Radiological Use Authorization (RUA) will outline the minimum frequency required for documented surveys, but you are required to perform self-surveys routinely while you work with radioactivity or radiation, as they are the primary tool for detecting contamination and measuring radiation fields.
At a minimum, your survey needs to cover all radioactive work areas, radioactive storage areas, and areas where contamination is a concern (e.g. break rooms, the desks of common radioisotope users, etc.). Be sure to survey different areas each time to ensure you do not miss contamination in the lab. The number of locations should be based on the type and amount of work since the last survey. These areas should include:
- Floors in front of your work area
- Benchtops and work surfaces
- Non-radioactive trash containers (ensure no radioactivity or visible radiation labels)
- Fume hoods
- Sinks (no sink disposal of any radioactivity)
- Fixed equipment (e.g. hybridization ovens, centrifuges, incubators, LSC, etc.)
- Frequently handled items (e.g. pipettors, glassware, pens, telephones, doorknobs, lab notebooks, keyboards,etc.)
- Refrigerators and freezers
- Radioactive waste storage areas
- Personal protective equipment (e.g. lab coats, safety glasses, reusable gloves, etc.)
- Any area designated as “clean area”
You may use this self-survey form to document your findings along with a diagram of the laboratory (available from EH&S Radiation Safety Team (RST)) outlining locations of swipes and elevated radiation levels. Swipe surveys should always include a copy of the swipe results counted on a Liquid Scintillation Counter (LSC). Document the issues identified, actions taken, and the resolution of any problems (e.g., contamination location, steps taken to clean-up, a final survey showing no contamination, etc.). If you have any questions, contact the Radiation Safety Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.