Please Note—These are general guidelines and must always be augmented with training and procedures specific to the hazards associated with the radioactive material in use within your area. These procedures are not intended to replace site-specific procedures or best practices.
If this is an emergency, please contact 911 from any campus phone or mobile device. Give detailed information and wait for the emergency response from a safe distance.
When working with radioactive materials, emergency contact information is to be posted in all areas where work involving radioactive materials is conducted. The information posted must include both business hours and after hours contact information.
Below is additional information, meant to prevent injuries and mitigate hazards during a radiological spill clean-up. Radiological spills should only be cleaned up by someone who is trained and has direct knowledge of the types of hazards present in the area. If at any time the spill is beyond your capability to handle, call an EH&S specialist for help.
Assume that you are contaminated and must use all precautions to refrain from spreading the contamination while ensuring your own personal safety first.
If it is unsafe to remain in the immediate area of the spill, move to a safe distance, but remain in the general area if possible, to avoid spreading contamination further.
Restrict individuals from entering or leaving the area. If you are alone and must leave the area, try to secure (lock) or otherwise prevent entry with warning signage until you can return with additional support.
Minor Radiological Spill
In the event of a minor radiological spill, the following procedures should be used by trained, knowledgeable, and experienced laboratory workers only:
Immediately notify all persons in the room of the spill.
Assume that you are contaminated and must use all precautions to refrain from spreading the contamination.
Check for contamination on your skin, clothing, and shoes with the appropriate monitoring device.
Only personnel essential to the spill clean-up/decontamination should remain in the area. All others should exit once they have confirmed they are not contaminated.
Put on personal protective equipment (PPE) as necessary (i.e. lab coat, gloves, and boots).
Confine the spill immediately. Cover with an absorbent paper if possible. Avoid the creation of excess waste in your clean-up process whenever possible.
Clean the area from the outside in. Use a monitor to check that the area is properly decontaminated.
Dispose of ALL contaminated waste appropriately, ensuring that everything is labelled correctly and clearly.
Contact the Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) as soon as possible.
Post-event follow-up should include notification to principal investigator and RSO.
If you do not feel confident in decontaminating the area properly, immediately call your principal investigator or persons listed on the emergency procedures posted in your laboratory.
Major Radiological Spill
Who should I contact if there is a radiological spill?
If the spill is major, or you do not feel confident in decontaminating the area properly, immediately call your principal investigator or persons listed on the emergency procedures posted in your laboratory as well as EH&S.
During Business Hours (Monday thru Friday 8 am to 5 pm):
EH&S Department: Call ext. 75179 from any campus phone or 909-537-5179 from any mobile device.
After Hours (and weekends)
University Police Department: Call 911 from any campus phone or mobile device.