In case of radioactive material spill:

Call for help

  • If you are in immediate physical danger, leave the area; call Campus Security, local 24500
  • If there are injuries, call Campus Security, local 24500
  • Call co-worker, lab supervisor, and Radiation Safety for assistance.
  • You MUST contact Radiation Safety, even if the spill occurs after hours:
    Radiation Safety Contact Information:
    Mike Neudorf local: 27265   cell: (604)-317-3528
    Kate Scheel local: 23633   cell: (604) 512-7238

Contain the Spill

  • Check for contamination on yourself or your co-worker.
  • Remove contaminated clothing and place in a plastic bag. Paper suits are available.
  • Wear lab coat and two pairs of gloves for decontamination. Change gloves frequently.
  • Wear cover shoes or plastic bags bound with electrical tape or elastic bands around the ankles to prevent spreading the contamination.
  • For dry contamination on yourself, use masking or adhesive tape to remove it
  • For wet contamination on yourself, use mild soap and rinse with lukewarm water taking care not to spread the contamination. If this fails, consult Radiation Safety to find suitable solvent.
  • Don’t rub skin harshly as this may cause skin damage.
  • Once you are convinced that you have removed any contamination from yourself, begin to assess the area
  • Determine the extent of the area contamination with a monitor or wipe tests.
  • Delineate the contaminated area with a grease pencil or flagging tape.
  • Remove any broken glass with tongs or forceps.
  • Soak up liquid spills with “diapers”. Use wet paper towels for dry spills.
  • Use Count-Off™ spray for decontamination, working from the outside to the centre of the spill.
  • Test for residual activity using the survey meter or swipe tests.
  • Repeat process of decontamination until the area is clean or swipe tests yield consistent results.
  • Place decontamination materials in a plastic bag. Seal and label the bag with a waste tag and note the tag number in the inventory sheet.
  • Monitor the persons involved in the decontamination as well as yourself for personal contamination. Remember to check the soles of shoes

Secure the Area

  • Secure the area against further access with flagging tape.
  • Post Radiation Warning Signs.
  • Do not resume work until the area is assessed by Radiation Safety Staff
  • Complete Incident Report Form and forward to Radiation Safety

Reporting of Spills and Incidents to the CNSC

  • Radiation Safety is required to report immediately any spills or incidents to the CNSC that involve more than 100 Equivalent Quantities, personnel contamination or the release of volatile material
  • If an exposure occurs that is in excess of the applicable radiation dose limits, Radiation Safety must contact the CNSC within 24 hours of the occurrence.