Physics Division

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Safety Policy

General Safety Rules

Protective Equipment

Health Physics



Transporting Hazardous Materials

Physics Division ESH Organization



When you begin work at the Division, several safety related events will occur:






If your work involves entering Controlled Areas, and you require a personal dosimeter, you must meet with the Health Physics technicians, located in Room R110 (call extension 2-4138.) The Health Physics Terchnician will provide advice on the required radiation safety precautions and will arrainge to have a badge issued in your name.






During the first week of your employment you will receive a request to attend a Human Resources New Employee Orientation Program.  This program will explain the Laboratory's safety policies, your safety responsibilities and emergency procedures.






At the New Employee Orientation Program, you will be given a document titled the Job Hazard Questionnaire.  Fill this document out with your supervisor as soon as practicable.  Your answers to this questionnaire will determine your training curriculum while you are at Argonne.  Once the Questionnaire is completed, bring it to the Division ESH Engineer, in the Division Office.





Report to the Medical Department (2-2811) if you injure yourself.  Also report the injury to your supervisor.  If the injury appears to be serious, DIAL 911 immediately.  





Supervisors should promptly report safety-related incidents and near misses to the division ESH Engineer.





Check with Waste Management or the Division ESH Engineer for disposal procedures when you need to dispose of hazardous materials (chemicals, flammable liquids, etc) or radioactive materials.





Eating, Drinking, storing or preparing food in rooms designated as laboratories or controlled areas is prohibited.  Additionally, applying cosmetics is not allowed in these areas.  All pipetting by mouth is absolutely forbidden




The water from drinking fountains and washroom faucets is ok to drink.  Water from laboratory faucets must not be used for drinking.




The "acid carriers", which are available in the stockroom, should be used whenever transporting large-size bottles (5 pounds or greater) of acids, caustics, mercury or flammable liquids.




Work on every new project, experiment or major piece of new equipment (or revision to existing equipment) must be proceeded by a safety review of the planned work by the Physics Division's Safety Committee.  A Hazard Analysis and Project Review Form is provided as a guide to supplying the information required in the safety review.  This form must be completed for all safety reviews conducted in the Physics Division except for extremely minor reviews that are specifically exempted from this requirement by the ESH Engineer.  Those reviews will be documented by the ESH Engineer in his daily log.    It is the responsibility of the PI or owner of the new project, experiment or major piece of new or revised equipment to maintain the documentation of the review.  Contact the ESH Engineer for information.

Every Safety Review must be updated at least annually as long as the project remains active.  The PI or owner of the project must notify the ESH Engineer as to whether any changes have been incorporated into the review.

When starting work on a new project, be certain that you are informed of possible hazards.  Do not be shy about asking questions and do not proceed until you are certain you understand the answers.

The handling of cryogenic liquids (Liquid N2, O2 and He) requires care.  The proper protective clothing must be worn to eliminate the possibility of receiving a cryogenic burn.  All glass-exterior dewars must be taped.  Severe burns can result from direct contact with these liquids.  Refer to the Physics Division Cryogenic Safety Manual for guidance if you handle cryogenic liquids.

The Division Chemical Hygiene Officer or the Industrial Hygiene section of EQO (extension 2-3310) should be contacted regarding any problems involving  chemical toxicity, solvents, mercury, lasers, RF, noise, asbestos, confined space entry (which requires training and a Confined Space Permit), etc.  If hydrogen or oxygen gas, or any potentially explosive chemicals are used or produced in any process, the Physics Division ESH Engineer should be notified.  Refer to the Physics Division Chemical Hygiene Plan, available on the Division's ESH web page or in the ESH Engineer's office.  Anyone using a hazardous chemical must be aware of the information contained in its Material Safety Data Sheet.  That information may be vital in the event of an accident.




Work with radioactive materials may only be done in areas which have been posted as Controlled by a Health Physics technician.  a Radiation Work Permit may be required when radioactive materials are involved.  Contact the Radiation Safety Committee or the Division's ESH Engineer for advice.  The Radiation Safety Committee and the Health Physicist or a Health Physics technician should be notified of work involving radioactive material or radiation-producing devices in order to assist in a safety review of the activity, recommend any necessary bioassay sampling and provide external personnel monitors.  When the amount of activity or material and the nature of the work is such that Health Physics personnel or the Physics Division Radiation Safety Committee consider standby radiation safety coverage necessary, the work will not proceed without such coverage.  Timely coverage will be supplied on request whenever possible.  Request for after-hours Health Physics coverage should be made as far in advance as possible, preferably a week before the coverage is needed.





Monitor your hands, shoes and clothing when leaving an area containing exposed radioactive materials, or call Health Physics for a personal survey.  A hand and shoe monitor is provided in the Data room, at the north source and in Area 2 for this purpose and personnel are encouraged to use one of them on a regular basis and when leaving the ATLAS Experimental area.  If you receive a positive indication of contamination, stay where you are and contact Health Physics.





If you are directly involved in a radioactive spill, move only far enough to be certain that you are out of danger, and call or have someone else call a Health Physics technician(2-4138).  If you are not involved and the spill is a serious one, you will receive instructions over the public address system.  You should do a minimum of moving about (consistent with due regard for your own safety) until you are sure you are not tracking contamination.





Clothing suspected of being contaminated must not be placed in the dirty laundry or taken home until surveyed by a Health Physics technician and found to be uncontaminated.




Potentially radioactive, contaminated or activated materials must not be removed from the hoods or accelerator areas, or  transferred from one laboratory to another without being surveyed by Health Physics personnel.  The sole exception to this rule is the transferring of radioactive calibration sources.  These may be transferred between controlled areas without a Health Physics survey, but they must be carried in an approved secondary container.




Nuclear material (NM) must not be left unattended when in use and must be stored in a locked facility when not in use.  All radioactive samples must be labeled to indicate their activity levels, isotope, batch number, composition (if NM) and the person responsible for the sample (if NM).  See Special Materials Users Guide, ANL East for the definition of NM.




Experiments with open sources must be carried out in a hood, glove box or closed chamber, not on a bench top unless a review of the Physics Division Radiation Safety Committee and the Division's Health Physicist has determined that alternate measures provide adequate protection.  The only hoods in Physics that are approved for use with radioactive material are located in rooms H-174 and M-025. Contact John Greene before using these hoods.




Work in the accelerator areas of Building 203 must conform to the facilities’ safety procedures.  These procedures vary between accelerators and may be modified for special experiments.  Contact the Facility Manager of the accelerator to determine if site-specific safety training is required prior to work being performed in the area.





Personnel must be alert to the possibility of radioactive contamination on accelerator equipment from calibration sources, radioactive sources or activated materials.  As part of the contamination control program, hand and shoe monitors are provided at ATLAS and the Dynamitron.  Protective clothing (gloves) is available as is special monitoring equipment and services by Health Physics technicians.  Personnel are required to use these when necessary.  Contact the Health Physics office, the ESH Engineer or one of the Radiation Safety Committee members if you have any questions.




All work that is done in the Physics Division must be analyzed, reviewed and approved before it may be performed.  Work is divided into two classes: experimental and non-experimental tasks.  

To determine whether the work you are analyzing is experimental or non-experimental, refer to the definition for experimental work given in Section 3.1, Introduction of LMS-PROC-79 Experimental Work Planning and Control.  All work not meeting that definition is non-experimental in nature.




Cranes and other hoisting equipment may only be operated by trained, certified crane operators.  All hoisting is to be completed in accordance with the ANL-East Hoisting and Rigging Manual.  Contact your supervisor or the Division ESH Engineer for details.