There’s a lot of negativity built up around public opinion of nuclear energy in the U.S and around the world. The truth is that large-scale accidents and natural disasters of the past have embedded the dangers associated with nuclear power generation into the minds of the general population.
Concerns about public safety and improper disposal of nuclear waste products have influenced the layperson’s perspective on the issues, and in some cases elevating the perception of risk associated with nuclear power. Years of protests against nuclear energy and a slow rebound of the industry in recent years have also added to the negativity. Understanding the importance of radiation safety is critical. Here are five tips to help you stay safe at work.
Take It Seriously
First and foremost, everyone must take radiation overexposure seriously. Preventive measures and rules must be strictly followed to avoid critical health conditions. Make sure that you and your colleagues undertake adequate training to better understand the nature of radiation hazards and how to respond in an emergency. Safety training is often looked at as a hassle, but that training may just save your life one day.
Reduce handling time of radioactive materials and equipment. The less time you spend in dangerous situations, the less you are putting yourself and your team at risk. Isolate or contain harmful radioactive materials properly. Leaving potentially radioactive materials in the wrong place is well outside the bounds of responsible management. Make sure you are doing your due diligence in terms of containing harmful materials. Be mindful of your distance from sources of radiation. Increase distance as much as possible. Spatial awareness in a radiated environment can make a real difference in how you manage your risk.
Don’t Forget Your Gear
Use proper shielding for the type of radiation you are working with. Your safety gear is designed to do one thing, and that’s to protect you as best as possible. Make sure you have and use your safety gear to the best of your ability to limit risk on the job. Armor yourself with appropriate protective clothing and dosimeters. What you wear can have a surprising impact on limiting exposure, so make sure your protective equipment includes radiation protection and a dosimeter.
Conduct Regular Checks and Inspections
It’s critical to conduct regular contamination surveys of and around the work area. Even if you are unaware of an incident that may result in contamination, checking on a regular basis helps ensure you are keeping yourself and your colleagues safe. Similarly, regular radiation safety self-inspections can make a big difference in catching something early or avoiding an accident entirely.
Do Not Consume
Lastly, don’t eat, drink, smoke, or even apply cosmetics in an area where unsealed radioactive substances are handled. You never know when something may get on or around what you’re working with. So keep to a rule of no consumption in the workspace and avoid making a costly mistake.
For more tips on growing a safe and profitable career in energy, connect with the team at ESGI today.