Radiation Safety

What you need to know to keep safe from radiation

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Published December 10th, 2020

What is Radiation Safety?

Also called radioactive safety, radiation safety is a combination of safe practices and precautionary measures put in place to promote safety when working with or near radiation. It follows the guiding principle ALARA or “as low as reasonably achievable.”

Radiation Safety

In this article we will discuss the following:

What are the Risks of Radiation?

An estimated total of 23 million workers are exposed to artificial and natural radiation globally. Exposure to any amount of radiation presents a risk of damage to cells or tissue. While our bodies have the ability to repair damage cells, over time if exposure becomes longer and greater, it can result in many acute injuries such as burns, acute radiation syndrome, and long term health problems such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

What Happens if a Person is Radioactive?

A radioactive person or a person suffering from acute radiation syndrome also known as radiation sickness will need to undergo a medical examination to determine how severe the illness is likely to be, and decide which treatment to use to help the person survive. However, it is important to note that a person who’s absorbed large doses of radiation will have a small chance of recovery.

What are 3 Principles of Radiation Safety?

According to the CDC, radiation exposure risks can be lowered by following the three principles of radiation safety:

Time

This refers to the amount of time spent near the radioactive source. Time near the radioactive source should be kept at a minimum. Tasks or work activities revolving around the radioactive source should be done quickly as possible, to reduce spending time around the radioactive area more than necessary.

Distance

This refers to the distance between a person and the radioactive source. The greater the distance the lesser exposure and dose of radiation workers will be exposed to.

Shielding

Exposure to radiation sources can be minimized through shields. Shielding refers to putting something in between the radiation source and the person involved. The effectiveness of shields will vary depending on the level of radionuclides the radiation source is emitting.

Radiation Safety Measures

Radiation safety measures such as conducting safety inspections help ensure that critical radiation safety precautions are in place to reduce the risk of overexposure. There should be visible warning signs, contamination surveys conducted, and device tests for all radiation-producing equipment. All workers must be trained to limit time of exposure, use radiation shields, and increase the distance of contact with radioactive devices and materials.

10 Tips for Radiation Safety

Everyone must take radiation overexposure seriously. Hence, preventive measures and rules must be strictly followed to avoid critical health conditions. Here are top 10 list of rules to remember when working with radiation:

  1. Acquire adequate training to better understand the nature of radiation hazards.
  2. Reduce handling time of radioactive materials and equipment.
  3. Be mindful of your distance from sources of radiation. Increase distance as much as possible.
  4. Use proper shielding for the type of radiation.
  5. Isolate or contain harmful radioactive materials properly.
  6. Armor yourself with appropriate protective clothing and dosimeters.
  7. Conduct contamination surveys in the work area.
  8. Do not eat, drink, smoke, or apply cosmetics in an area where unsealed radioactive substances are handled.
  9. Observe proper radioactive waste disposal
  10. Conduct regular radiation safety self-inspections

Utilizing Technology to Implement & Maintain Radiation Safety

iAuditor is an award winning software for health and safety. It can help with streamlining and implementing radiation safety measures. Minimize the risks of radiation safety by conducting regular checks to confirm compliance, identify hazards, and control it. With iAuditor, you can:

  • Easily conduct safety inspections using a tablet or mobile device.
  • Proactively capture issues outside or during an inspection. With iAuditor’s collaborative actions feature, teams are able to instantly raise issues and assign the appropriate corrective action for immediate resolve.
  • Produce comprehensive reports automatically. Reports are generated upon completing an inspection.
  • Track and monitor how safety measures and radiation safety best practices are being performed across departments and sites with analytics.
  • Easily customize checklists and inspection forms where you see fit and share them with your team to collect consistent data across sites.

 

Author

Jai Andales

SafetyCulture staff writer

Jai is a content writer for SafetyCulture based in Manila. She has been writing well-researched articles about health and safety topics since 2018. She is passionate about empowering businesses to utilize technology in building a culture of safety and quality.