Baylor > Environmental Health & Safety > Radiation Safety Manual > Section 10: Emergency Procedures

Section 10: Emergency Procedures


A. Contamination or Spill

  1. Notify the Authorized User. Notify the Radiation Safety Officer if required. (See section IV.)
  2. Avoid spread of contamination.
    • Keep person who may be contaminated from leaving area until surveyed.
    • Do not enter or allow any unauthorized persons to enter the area and become contaminated.

  3. Begin decontamination after a proper survey and when decontamination equipment is available.
  4. The Radiation Safety Officer will notify the Texas Department of State Health Services in the case of large spill as required by Rules and Regulations for Radioactive Materials.
  5. Procedure for decontamination
    • Wash with soap and water.
      • Use a minimum amount of water.
      • Wipe up the water with absorbent material.
      • Place the absorbent material in a plastic bag for disposal as contaminated waste.
      • Check by taking wipes and counting after each decontamination procedure.

    • If contamination remains, repeat the above procedure using dilute hydrochloric acid or a commercial cleaning solution.
    • If contamination still remains, repeat the procedure using dilute ammonia.
    • Time may be saved by considering the chemical form of the radioactive material before decontamination is started, and choosing the appropriate cleansing agent.

B. Personal Injury

  1. Primary concern is for care of the injured person.
  2. Notify the Authorized User, the Radiation Safety Officer, and Baylor Police in the case of an emergency.
  3. A person with a contaminated injury will be taken to Hillcrest Hospital for treatment.
  4. Avoid the spread of contamination insofar as it is compatible with getting proper treatment for the injured person.
  5. The Radiation Safety Officer will notify public health officials as required by Texas law.

C. Fire

  1. Proper signs should be posted on all laboratory doors so that firemen or other emergency personnel can determine the extent of the hazard. It is important to fill out the spaces provided for
    • the type of hazard which is present.
    • special precaution to be observed.
    • name and phone number of the person to notify in case of emergency.

  2. Notify the Department of EHS and/or Radiation Safety Officer.
  3. A survey should be made as soon as possible after the fire is under control. From this point onward, the incident should be treated as any other spill with decontamination of personnel and prevention of the spread of contamination as the primary goals.

D. Notification of State Authorities

  • Immediate notification of the Texas Department of State Health Services by telephone and confirmation letter is required in the case of excessive exposure to individuals, large releases of radioactive materials, loss of working time, or property damage in excess of $100,000. Twenty four hour notification is required for lesser incidents. Exact details are spelled out in Texas Department of State Health Services regulations. The Radiation Safety Officer will normally be responsible for this notification. In the absence of the Radiation Safety Officer, the Authorized User is responsible for notification.