5. Authorization and Training of Personnel

5.1. Authorization

Individuals must be listed as authorized personnel on the RUA before beginning to work with radioactive materials or RPMs. The RH will decide the level of supervision necessary for each of his/her authorized users and retains responsibility for all RUA users listed on his/her RUA.

Unescorted access to certain radioactive materials requires fingerprinting, criminal history record check and background investigation in accordance with the UC Berkeley Increased Controls Plan and Criminal Background Check Policy.

5.2. Training

Radiation workers must be trained in the hazards they may encounter on the job, in the methods of protecting themselves and how to minimize their exposures. It is the joint responsibility of the RSO and the RH to ensure that every user listed on the RUA has completed the required radiation safety training.

5.2.1. Required RH and User Initial Training

All personnel (including prospective RHs) who will be working with ionizing radiation must successfully complete radiation safety training before being added to the RUA as an authorized user. The form that prospective RHs and users must submit in order to be added on an RUA may be obtained at the EH&S radiation safety website.

EH&S RST will provide general radiation safety training courses appropriate for the majority of individuals who intend to use sealed or unsealed radioactive materials or RPMs. Prospective users will be required to take the applicable radiation safety training online or in-person or a combination of the both formats. The initial training will cover:

  • How to post areas where radioactive materials are stored or used or where radiation exposures will occur.
  • How and where to record the receipt, transfer, and disposal of radioactive material, including sealed sources.
  • How to properly store and prepare radioactive waste for collection.
  • How to comply with bioassay procedures.
  • The risk associated with radiation exposure.
  • How to conduct and file surveys of workplaces where ionizing radiation work is performed.
  • How to keep work areas free of contamination and to properly prepare work areas before using radioactive materials.
  • How to minimize the storage of radioactive materials within the laboratory/work area.
  • How to formally terminate use of ionizing radiation.
  • How to locate a copy of the campus RSM.
  • How to use laboratory equipment, including (1) personnel monitoring devices (dosimeters), if assigned; (2) survey meters; (3) personal protective equipment (PPE); and (4) engineering controls as specified in the RSM or the RUA.
  • How to notify EH&S Radiation Safety immediately in the case of (1) personnel contamination, (2) spills, or (3) potential excessive radiation exposure accidents, or after any unusual event resulting in contamination of work areas or release of a radionuclide or radiation beyond the confines of the authorized work areas.

For classwork and specialized instruction, the RH or EH&S may provide training materials appropriate to the extent of radiological hazards present during the instructional experience as required reading. The RSO must approve the training materials. The training must be documented and the RH is responsible to insure only those individual completing the training required by EH&S will be allowed to participate in the class or specific training exercise. Records of this training must be maintained by the RH and copies provided to EH&S, when requested since these individuals may not be listed on the RUA.

5.2.2. Requests for Temporary Permission for Radiation Source Use in Advance of Completing Usual Initial Training

In rare situations, the RSO may grant permission for an individual to work with radioactive materials (or radiation producing machines) without first completing the standard initial training described in the previous section if they are confident that the individual is knowledgeable in the work to be performed and the safety requirements of UC Berkeley.

5.2.3. Required User Training Following Changes in RUA Procedures

The RH is responsible for providing users listed on the RUA with appropriate re-training whenever there is a change in the radiation use, in individual duties, or in the work environment. The frequency of such retraining should be sufficient to ensure that all staff members are adequately trained.

5.2.4. Required RH and User Refresher Training

All active RHs and users must complete radiation safety refresher training biennially. EH&S RST will provide the refresher training course that will review radiation safety requirements, address new issues and identify ways to reduce dose and improve performance. If more frequent retraining information needs to be communicated, email notification of important lessons learned or updated information will be sent out to RHs and users. The Radiation Safety Committee may also mandate more frequent retraining based on compliance issues.

With the exception of very low risk activities like use of electron microscopes, exempt quantities and some generally licensed materials, failing to complete biennial radiation safety refresher training as scheduled, will be cause for removal from the RUA. These individuals will be notified of their delinquency and removed from the RUA within a set period. The RH will be informed and requested to restrict the person’s access to radioactive materials and/or RPMs.

The RSC may terminate an RUA or request a Department Chair to replace an RH, if that RUA Holder fails to complete biennially retraining as required.

5.2.5. Required Training for Ancillary Personnel

Each RH is responsible to provide a safety briefing to all students, vendors, visitors, and others who will be present in any of the authorized use locations. This briefing must summarize potential hazards in the area, the meaning of posting, labeling, and access control measures and of the actions individuals should take in response to radiological alarms or direction from authorized users.

The RH may provide ancillary personnel with a copy of the “Radiation Safety Procedures for Non-Users” along with instructions specific to the RUA to meet this requirement.

The RH must maintain records of the dates and names of individuals involved in such training.