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Western Kentucky University

Radiation Emergency Procedures

Radiation Emergency Procedures

 

PERSONNEL INJURY

WITH SIGNIFICANT OR LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES, MEDICAL ATTENTION IS THE FIRST PRIORITY Call 911. If necessary, report a potentially contaminated injury. Describe the extent of injuries and the radioactive material(s) involved. If the injury is minor, remove contaminated clothing and wash potentially contaminated areas with running water. Contact the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) at 270-791-3720.


MAJOR SPILLS of Radioactive Material

Usually Liquid or Solids Spills Over Large or High-Traffic Areas

  • Clear the area. Notify all persons not involved in the spill to vacate the room.
  • Open the spill kit and remove the needed supplies and personal protective equipment.
  • Prevent the spread of contamination by covering the spill with absorbent paper (paper should be dampened if solids are spilled), but DO NOT attempt to clean it up. Confine the movement of all potentially contaminated personnel to prevent the spread.
  • Shield the source only if it can be done without further contamination or significant increase in radiation exposure.
  • Close the room and lock or otherwise secure the area to prevent entry. Post the room with a sign to warn anyone trying to enter that a spill of radioactive material has occurred.
  • Notify the RSO immediately at 270-791-3720.
  • Survey all personnel who could possibly have been contaminated. Decontaminate personnel by removing contaminated clothing and flushing the contaminated skin with lukewarm water and then washing with a mild soap. The spill kit also has Radcon hand cleaner or similar.
  • Allow no one to return to work in the area unless approved by the RSO.

MINOR SPILLS of Radioactive Materials

Usually Liquid or Solids Spills Confined to Small, Low-Traffic Areas

  • Notify persons in the area that a spill has occurred.
  • Open the spill kit and remove the needed supplies and personal protective equipment.
  • Prevent the spread of contamination by covering the spill with absorbent paper (paper should be dampened if solids are spilled).
  • Clean up the spill, wearing disposable gloves and using absorbent paper.
  • Carefully fold the absorbent paper with the clean side out and place in a bag for transfer to a radioactive waste container. Put contaminated gloves and any other contaminated disposable material in the bag.
  • Survey the area with an appropriate low-range radiation detector survey meter or other appropriate technique (such as a wipe test analyzed on a liquid scintillation analyzer). Check the area around the spill for contamination. Also check hands, clothing, and shoes for contamination.
  • Promptly report the incident to the RSO at 270-791-3720 and let him/her know if you need assistance.
  • Allow no one to return to work in the area unless approved by the RSO.

RUPTURED OR LEAKING SEALED SOURCE

  • Do not move or remove the source or device containing the source.
  • Evacuate personnel from the area in which the source or device is located and restrict further movement of potentially contaminated personnel beyond a safe area to limit spread of contamination (the RSO will survey these individuals before release).
  • Restrict access to area in which leaking source is located.
  • Do not allow potentially contaminated materials to be removed from the laboratory or work area until authorized by the RSO.
  • Notify the RSO at 270-791-3720.

LOSS OR THEFT of Radioactive Materials

Report the LOSS or THEFT of radioactive material immediately to the Authorized User and the Radiation Safety Officer at 270-791-3720. If there is no answer, call the WKU Police at 270-745-2548.

radiation

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 Last Modified 9/25/14