When Working with or Near Radiation

When Working With or Near Radiation: Safety Precautions

When working with or near radiation from radionuclides or artificial technology, you should know the risks and how to take precautions to lower those risks.

Radiation builds up over time, so you probably will not have any serious short-term effects.

Over time, you might be more likely to develop health problems like heart disease and cancer.

If you want to learn how to stay safe from radiation, take the American Healthcare Compliance course.

Radiation Safety and Prevention for Healthcare Professionals. Find helpful information about how to stay safe and learn about radiation.

Let’s look into details.

Understanding Radiation

When Working With or Near Radiation

Before talking about safety measures, it is important to know what radiation is and the types that are most likely to be found at work.

Radiation is energy that comes from a source and is sent out as waves or particles.

Radiation comes in three main types: ionizing radiation (like X-rays and gamma rays), non-ionizing radiation (like radio waves and microwaves), and ultraviolet radiation (like sunlight).

When Working With or Near Radiation: Safety Precautions

When radiation from outside the body interacts with us, it is called external exposure.

The radiation source could be a machine that makes radiation, like an x-ray machine, or it could be radioactive materials in a container.

How much radiation you are exposed to from the outside depends on how far away you are, how strong the radiation is, how much radioactive material is around, how the machine is set up, and how long you are exposed.

Time, distance, and shielding can help workers control and lower the amount of penetrating radiation they are exposed to.

What is ALARA Principle?

According to CDC, ALARA is radiation safety’s fundamental principle. ALARA stands for “As Low As Reasonably Achievable.” ALARA radiation meaning staying away from radiation that does not affect you directly, even if the dose is small.

There are three main ways to protect yourself from radiation in this situation: time, distance, and shielding.

When working with or near radiation, you should concentrate on this principle.

  • Reduce Time

To lower the dose, limit your exposure to potential radiation sources. One way to effectively cut down on exposure is to talk to people who are getting nuclear medicine before the drug is given, instead of after.

  • Increase Distance

When Working With or Near Radiation

Increase the distance between yourself and the radiation source whenever possible. The exposure rate decreases as the square of the distance from the source goes up. When fluoroscopy is being done, standing on the side of the image intensifier or moving away from the patient can help lower the exposure.

  • Use Shields

When Working With or Near Radiation

To lower your exposure, make sure you have the right monitoring tools, automatic interlock devices, and radiation shields.

Shielding should be built into buildings, and portable x-ray machines should be used exactly as the maker says to.

Alpha, beta, gamma, and x-ray radiation can usually be stopped by:

  • Keeping the exposure time as short as possible
  • Keeping a safe distance from the source
  • As needed, put up a shield between you and the source
  • Wear the right protective clothing to keep yourself safe from radioactive contamination

In Conclusion

To stay safe when working with or near radiation sources, you must understand radiation and take the right safety measures. Following the ALARA principle—keeping exposure “as low as reasonably achievable”—and shielding, reducing time, and increasing distance can reduce radiation sickness.

Remembering these safety rules and learning more through courses like the American Healthcare Compliance course can help make sure that the place where you work with radiation is safe.


When working with or near radiation, what is the right things to do?

Time, distance, shielding, and containment can all help you lower your exposure.

As directed, wear dosimeters such as film or TLD badges. Do not come into contact with the infectious substance.

Wear protective gear that you can take off if it gets dirty.

What are the five harmful effects of radiation?

If you get very high doses of radiation, you might get acute radiation syndrome, local radiation injuries, feel sick and throw up, have red skin, lose your hair, or even die.

What not to do during radiation?

Avoid wearing tight clothes over the treatment area. There are some spots that you should not rub, scrub, or scratch.

Also, do not put anything very hot or cold on the skin that has been treated, like heating pads or ice packs.

What are the worst side effects of radiotherapy?

  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling tired
  • Losing hair
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changing skin
  • Issues with the bladder and urination

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