Radiation is an extremely useful, versatile, powerful research and clinical tool. But like many tools, radiation must be used with care and according to proper procedures if we are to avoid causing incidents or harm.
Because of this potential for incident or harm, and, to a very large extent, because of societal and governmental concerns, the University's use of radioactive materials and radiation- producing machines is closely controlled by regulations issued by the federal government through the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the State of Utah Division of Radiation Control (or DRC), and by a process of licensing, which is administered by the state.
These regulations, and our license specify in detail the rules under which we may use radiation on this campus. If we fail to follow those regulations and conditions, we risk being penalized, which may even include fines. But more important, we jeopardize our continued ability to use radiation in our research, teaching and clinical work.
The use of radiation here at the University is a privilege, which is extended to us by the State and the NRC, not as a right. And we have to earn that privilege by exercising care and diligence, and by complying with regulations and license conditions, whenever we work with radiation.
The Department of Radiological Health’s responsibility is to make certain that the University meets its compliance duties, and, more importantly, to ensure that the University is a safe and healthy place to work. But, with hundreds of faculty, staff and students using radiation here on the campus, we cannot do this job all by ourselves, nor should we. It takes all of us, working together, to maintain compliance and to achieve the objectives of our Radiation Safety program.
The role of the Responsible User is also key to this commitment. It is the Responsible User’s job to assure that the personnel working under their authority with radiation are properly trained and competent to be performing the work. The Radiological Health Department training is meant to assist in that mission, not substitute for that attention to detail.
The Objectives of this training are
1. The University will use radiation in a manner so that society will derive some benefit, if there is not benefit, we should not use radiation. This benefit is often highly visible and easy to appreciate, such as better diagnosis and treatment of patients in our hospital and clinics. Equally important, but often less visible benefit, is increased knowledge and discovery in a variety of scientific areas.
2. The University’s use of radiation will not result in harm or injury to any employee, student, patient or member of the public.
3. The University’s use of radiation will not violate any state or federal regulation, or any license condition, especially the limits placed on radiation exposure to employees or the general public.
The best way to meet these objectives is by understanding and applying the principles of radiation protection and following proper procedures Our web site training information modules are a first step toward learning these principles and procedures, so I urge you to obtain as much as you can from the online sessions as well as the interactive sessions with the Radiological Health Department staff. The Radiation Procedures and Records provided in this web site are also an integral part of the University’s license conditions, and must be followed by all radiation users as they are an extension of the regulations.
It is also important for you to know that you may contact our office when you need assistance with understanding the requirements or procedures for handling radiation safely, or, to address any concerns you might have regarding your work with radiation or radioactive materials.
Initial Radiation Safety Training:
This training provides the basic information from which to go to specialty areas to complete training that is appropriate to the work you will be performing. Choose the topical area that best describes your work and proceed. The quiz at the end is designed to help confirm that you are aware of the material you have read. You will NOT be able to take the interactive portion of the training until that has been successfully completed. The quiz is not programmed to allow you to stop in the middle and return later. If you exit, you will have to start over.
Special thanks is given to Princeton University as their online training has been used as a template for ours.
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Go to the First Module (Radiation Basics)