Emission Control: Eight Key Features of a Robust Radiation Program
If your facility uses equipment that generates radiation, you need a radiation program! Used in a variety of manufacturing settings, including the food industry, radiation-generating equipment is regulated by a Program Management body.
In Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health (ODOH) is the regulating body. Using their guidance, below are some key features of a radiation program:
- Designation of an individual responsible for the radiation protection program. This person (e.g., a Quality Control Manager, Plant Engineer, or Plant Safety Manager) is responsible for ensuring the implementation of the program.
- Identification of the type of radiation equipment present at the facility. Verify that the facility has a detailed inventory of equipment that generates radiation, and that the inventory is easily available and up-to-date.
- Registration of units with the ODOH is required initially at purchase prior to use and a renewal is required every two years after initial registration.
- Designated employees must go through radiation training. This training is required when hired and annually thereafter to maintain an understanding of the equipment and the associated health hazards.
- Preventative maintenance of radiation-generating equipment is necessary to keep it working properly and ascertain that it is not exposing employees to excessive amounts of radiation.
- Radiation-generating equipment and locations must be subjected to annual area surveys. This will measure the amount of radiation from the equipment and in the area to determine the overall hazards associated with the operation.
- Safety information (e.g., Certification of Registration, Radiation Safety Notice to Employees, Safe Operating Procedures) are posted near the equipment.
- Periodic agency inspections are performed to verify compliance. Inspections vary depending on the type of industry (e.g., dental, manufacturing).
While the items noted above are for a radiation program in Ohio and will vary state-by-state, they should provide a good start towards meeting general requirements. Check with your state’s Radiation Program Management body, and/or your EH&S department, to create a radiation program that aligns with your state’s specific requirements. Plus, watch for a future issue of EH&S From Experience in which we will look at radiation programs in more detail.
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