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Environmental Health and Safety


Radiation Safety Training

Training is required before using some forms of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Training is also required before accessing areas posted with warning signs that restrict these areas where ionizing and/or non-ionizing radiation are utilized.

Some training requires an examination to be completed. After the training courses are completed, contact the USC Radiation Safety Office to schedule the examinations that are given at the USC Radiation Safety Office at 306 Benson School.

Radioactive Materials

Direct Use

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 USC 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 radsafe@mailbox.sc.edu to schedule an appointment to take the quiz and receive further actual live demonstrations and instructions on surveying techniques and contamination control.

Annual Retraining
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 USC Radiation Safety Office and kept on file in the laboratory.

Accessing Areas Restricted for Radioactive Material Use – Not Working Directly with Radioactive Material

All USC 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.

Radiation Safety for the General Public Accessing Areas Restricted for Radioactive Material (entrance areas posted with “Caution – Radioactive Material” signage)

Visitors to areas restricted for radioactive material use must be constantly supervised by trained laboratory staff while inside the restricted area.

  

X-Ray Machines

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.

Analytical/Fluoroscopic X-ray machines in Research Laboratories

Initial Training

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 radsafe@mailbox.sc.edu 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.

Annual Retraining

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.

Veterinary Diagnostic / Fluoroscopic X-ray machines in Animal Research Vivariums

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 radsafe@mailbox.sc.edu  to schedule an appointment to complete the examination. USC Radiation Safety Staff will also ensure that you complete training on specific operating procedures for each unit.

Lessons

Human Diagnostic Imaging

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 USC Radiation Safety Office does not provide separate training since the SCRQSA requirements are extensive. However, the USC Radiation Safety Office ensures that all USC 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 – LasersAnnual retraining is also required.

Initial Training

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 radsafe@mailbox.sc.edu to schedule an appointment to take the quiz and receive further instructions.

Lessons

Annual Retraining

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 USC Radiation Safety Office and kept on file in the laboratory.