Working safely with radiation is the responsibility of everyone involved in the use and management of radiation producing equipment and materials. Depending on the size of the organization, specific responsibilities may be assigned to various individuals and/or committees.
Radiation Safety Officer
All organizations that are licensed to use ionizing radiation must have a Radiation Safety Officer. The RSO is the individual authorized by the company to serve as point of contact for all activities conducted under the scope of the authorization. The RSO ensures that radiation safety activities are being performed in accordance with approved procedures and regulatory requirements. Some of the common responsible for the RSO include:
- Ensuring that all individuals using radiation equipment are appropriately trained and supervised.
- Ensuring that all individuals using the equipment have been formally authorized to use the equipment.
- Ensuring that all rules, regulations, and procedures for the safe use of radioactive sources and X-ray systems are observed.
- Ensuring that proper operating, emergency, and ALARA procedures have been developed and are available to all system users.
- Ensuring that accurate records of the use of the sources and equipment are maintained.
- Ensuring that required radiation surveys and leak tests are performed and documented.
- Ensuring that systems and equipment are protected from unauthorized access or removal.
The minimum qualifications, training, and experience for RSOs for industrial radiography are as follows: (1) Completion of the training and testing requirements of Sec. 34.43(a) of Part 10 of the Federal Code of Regulations, (2) 2000 hours of hands-on experience as a qualified radiographer in industrial radiographic operations, and (3) Formal training in the establishment and maintenance of a radiation protection program.
Radiation Safety Committee
Some organizations may have a Radiation Safety Committee (RSC) to assist the RSO. The RSC often provides oversight of the policies, procedures and responsibilities of an organizations radiation safety program.
The individuals authorized to use the X-ray producing system or gamma sources are responsible for ensuring that:
- All rules, regulations, and procedures for the safe use of the X-ray system are followed.
- An accurate record of the use of the system is maintained.
- All safety problems with the system are reported to the RSO and corrected before further use.
- The system is protected from unauthorized access or removal.