
- Radiation Workers
Murray State University is licensed by the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources Regulations, 902 KAR 100 to receive, acquire, own, possess and transfer certain radioactive materials and to use such radioactive material for the purposes listed in the license.
Kentucky is an “ Agreement State ”, which means that they entered into an agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. NRC and Agreement State programs exist in harmony, without conflicts, duplication, or gaps. Agreement States assume the responsibility of radiation protection at the state level. They must publish a set of “compatible” rules and regulations. The NRC Regulations are contained in Title 10, Part 20 of the Federal Code of Regulations. Copies of the relevant regulations are available from ESH and from the NRC Web site.
Inspections and Audits
Regulatory Agency Inspections
The Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources Regulations, 902 KAR 100 conduct periodic inspections of the use of radioactive materials at the University. If violations of the regulations or radiation safety program deficiencies are discovered, Notices of Violations may be issued against the University, and fines and other sanctions can be imposed.
The Murray State University Radiation Safety Committee conducts an annual audit of the radiation safety program, which includes a review of the program and visits to selected laboratories.
Murray State's Radiation Safety Program
To meet the requirements of the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources Regulations, 902 KAR 100 and to provide a safe working environment, Murray State University has established a radiation safety program with four key components:
- The Radiation Safety Committee
- The Environmental Health and Safety Office
- The Authorized User
- The Radiation Worker
The roles and responsibilities of each are described in the following sections.
The Radiation Safety Committee
The Radiation Safety Committee, which consists of selected faculty members, Authorized Users, and the Radiation Safety Officer, meets quarterly. The Committee:
- oversees the radiation safety program
- authorizes the use of radioactive materials
- reviews incidents involving radioactive materials
- sets policies for the use of sources of radiation
- gives general supervision to the implementation of those policies.
The Environmental Safety and Health Office
The day-to-day operation of the radiation safety program is managed within the Environmental Safety & Health Office (ESH) by the University’s Radiation Safety Officer (RSO). The RSO advises Authorized Users and radiation workers on radiation safety and regulatory compliance issues and provide the following services:
- radiation safety training
- personal monitoring and dosimetry services
- laboratory radiation and contamination surveys
- incident, spill and contamination management
- radioactive waste disposal management
The Authorized User
Authorized Users are faculty or senior staff members who have been approved by the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources Regulations and appear on the university’s license or under the supervision of licensed persons to use radioactive materials under specific conditions. An Authorized User is granted approval to possess and use specific isotopes only for the uses described in the license and is issued a possession limit for each of those isotopes. Any person using radioactive materials at Murray State University is either an Authorized User or is a radiation worker using radioactive materials under an Authorized User’s supervision.
Each Authorized User is responsible for:
- the health and safety of anyone using or affected by the use of radioactive materials under his or her direction or supervision
- personally attending initial and annual refresher training and ensuring that his/her employees, staff and visitors receive appropriate training
- ensuring that his/her employees, staff and visitors comply with relevant regulations, policies and procedures.
The Radiation Worker
A radiation worker is anyone who uses radioactive materials or radiation-producing machines. The radiation worker’s thorough training, compliance with regulations and procedures, careful work habits and respect for the health and safety of fellow workers are an integral part of the radiation safety program.
A radiation worker’s responsibilities include the following:
• Attend an initial radiation safety training class and annual refresher radiation safety training offered by ESH.
• Be familiar with the isotopes in use; know their radiological, physical and chemical properties, methods of detection, the types of hazards presented by each one, and the specific precautions and handling requirements for each isotope.
• Be familiar with all the relevant procedures of the radiation safety program, including isotope purchasing and waste disposal procedures.
• Know how to properly use the appropriate radiation survey meter.
• Know how to use radiation monitoring badges and exchange them promptly at the end of the monthly wear period.
• Maintain appropriate inventory, disposal and survey records.
• Secure radioactive materials by making sure that radioactive materials are locked away or are under immediate supervision within the laboratory.
• Inform coworkers and visitors to the work area about the presence of radioactive materials and of any precautions they should take.
• Know who to call in any incident involving sources of radiation and how to handle spills and personal contamination.
This is the end of the Government Regulations Module, which is the fifth of the six Open Source Radiation Basics modules.