Some training requires an examination to be completed. After the training courses
are completed, contact the university's Radiation Safety Office to schedule the examinations
that are given at the university's Radiation Safety Office at 306 Benson School.
The four initial training lessons below are required before you begin using radioactive material. You must also discuss your use with the Principal Investigator (PI) who is authorized for this use by the university's Radiation Safety Committee. Annual retraining is required.
Initial Lessons – Radioactive Materials
Print this training manual for reference while you complete the four lessons below: Radiation Safety in the Laboratory – Training Manual [pdf]
Once you complete the lessons and print/review the training materials, contact the Radiation Safety Office at email@example.com to schedule an appointment to take the quiz and receive further actual live demonstrations and instructions on surveying techniques and contamination control.
- Lesson 1 – Introduction and Characteristics of Ionizing Radiation
- Types of Radioactive Material [video]
- Safety Precautions when Using Specific Types of Radionuclides [pdf]
- Lesson 2 – Dose Units and Biological Effects
- Lesson 3 – Basic Protection Measures/Decontamination
- The Key to Contamination Control [video]
- Good and Bad Practices when Working with Radioactive Material [pdf]
- Lesson 4 – Laboratory Safety and Signage
Annual retraining is provided by the authorized PI each January. Once retraining is completed, the Training Sign-In Sheet and Form [pdf] must be provided to the university's Radiation Safety Office and kept on file in the laboratory.
All university faculty, students and staff who will be accessing areas restricted for radioactive material, but not working directly with radioactive material, must review the video below. Please ensure that the Principal Investigator (PI) responsible for this area, and their staff and graduate/undergraduate students working in their laboratories, know of your presence and that you have completed this course. Areas restricted for radioactive material must be locked when no one is in the laboratory. The PI and their trained laboratory staff/students will have keys.
Please ensure that you familiarize yourself with all storage and work areas where radioactive materials are utilized. You must not touch anything labeled with “Caution – Radioactive Material” tape.
Visitors to areas restricted for radioactive material use must be constantly supervised by trained laboratory staff while inside the restricted area.
There are 2 types of X-ray machines utilized by the university:
- Analytical X-ray machines used for elemental analysis of crystals and powders; some may be fluoroscopic units used for visualization of materials. These types of X-ray machines are located in research laboratories.
- Diagnostic X-ray machines used for veterinary imaging for research animals and human use. These machines are located in university vivariums, for animal research. They are also located at sports complexes, for human use; the Center for Health and Well Being, Schools of Public Health at the Columbia Campus (Arnold School of Public Health) and at satellite campuses.
Training is required before directly operating any type of X-ray machine. Refer to the training requirements below for each X-ray machine type.
Print this training manual for reference while you complete the 5 lessons below: Basic X-ray Safety Course Reference Manual [pdf]. Annual retraining is also required.
Once you complete the lessons, contact the Radiation Safety Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment to complete the examination. Radiation Safety staff will also work with you to ensure completion of operating procedure training for the X-ray machine(s) that you will be operating. Operating procedure certification is also a requirement before you independently operate the X-ray unit.
- Lesson 1 – Characteristics of Ionizing Radiation
- Lesson 2 – Dose Units and Biological Effects [video]
- Lesson 3 – Basic Protection Measures
- Lesson 4 – Specific Types of X-ray Machines
- Lesson 5 – Regulations and Posting Requirements
The PI authorized for the X-ray machine will complete training each January. Once the PI completes the annual retraining, the Training Sign-In Sheet and Form [pdf] must be completed and sent to the USC Radiation Safety Office and kept on file in the laboratory.
There are three types of veterinary application of X-rays in animal research; bone densitometry, diagnostic X-ray imaging (stationary imaging onto a film or screen) and fluoroscopic X-ray imaging (actual moving image projected onto a monitor).
Training for each type of X-ray machine is below. Separate training for each type is required if you will be operating more than one type. An examination is required before you begin operating the unit(s). Once you complete the corresponding lesson; contact the Radiation Safety Office at email@example.com to schedule an appointment to complete the examination. University Radiation Safety Staff will also ensure that you complete training on specific operating procedures for each unit.
If you will be applying X-ray energy to a human for diagnostic purposes, training and certification requirements are promulgated and given by the State of South Carolina Radiation Quality Standards Association (SCRQSA). The certificate that is given after completing SCRQSA training and registration requirements must be posted in a prominent visible location for all patients to review in the facility.
The university's Radiation Safety Office does not provide separate training since the SCRQSA requirements are extensive. However, the university's Radiation Safety Office ensures that all university staff that apply X-ray energy to humans are certified and that current certifications are posted.
The SCRQSA requires re-certification. Check SCRQSA and your certificate for details about re-certification dates and requirements.
Lasers – Class 3B and 4
If you will be working with with any laser that is Classed as 3B or 4 by the manufacturer, you must complete initial laser safety training before operating the laser. For a description of the different types of lasers, laser classes and university requirements for use, refer to Coherent Light – Lasers. Annual retraining is also required.
Print this Laser Safety Training Manual for reference while you complete the following four lessons: Basic Laser Safety [pdf]
Once you complete the lessons below and print/review the basic laser safety manual, contact the Radiation Safety Office at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment to take the quiz and receive further instructions.
- Lesson 1: Fundamentals of Lasers
- Lesson 2: Light and Optics
- Lesson 3: Laser Hazards
- Lesson 4: Laser Safety Practices and Controls
The PI authorized for the Class 3B and 4 laser device will complete annual training each January. Once the PI completes the annual retraining, the Training Sign-In Sheet and Form [pdf] must be completed and sent to the university's Radiation Safety Office and kept on file in the laboratory.