Self-Survey Guidelines

Your 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.

When performing radiation surveys, follow the guidelines for how to use a radiation survey meter and how to perform a swipe survey. Self-survey of all rooms involved in the storage or use of radioactive materials is required, including shared rooms such as cold rooms, equipment rooms, dark rooms, etc. For a complete reference of where to survey or swipe in in your lab, click here.

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, final survey showing no contamination, etc.). If you have any questions, contact the Radiation Safety Team at

Note: If you find removable contamination over twice background on a swipe taken outside of a designated radioactive work area or if you find a radiation exposure reading > 2.0 mR/hr, contact the RST for assistance. Removable contamination found outside of radioactive use areas must be cleaned up immediately. Please read our Emergencies Involving Radioactive Materials page for further guidance.


Radiation Survey Meters

Calibrating or Repairing Survey Meters