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2.1 The Radiation Safety Committee (RSC)

The Hutchinson Center Radiation Safety Committee is responsible for:

  1. Assisting the radiation safety officer (RSO) in developing new policies and procedures;
  2. Advising the RSO on technical matters of radiation safety;
  3. Reviewing and approving uses of radioactive material within facilities;
  4. Reviewing the quarterly and annual reports prepared by the RSO on the overall status and operation of the radiation safety programs;
  5. Ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations in the Washington Administrative Code; and
  6. Auditing the RSO annually.

Other than the administrative representatives, the committee members must have experience using radioactive material. At a minimum, the Hutchinson Center RSC membership must include the RSO, the committee chair, and a scientist or faculty member from each of the divisions that use radioactive material, as well as the EH&S Director as a representative of the Center's administration.

At the Hutchinson Center, the president and director of the Center, on the advice of division directors and the RSO, appoint the RSC chairperson. Committee members serve a minimum of one year. Meetings are held as often as required to conduct committee business, but not less than once each quarter.

Scheduling and minutes of Hutchinson Center RSC meetings are the responsibility of EH&S. Hutchinson Center RSC minutes are distributed to committee members, the Center's President, Executive VP and COO, and Vice President, Facilities & Operations.

At the Center, at least 50% of the RSC Committee's members, including the chairperson and the radiation safety officer, must be present at a committee meeting to establish a quorum. A simple majority of the members present is needed to approve an action that will affect radioactive material users.

2.2 The Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)

The radiation safety officer is responsible for ensuring that all radioactive material license requirements are met. These responsibilities entail:

  1. Maintaining records of all authorizations, receipts, transfers, and disposals of radioactive material;
  2. Monitoring all areas where radioactive materials are used;
  3. Operating the dosimetry program and maintaining dosimetry records;
  4. Providing bioassay services;
  5. Ensuring proper disposal of radioactive wastes;
  6. Maintaining an inventory of radioactive material in each area;
  7. Acting as a consultant to the users of radioactive materials, advising them on the proper usage of radioactive materials;
  8. Investigating accidents, spills, and radiological incidents; and
  9. Ensuring that all staff working with radioactive material or radiation are properly trained.

2.2.1 RSO Authority to Suspend Unsafe Activities

The RSO has the authority to suspend any activity involving use of radioactive material or x-ray-producing equipment that poses a serious threat to the health or safety of a worker or member of the general public, or that would violate the Center's radioactive material license or Washington state rules and regulations for radiation protection. Upon the RSO's approval, the suspended activity may be resumed after action is taken to adequately control the radiation hazard in accordance with this manual, the Center's radioactive material license, and state regulations. Any suspension will be reported to the RSC chairperson and presented at the next RSC meeting.

2.3 Authorized MUA User (Principal Investigators and Authorized Users)

A a PI or an authorized MUA user must have adequate and appropriate training to provide reasonable assurance that he or she will use licensed material safely, maintain security of and access to licensed material, and respond appropriately to events or accidents involving licensed material to prevent the spread of contamination.

An authorized MUA user must be Center faculty (member, associate member, assistant member), staff scientist, director or other qualified personnal recognized by EH&S to have sufficient knowledge, experience, and training to fulfill the role and responsibilities of holding an MUA. MUA holders are responsible for complying with Center, local, state, and federal regulations for health and safety with respect to the specific MUA (carcinogens, etiologic agents, and radioactive materials).

An authorized MUA is considered to be supervising the use of radioactive materials when he or she directs staff in operations involving licensed material or x-ray-producing machines. Although the authorized MUA may delegate specific tasks to lab supervisors or coordinators (e.g., conducting surveys, keeping records), he or she is responsible for the safe and controlled use of radioactive material and for assuring that areas are not left contaminated.