Frequent surveys performed by laboratory personnel are the main line of defense to detect spills and to prevent the spread of contamination within and beyond the laboratory.

    Before using your survey meter:           

Check that the battery is functional.
Perform a source check to make sure that the instrument responds.   (If applicable)
Check the background radiation levels in the area you will be surveying away from stored radioactive materials and waste.

All Laboratory Personnel must conduct individual work area surveys (surveys of floors, benchtops, handles, experimental equipment, telephones, etc.) and personal surveys (surveys of one's person, shoes and clothing), with a survey meter, under the following conditions:

If any contamination is found, corrective action must be taken. Contamination of an item or area is defined as a sustained count rate of three times background or more. (See Emergency Procedures) However, remember that a survey meter typically detects only a small percentage of what is actually being emitted by a spot of radioactive material, due to low efficiency of the meter, distance of the detector from the contamination, radiation being emitted in all directions, etc.

If contamination is considered to be widespread, or wipe test results exceed 2000 dpm in a restricted area and 200 dpm in an unrestricted area, contact the Radiation Safety Officer. (X8925) [See Area Definitions Below]

Contamination is defined to be widespread if it is found in several locations and/or found in areas not normally expected to be contaminated.

A monthly survey/wipe test of the laboratories will be performed by staff from the EHRS Department. Permanent records are kept on file in the EHRS Department.

The monthly survey/wipe will consist of:



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