Considerations for RSOs (Radiation Safety Officers):

The regulators typically require items on the inventory form to include: RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL described by ELEMENT AND MASS NUMBER, TOTAL ORIGINAL ACTIVITY, SERIAL# of the SOURCE HOLDER, SHUTTER CHECK, CONDITION of the GAUGE, INITIALS of Authorized User (AU) or Advanced AU (AAU), and a line at the bottom for RSO SIGNATURE and DATE.

The RSO could use a separate worksheet for each gauge for the personnel to perform the inventory, shutter checks and inspection.  Then the RSO then puts the essential information into the inventory spreadsheet.  Or, the AU or AAU simply places the entry directly on the inventory form classifying the CONDITION of the gauge.

RECOMMENDATION:  For the RSO, along with his fellow AUs and AAUs, to set up standardized specific criteria as to what characteristics qualify the gauge’s CONDITION as SATISFACTORY, GOOD, FAIR, or POOR (if other terminology is preferred, it should be defined).  For example:

SATISFACTORY may mean that nothing needs to be done.

GOOD may mean that the gauge is functioning; however, in the next 12 months some servicing may be needed because there is evidence of rust, sticking shutter, or the metal plate weld is loose, or some other evidence of slow deterioration.

FAIR could mean that there is significant rust, the shutter is problematic (but does work), and the label is unreadable or deteriorated.  In this case, a task order should be initiated to rectify the problem within the next 90 days.

POOR is reserved for a gauge that is not functioning properly, such as having a shutter that does not close, or deep pitting that reduces shielding effectiveness, and must be removed from service immediately and repaired before re-installation. 

If the gauge’s CONDITION is classified as other than SATISFACTORY, a comment should be placed on the worksheet.

This method could standardize the evaluation process of gauge inspections especially if more than one person assists the RSO in performing the inventory.  If a corporation has several facilities, this could be used company-wide, so when employees move from plant to plant, the criteria are the same.  This recommendation should be reviewed periodically by the RSO’s staff as to whether this concept is working appropriately.

Applied Environmental Consulting, Inc.

For more information on studies or radiation safety training, please contact us at 352-215-1231.