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Oklahoma State University
University Research Compliance

A unit in the Division of the Vice President for Research

Radiation Safety - Training Requirements

Training Requirements

Training requirements for working with or having access to Radioactive Materials (RAM) or x-ray producing equipment on the OSU campus are determined by federal, state, and license requirements. As a RAM and/or x-ray worker, you will have to take both general training provided by the Radiation Safety Office (RSO) and specific training (Lab Specific Training, or LST, for RAM users, and Machine Specific Training, or MST, for x-ray users) provided by your Principal Investigator (PI).

The general training provided by the RSO will be conducted online and will fall into one of three categories:

  • RAM – Sealed Sources Training:

    Sealed sources of RAM are those that encase the RAM in a capsule that is designed to prevent leakage or escape of the RAM. These sources do not pose any threat of spreading contamination under normal use conditions and are generally found in physical sciences laboratories. Anyone who will use sealed sources on the OSU-Stillwater campus must successfully complete this training module and test every two years. Common sealed sources include: Am-241, Cs-137, and Sr-90.

  • RAM – Unsealed Sources Training:

    Unsealed sources of RAM are those that do not meet the criteria of being a sealed source. These sources have the potential of spilling and spreading contamination under normal use conditions and are generally found in life sciences laboratories. Anyone who will use unsealed sources on the OSU-Stillwater campus must successfully complete this training module and test every two years. Common unsealed sources include: C-14, H-3, I-125, P-32, and S-35.

  • X-ray Training:

    Anyone who will operate an x-ray producing machine on the OSU-Stillwater or OSU-Tulsa campus must successfully complete this training module and test every year.

For LST or MST, the PI in charge of the RAM lab or x-ray machine is responsible for creating and providing this training to all users. The purpose of this training is to define the specific procedures and safety precautions that will pertain to RAM or x-ray use in a specific lab. This training must be approved by the RSO and adequately documented. This is recurring training that must be taken every year.

In some cases, a PI may want to train people who may work in the RAM or x-ray lab but will not be authorized to use or not have access to use RAM or x-ray equipment in order to ensure they are aware of what is in their work area. These people, referred to as “non-users,” will need to sign a statement indicating that they understand they are not authorized to use the RAM and/or x-ray equipment present in their lab area until they have their PI’s permission and all required training. They will also have to take any of the online training their PI requests them to complete. The non-user statement will need to be completed only once, but if online training requirements are given this will need to be repeated at annual (X-ray Training) or bi-annual (Unsealed or Sealed Sources Training) intervals.

Portable nuclear gauge users will be required to complete RAM-Sealed Sources Training and an RSO approved Portable Nuclear Gauge Safety Training course such as that offered by Troxler.

Depending on the formal review of a PI’s SOP, additional training may be required by the RSO.

OSU Police, Environmental Health and Safety, and University Mail Services personnel may be required to complete some level of radiation safety training dependent upon job duties. Contact the RSO for more information at 405.744.7890.