Any accident, injury or loss of control of a radiation
source or radiation producing device that could cause an excessive or
uncontrolled radiation exposure to any individual is referred to as a radiation
emergency. Each user of radiation sources should be familiar with the basic
emergency responses listed below and methods for applying them in his or her
own work area.
In case of a spill of radioactive material, you must respond
in a timely manner to minimize your exposure and take appropriate actions. Employees
are expected to clean up, survey and document their own spills if it is in their capability.
The TSO offers assistance in spill clean-up if so requested. If you enter a lab
with a spill and do not know what the material is or feel uncomfortable with
decontamination procedures, you should contact the TSO for assistance.
Workers are not permitted to enter rooms with X-ray machines
and accelerators while the beam is on. Inadvertent entry into X-ray machine
rooms or accelerator rooms is prevented by engineering and administrative
controls. All the safety systems must meet fail-safe
characteristics. This is a design
feature that causes beam shutters to close, or otherwise prevents emergence of
the primary beam, upon failure of a safety or warning device.
1. Protect People
first consideration is to assist injured persons and to prevent any further
injury. If the situation involves a radiation-producing machine, the
machine should be turned off (if it is in your capability). Except for the usual precautions for
moving an injured person, individuals should immediately leave the room or area
until the extent of the radiological hazard has been evaluated. However,
all individuals should remain available in the vicinity until they are checked for
contamination and their exposure has been assessed. If you are qualified to render first aid, do so without regard to the
presence of radioactivity.
2. Get Help
Each individual using radiation sources or radiation
producing devices should know in advancewhom
to call in case of a
radiation emergency. If fire injury or other emergency conditions
are involved, first call the appropriate numbers listed on the
1st page of the Campus Directory.
Dial 911 immediately for medical assistance, and report the
nature of the illness or injury. Inform the 911 dispatcher that the injured
individual may be contaminated with radioactive material (generally not the
case for X ray machines and accelerators).
Next notify the Technical Safety Office at extensions 2310
or 2311 during normal working hours OR notify Public Safety, at 282-2515 during
off duty hours. Public Safety will notify the TSO.
When reporting any emergency, be sure to state the exact
nature of the emergency then give your name and the phone number from which you
are calling, the exact location of the emergency (building, room, nearest entrance,
etc.) and the name of the Responsible User, if known. Do not hang up!
Let the person you called end the conversation after all pertinent information
is clearly understood.
Any of the following actions appropriate to the situation
should be performed provided they can be carried out safely:
Contain the Hazard
1. Turn off radiation
2. Cover containers
of radioactive materials.
3. Place absorbent
material on spilled liquids.
4. Close the sash on
fume hoods, but do not turn off hood exhaust fans.
5. Close doors to the
area and post signs or guards to prevent unauthorized entry.
6. Allow no one
to leave the area without being checked for contamination.
Any necessary decontamination or repairs required after a
radiation emergency shall be performed only under the direction of the
Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) or his designee. Reentry or re‑occupancy must be authorized by
the RSO. The RSO shall evaluate, record
and report, as necessary, any radiation exposures to personnel, loss of
radioactive material, or damage to radiation facilities resulting from the
emergency. If required by the RSO, individuals involved in a radiation
emergency shall submit specimens for bioassay, surrender personal clothing or
other articles for decontamination or assay, and provide pertinent information.