If you work at an industrial, medical or academic institution—or a business that uses radioactive material or radiation-producing equipment—you have two options for ensuring compliance and safety.
One, you can search the internet for expert radiation safety information—and hope what you find is reliable.
Or, two, you can hire a well-qualified, well-experienced radiation safety expert.
That’s when hiring a Certified Health Physicist (CHP) is best. CHPs are accredited professionals who have obtained certification from the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP), the leading authority in health physics accreditation.
To become a CHP, a professional must possess a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field, have six or more years of high-level experience and pass a rigorous two-part exam.
It’s not easy, and that’s the point.
By meeting these stringent requirements, CHPs deliver the highest level of service for a safe radiological workplace. They also instill confidence in your workers, regulators and the public.
Here are some of the leading reasons why you should consider hiring a CHP to manage your radioactive materials and promote a culture of safety.
Compliance with regulations: Industries that handle radioactive materials, such as nuclear power, healthcare or research, are subject to numerous federal, state and local laws on radiation safety. Frequently, they must also adhere to international regulatory bodies with continuously changing policies. A CHP can help ensure your company meets all relevant regulatory requirements and avoids potential fines or penalties by maintaining the highest safety standards.
Risk management: Mishandling of radioactive materials can cause harm to individuals and the community. The adverse consequences can range from short-term effects like burns and radiation sickness to long-term consequences like cancer. In the face of such risks, it’s crucial for companies to prioritize safety and employ necessary measures to prevent mishaps.
Further, bad publicity on the local newsfeed from radiation protection program mismanagement many times results in a tenuous situation for the company to manage with the local population and press.
CHPs have the training and expertise to identify and assess the potential hazards associated with radioactive materials and avoid the bad headlines and political pressures mismanagement can cause.
Expertise in radiation protection: CHPs possess extensive knowledge and expertise in radiation protection, including:
- Radiation physics principles.
- The biological effects of radiation.
- Techniques for measuring and controlling radiation exposure.
This knowledge is valuable for companies that handle radioactive materials and prioritize the safety of their employees and the public.
With a CHP’s specialized expertise, your company can implement effective radiation safety measures, adhere to stringent regulations and minimize the risk of radiation-related hazards.
Quality control: By hiring a CHP, your company can maintain quality control over radiation-related equipment and procedures. These experts can:
- Conduct regular testing and calibration of equipment.
- Develop and implement radiation safety protocols.
- Provide proper training to employees on radiation safety procedures.
These steps ensure that your company upholds the highest safety standards when handling radioactive materials and that your employees are always well-equipped to address potential risks.
Reputation and trust: When you hire a CHP, it signifies your dedication to safety and compliance. This commitment can help establish trust with employees, customers, regulators and the public while improving the company’s reputation as a responsible and dependable organization.
In addition, by investing in a CHP, your company is demonstrating that safety is a top priority and that you are willing to take the necessary steps to ensure the well-being of everyone involved.
Radiation emergency preparedness: Should a radiation emergency, such as a spill or leak, occur, a CHP can assist the company in responding promptly and efficiently. They can:
- Develop comprehensive emergency response plans.
- Collaborate with local authorities.
- Communicate clearly with the public.
- Guide employees on minimizing or optimizing their radiation exposure.
By having a CHP on staff, companies can be well-prepared to handle any unexpected situations involving radioactive materials and protect the safety and well-being of all involved parties.
Research and development: Companies involved in research and development may need the expertise of a CHP to design experiments or conduct studies involving radioactive materials. In addition, the expertise of a CHP can prove critical in assessing potential hazards and identifying safety measures that need to be implemented to prevent accidents or mishaps.
They can also guide the proper handling, storage and disposal of radioactive materials to minimize the risk of exposure and contamination in compliance with all applicable regulations.
Cost savings: Employing a CHP can lead to cost savings for a company by mitigating accidents, reducing liabilities, preventing bad press and minimizing regulatory fines and penalties—all of which are costlier to your company than the investment of hiring a CHP.
Additionally, CHPs can identify cost-saving opportunities by optimizing radiation protection strategies and minimizing unnecessary radiation exposure.
Competitive advantage: Your company can gain a competitive edge over industry peers by having a CHP on your staff. This expertise can be particularly crucial if you’re in an industry where safety and regulatory compliance play a pivotal role in securing contracts or attracting more customers.
By demonstrating a commitment to safety and adhering to regulations, companies can enhance their reputation and instill confidence in clients and stakeholders, resulting in greater success and profitability.
Training and education: CHPs are adept at offering radiation safety training and education to employees handling radioactive materials. This expert guidance increases awareness of potential hazards and enables employees to work safely with these materials.
CHPs can also customize training programs specific to a company’s operations and risks. This tailored approach ensures that employees receive relevant training to handle radioactive materials safely and confidently. In our experience here at AAHP, the vast majority of CHPs find education and training a vital part of their jobs, and thrive on watching their mentees earn that coveted credential of CHP. Hence, one CHP may lead to many more!
Are you looking to employ a CHP? AAHP makes it easy. Click here to find a CHP, or contact us to learn more.