by Lucie Kolar
Senior Industrial Hygienist

The Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) is a professional responsible for prevention and management of exposures to ionizing radiation (electromagnetic waves and/or particulate radiation capable of producing ions by interaction with matter) in the workplace. These sources of exposure may include radioactive materials, by-product material, X-Ray equipment, accelerators and some naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM). The role of an RSO is to promote a culture of safety and responsibility when working with radiation sources. RSOs have numerous regulatory responsibilities to both federal and state regulators including implementing and managing effective radiation safety programs, performing routine inspections, testing radiation sources to ensure compliance with regulations, protecting the health and safety of individuals, and maintaining the reputation and legal standing of the organization.

Facilities that use or maintain sources of ionizing radiation are governed by numerous agencies including the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NCR), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and various state agencies that typically depend on the type and activity of the source. The RSO is a company’s liaison with these regulatory agencies charged with navigating the complex interworking of both federal and state requirements.

The expanding use of ionizing radiation for medical, diagnostic, scientific and industrial applications  continue to create new challenges for even the most seasoned RSO.  As use scenarios continue to grow and evolve the RSO remains committed to developing and implementing site specific radiation safety programs, performing routine inspections, exposure monitoring,  and implementing other risk management procedures to ensure exposures remain as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA).  Facilities which need to handle, ship or dispose of radioactive materials are also subject to specific regulatory requirements, beyond those which address exposure from specific devices.

An RSO helps protect employees, the public, and the environment from the potential risks associated with radiation exposure and plays a critical role to ensure compliance and overall success of a Radiation Safety Program.

How We Can Help
The EI Group has qualified experienced Radiation Safety Officers to support your program needs, whether it be short or long-term support. EI can facilitate communication between regulatory agencies for required inspections and paperwork, provide initial and annual inventory and licensing, develop a radiation safety program, provide leak testing, sign and submit sealed source inventory, provide hot lab control, develop written programs for waste disposal and storage as well as conduct wastewater sampling.

Should you have any questions or require assistance with your radiation safety efforts, please contact Lucie Kolar, Senior Industrial Hygienist, at (
919) 384-5103 or [email protected].