[ RadSafe ] Radiography SNAFU

Steven Dapra sjd at swcp.com
Wed Jan 18 20:25:38 CST 2012

Jan. 18

         The father had no business offering to take the camera to 
the office.  The instructor (an *instructor*, mind you), had no 
business allowing him to take it --- radiography truck or no 
radiography truck.

         The problem is not "the lack of trained inspectors."  In 
this case, the problem is one of an inspector not using his 
brain.  The lurid fantasy about "anti-government sentiments" is 
false, nonsensical, and self-serving.  I am probably more 
anti-government than ninety percent of the participants in this list, 
and I am saying the inspector who allowed this was not using his brain.

         Plus, since the son was arrested for drunk driving, didn't 
this inspector smell booze on the son's breath?  Didn't he notice 
anything unusual about the son's behavior?  The father was suspected 
of being under the influence.  Didn't the inspector notice anything 
about his breath or behavior?

         In the final analysis most things in life rest upon one's 
personal moral character.  I think Bill Lipton obliquely acknowledged 
this when he wrote, "Sure, the regulations are there, but they are 
ineffective in the hands of radiographers such as these."

Steven Dapra

(Yes, I know --- I'm laying it on a little thick aren't I?)

At 10:53 AM 1/18/2012, you wrote:
>The problem, as I see it, is not with inadequate regulations. The 
>problem is the lack of trained inspectors in the field. And, with 
>the down-sizing of many regulatory programs due to the recession and 
>anti-government sentiments, the problem will only get worse. I 
>expect we'll just have to wait for more serious incidents and 
>accidents to happen before the public gets concerned enough to raise 
>the issue to their elected representatives.
>Ed Stroud, Compliance Lead
>Radioactive Materials Unit
>Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
>-----Original Message-----
>From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu 
>[mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of William Lipton
>Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 10:33 AM
>To: radsafe
>Subject: [ RadSafe ] Radiography SNAFU
>The following NRC event report confirms my suspicions regarding the lax
>state of radiography safety programs:
>The following information was received by facsimile:
>"This is a report of a transportation incident where an Industrial
>Radiography Camera was not properly secured. The RSO stated that two
>radiographers, one an instructor, conducted a radiography job in Bay St.
>Louis, Mississippi. On January 4, 2012, while returning to the Baton Rouge,
>LA office, they decided to meet with another radiographer who is an
>instructor on the radioactive materials license for Mistras and one of the
>other radiographer's father. The father offered to take the radiography
>camera to the office in Baton Rouge, LA. The instructor from the
>radiography job in Bay St. Louis agreed, but did not realize that the
>father did not have his radiography truck. The father put the camera in the
>trunk of his personal vehicle unsecured and unbraced. After noticing that
>the father and son did not have some of the required paperwork, the
>instructor pursued them. Approximately 2 miles down the road, the father
>and son in the same vehicle were pulled over for speeding. After they were
>pulled over, the son, who was driving, was suspected of intoxication and
>tested. The RSO received a call from the father regarding the impending
>arrest of the son for DUI at [2130 CST]. The son was arrested for DUI and
>the instructor from the radiography job secured the radiography camera. The
>father was arrested for outstanding warrants. Both the father and son were
>suspected of being under the influence, but the father refused to be tested
>by law enforcement. The RSO arrived to the site at [2200 CST]. The camera
>was placed in the Mistras storage vault around [0030 CST on January 5,
>"Mistras is conducting an internal investigation. Louisiana Department of
>Environmental Quality is investigating. So far, the son's employment has
>been terminated. The father's Trustworthy and Reliability status has been
>suspended. All radiographers will be drug tested. Additional information
>will be forthcoming."
>Louisiana Incident Number: LA12000*
>The title understates the seriousness of the incident.  A radiographer
>allowed another radiographer to transport a radiography camera unsecured
>and unbraced, and without required shipping papers, in his father's
>personal vehicle.  Shortly after starting out, the driver was pulled over
>for speeding, and also found to be DUI.  Hey, you can't make this up!
>It's time for the NRC to get serious about radiography.  Sure, the
>regulations are there, but they are ineffective in the hands of
>radiographers such as these.  I propose that radiographers should be
>required to have a license from the NRC or Agreement State, including
>passing a NRC or equivalent exam.
>I'd be interested in your comments.
>Bill Lipton
>It's not about dose, it's about trust.

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