Operating, Transportation and Emergency Procedures

Nuclear gauge design incorporates operator safety as a prime consideration. However, as with any device containing radioactive materials, some general precautions must be observed.

  1. Do not operate or attempt to operate the instrument unless you have been trained and authorized to do so.
  2. While radiation exposure levels are well within limits for radiation workers, never expose yourself to the source except as necessary in routine operation or emergencies.
  3. Keep all unauthorized persons out of the operation area. A suggested distance is 5 meters (15 feet). The general public must not be unnecessarily exposed to radiation.
  4. Maintain security of the instrument at all times. The instrument must be kept in a locked vehicle on the job site when not in use. Not only is the gauge an expensive piece of equipment but, if lost or stolen, a potentially hazardous situation to the general public could be created.
  5. A Utilization Log must maintained, containing, at the minimum the following: Date out, Name of Authorized User who used the gauge, Make/Model/Serial Number of the device, Date returned to storage, initials of the person who returned the device.
  6. The gauge shall be transported only by an approved operator. During transportation, the gauge shall be packaged in its shipping-storage container, secured and locked in the closed vehicle. The shipping container meets U.S. DOT Type A specifications.
  7. The gauge and shipping-storage container must be surveyed upon return from use in the field to ensure radiation levels do not exceed 200 mrems per hour at the container surface nor 10 mrems per hour at 1 meter.
  8. When not in use, the gauge will be stored at the UNC-CH Facilities Services, EHS, or other RSO approved location. The gauge will be stored in its shipping container in a locked space. The locked space will be keyed separately, with only authorized users having key access.
  9. If you have any questions or concerns about use of the instrument, ASK. The Radiation Safety Office is available at 919-962-5507.
  10. If the instrument is damaged in any manner, or fails to function properly, contact the Radiation Safety Office immediately at 919-962-5507 or through the University Police at 919-962-6565.
Return to Chapter 15:
Bone Densitometers