Individuals involved in the radiation safety program at Clemson University include: Members of the Radiation Safety Committee (R.S.C.), the Radiation Safety Officer (R.S.O.) and staff, Authorized Investigators, Radiation Workers.
Prospective Authorized Investigators apply to the R.S.C. for authorization to use specific radioactive isotopes and / or radiation producing machines. By applying for and accepting authorization the Authorized Investigator accepts responsibility for how the isotopes or radiation producing machines are used in the research laboratory or in other authorized places of use under their supervision. The Authorized Investigator must establish a sound and current radiation safety program for all users under his/her direction. The R.S.C. requires that such a program be outlined in the application for authorization to possess and use radioactive source material or radiation producing machines. Once approved, the tenants of the application become local conditions of use. The program should include certain elements that are described in the following sections.
A. Responsibilities of the Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)
The Committee has the authority to define the policies, procedures, and standards governing the use of sources of radiation at all University facilities, to include approval of all Authorized Investigators. The RSC is the final authority in all matters relating to the safe possession and use of radioactive materials and radiation producing equipment.
The RSC may terminate the authorization to possess and use radioactive materials and/or other sources of radiation in a research study, and/or place restrictions on the use of radiation by an Responsible Investigator (RI).
B. Resonsible Investigators Duties And Responsibilities
1. Who is a Responsible Investigator?
The Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) and the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) issue "authorizations" to qualified personnel permitting them to possess and use sources of radiation in University facilities. These personnel are called Responsible Investigators (RI). The RI, usually a faculty member, shares the legal responsibility for the safe handling of radioactive material or radiation producing devices under their jurisdiction. All university personnel and students directly involved in the use of sources of radiation conduct their operations under the supervision of an RI.
2. Initial Authorization to use radioactive materials and radiation producing devices
Initial approval is obtained by submitting an application for authorization to the Committee on forms available through the Radiation Safety Office. The application will describe such items as:
the facility or areas where the radioisotopes/radiation will be used,
the radioisotope(s) or other sources of radiation which will be used, and
procedures and work practices which will be followed.
3. Condition of Authorizations to Use Radioactive Material
An authorization defines for the Investigator:
4. Responsibility of Responsible Investigator (RI)
The Responsible Investigator shares the legal responsibility for the safe use of radioactive materials and/or radiation producing devices. The Responsible Investigator:
5. How to Amend an Authorization
The RI may request amendments to an authorization such as increasing activity or isotopes possessed or adding additional laboratory space. Contact Radiation Safety Office at 656-3516.
C. Radiation Worker Duties and Responsibilities
All University personnel who handle radioactive material or who are occupationally exposed to radiation during their employment or study are “Radiation Workers”. Radiation workers may be Responsible Investigators, graduate students, undergraduate students, technicians, post-doctorates, visitors, or any other individual who handles radioactive material or is exposed to radiation.
Individuals who use radioactive materials must assume that certain responsibilities are inherent in their work. The individual worker is the "first line of defense" in protection of people and the environment from the possible harmful effects of exposure to radiation. Since the workers, themselves, are the direct handlers of the radioactive material, the final responsibility lies with them for safety and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. For this reason, it is critical that they be aware of the risks, safe practices and requirements for use of radioactive materials.
1. Responsibilities of Radiation Workers
The following practices and procedures are to be followed by all radiation workers:
2. Classifications of Radiation Workers under the supervision of the RI
a. Senior Radiation Worker
A Senior Radiation Worker is a radiation worker who by virtue of training and significant experience in the use of radioactive material and radiation protection practices is permitted to supervise the work of others.
A Senior Radiation Worker may undertake to train previously inexperienced individuals in the use of radioisotopes.
A Senior Radiation Worker assists in the day-to-day management of the work that is conducted under an authorization and may be formally designated by the RI as an alternate or area supervisor.
b. Radiation Worker
Radiation Workers have received radiation safety training and have sufficient on the job experience to work under indirect supervision of the RI or Senior Radiation Worker. The radiation worker may work more or less independently in that the RI or Senior Rad Worker does not have to be physically present, but must be accessible within an acceptably short period of time for instance by telephone.
c. Radiation Worker Trainees
A trainee is any individual that works under the direct supervision of the RI or Senior Rad Worker. Trainees are not considered to have sufficient training and experience to work independently of line of sight supervision.
3. How to Add a New Radiation Worker
Notify the RSO of the addition of a new radiation worker by submitting a “Rad Worker Registration/Dosimetry Request Form” to the Radiation Safety Office via fax or mail, or e-mail the required information to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Training of Radiation Workers
One of the most important conditions of the University's radioactive license is that all radiation workers at University facilities must have radiation safety training. If an individual does not comply with this requirement, the Responsible Investigator is asked to restrict that person to line of sight supervision until training is satisfied.
a. Bypass Exam
Individuals who have sufficient previous experience will be offered a more abbreviated form of training. This training will consist of a lecture on radiation protection emphasizing procedures specific to Clemson University and will include a written exam. A minimum acceptable exam score of 75% is required to demonstrate minimum competence.
b. Classroom training
Classroom training will normally be scheduled at the beginning of the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Additional classroom sessions may be added if there are personnel who need training between regularly scheduled classes.
c. Alternate training
Alternate training methods are available to accommodate personnel who require training when no classroom is scheduled, such as between semesters.
D. Responsibilities of the Radiation Safety Officer1. Administration of the day-to-day activities of the Radiation Safety Office.