Persons working under an Authorized User must follow the policies and procedures as outlined in this guide.  They must use radiation sources only under the supervision of the Authorized User and in the manner specified in the application for authorization to use such sources.  Before working with radiation sources a radiation worker must have received basic radiation protection training by a member of the Radiation Safety Office and must receive on site laboratory training by the laboratory authorized user or his/her designee.  

Becoming a Radiation Worker

Responsibilities of a Radiation Worker

Becoming a Radiation Worker:

1. Individuals who desire to work with radiation sources or work in areas where radiation sources will be used are required to complete basic radiation protection training offered by the Radiation Safety Office.  Call the Radiation Safety Office (x3372) to schedule training.  

The goal of basic radiation protection training is to familiarize the radiation worker with the following: 

  • Basic radiation science.
  • Radiation risk, protection, and safety.
  • The concept of ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable).
  • Federal, state, and university rules and regulations.
  • The responsibilities of the radiation worker, the authorized user, and the UMass Lowell radiation safety program.
  • Basic laboratory safety procedures. 
  • Emergency response procedures.

2. Before the radiation worker is allowed to handle radioactive material or operate a radiation emitting device, the worker must undergo site specific safety training by the laboratory’s Authorized User or designee. 

Responsibilities of a Radiation Worker:

Any individual at UMass Lowell who works in an area where radiation sources or devices are used or stored is considered a radiation worker.  Radiation workers at the university are responsible for:

  1. Participating in basic radiation safety training provided by the Radiation Safety Office prior to entering the designated radiation work site. 
  2. Being trained by the laboratory’s Authorized User (or designee) on specific radiation safety practices within the laboratory.  
  3. Following the UMass Lowell ALARA program by keeping his/her radiation exposure As Low As Reasonable Achievable in addition to keeping his/her radiation exposure levels below the state and federal limits presented in Table 1 (section 4 of the Radiation Safety Guide).  
  4. Wearing appropriate radiation monitoring devices such as film badges, ring badges, pocket ion chambers, etc… 
  5. Using standard laboratory protective measures when working with radioactive material.  Such measures include (but are not limited to):
    • Wearing appropriate protective clothing (note: shorts and open toe shoes are not appropriate clothing). 
    • Using appropriate radiation shielding 
    • When possible and practical, use mechanical devices or remote handling tools to reduce radiation exposure to the extremities. 
    • Whenever practical, minimizing the amount of time the worker is exposed to radiation and performing experiments in an efficient, expeditious manner. 
    • Performing work in an approved hood or glove box if it is possible that radioactive material may be released into the air.
  6. Ensuring that no eating, drinking, smoking, or applying cosmetics or lotions occur in areas where radioactive materials are present.  It is against regulations to store food or beverages in a laboratory. 
  7. Maintaining good work habits and safe laboratory techniques as specified in Appendix V of the Radiation Safety Guide
  8. Performing a radiation survey, documenting the survey, and placing the survey results on file (see Appendix VII of the Radiation Safety Guide to learn how to perform a survey): 
    • At the end of each day when radioactive materials have been used/accessed. 
    • Following the transfer of radioactive materials from stock solutions. 
    • After each experimental run if there is a possibility of a change in radiation levels or contamination. 
    • after packaging or unpackaging a radiation source.
  9. Immediately cleaning up contaminated areas and reporting spills and skin contamination to the Radiation Safety Office as soon as reasonably possible.
  10. Keeping the laboratory neat and organized.
  11. Labeling and isolating radioactive sources, waste, and radiation emitting equipment. 
  12. Understanding how to procure/purchase radioactive materials as described in Section 6 of the Radiation Safety Guide.
  13. Being familiar with the safe use and storage of radiation emitting materials and devices as described in Section 7 of the Radiation Safety Guide.
  14. Properly storing and disposing of radioactive waste as described in Section 8 of the Radiation Safety Guide.
  15. Contacting an Authorized User or a member of the Radiation Safety Office if you are unsure of a radiation safety related issue.