ODH Inspections - Be Prepared

Most authorized users, permit holders, and radiation workers eventually will be involved in an inspection by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the next routine inspection expected sometime during the third or fourth quarter, 2021. To try to determine the status of regulatory compliance, inspectors review records and observe and communicate with laboratory personnel. Environmental Health and Safety provides training and guidance to build consistency and confidence in radioactive material (RAM) users, including performing audits and surveys to ensure laboratories are using RAM safely while indirectly helping to prepare workers for ODH inspections.

To prepare for an inspection so it’s never of concern, routinely perform laboratory practices correctly and consistently use good radiation safety practices.  Follow EHS’s radiation safety standards, document required information, and maintain records in an organized file.  Always keep your laboratory clean and orderly.

Do not alter laboratory practices during an ODH inspection. Individuals should work with confidence and not fear or be intimidated by an inspector. Laboratory personnel should be courteous and professional and provide all requested records promptly. Maintain a positive attitude and give honest answers to questions. Do not hesitate to say, “I don’t know, but I will find out” or “I don’t understand the question.” Write down any deficiencies noted during the inspection and contact the RSO for assistance in correcting those deficiencies.

Here are typical questions an ODH inspector may ask:

  • What radionuclides do you work with?
  • What training have you had?
  • How did you get your RAM?
  • Where is your RAM stock stored?
  • What do you do with your empty RAM box?
  • How much RAM do you use at a time?
  • How do you keep track of your RAM inventory?
  • What do you do prior to working with RAM?
  • How do you survey your work area?
  • How do you know your survey meter is working properly?
  • What do you do after you have completed working with RAM?
  • What do you do if you find contamination?
  • How would you decontaminate a laboratory bench?
  • If you use tritium, how would you perform a survey?
  • What option do you have if you become pregnant?
  • Where is your radioactive waste stored?
  • How is your radioactive waste collected?
  • Where do you eat your lunch?
  • What do you do when you leave the laboratory and no one else is present?
  • What do you do if a stranger walk into the laboratory?
  • How do you secure your RAM?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your practices, please reach out to your laboratory safety representative or contact Radiation Safety.