[ RadSafe ] Gral question on RSO liabilities
Johanning, Jeffrey R.
JEFFREY.R.JOHANNING at saic.com
Fri Oct 14 15:27:21 CDT 2011
On behalf of a colleague of mine, we have had similar cases where it was
unknown that there was radioactive material in the shipment. So... as
in most cases with a question like this, the answer is: It depends.
By restricted you probably mean it requires a specific license to
possess it. In which case there is a requirement for the shipper to
verify that the recipient is licensed to possess the source before they
ship it. There is also the DOT requirements for dangerous goods
(packaging, contamination tests, etc.) and training of those filling out
the required DOT documents. For most licensees, the RSO or the RSO
staff are really the only ones that are up on these requirements so to
not include them is at the least, very poor judgment and at the most a
violation of DOT regulations and/or the radiation safety program which
As for RSO responsibility/liability, there certainly is some, but again
- it depends. For a broad scope license, the RSO is responsible/liable
for running the program but ultimately, there is a Radiation Safety
Committee (typically made up of Sr. Managers or others with manager
authority) that will be held accountable by regulatory authorities,
particularly if they acted without the RSO's knowledge or authorization.
All that being said, it would also depend on the RSO's response to the
situation, did he/she investigate the incident and report it (if
required) in a timely manner? Did he/she determine specifically what
regulations (including company internal procedures) were violated in a
timely manner and report it management? What impact to the public
safety and public exposure did the incident have? Etc.. Bottom line is
if the RSO's initial response was correct, decisive, and followed
responsible HP practices, his/her overall personal liability, if any, is
Any further insight from RADSAFERs?
Health Physicist V/RSO
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu
[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Felipe Gaitan
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 7:41 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: [ RadSafe ] Gral question on RSO liabilities
Dear Radsafers - I have a question on behalf of a colleague of mine.
Does anybody have any experience with the situation where a manager in a
company ships (in the US) restricted radiation material without
consulting with the RSO? Is the RSO still responsible and/or liable?
Thanks in advance for your help,
D. Felipe Gaitan, Ph.D.
Chief Research Scientist
Impulse Devices, Inc.
13366 Grass Valley Av. Unit H
Grass Valley, CA 95945
Phone: 530-273-6500 Ext. 112
email: gaitan at impulsedevices.com
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