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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

SM 445-2-H CHAPTER 50

Non-ionizing Radiation

Instructions:  This is a new chapter to address safety and health requirements for non-ionizing radiation sources within the U.S. Geological Survey. 

1.  Purpose.  To specify the minimum Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Program requirements for protecting U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees and the public from adverse exposure to non-ionizing radiation.

2.  Scope.  This chapter applies to USGS employees and others for whom the Government assumes workers’ compensation liability and who conduct activities involving the use of equipment and systems producing non-ionizing radiation or who may be exposed to non-ionizing radiation during work activities.  This chapter applies to non-ionizing radiation that includes sub-radiofrequency, radiofrequency, and microwave radiation; infrared, ultraviolet, and high intensity visible light; and laser radiation.

3.  References.

A.  Public Law 91-596 Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (The Act), Section 19.

B.  Executive Order 12196 Occupational Safety and Health Programs for Federal Employees.

C.  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.97 Non-Ionizing Radiation.

D.  OSHA 29 CFR 1926.54 Non-Ionizing Radiation

E.  Department Manual Part 485 Chapter 21 Radiation Safety – Ionizing and Non-ionizing
Radiation

F.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Radiological Health Regulations (21 CFR 1040, Performance Standards for Light Emitting Products).

G.  American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices (BEIs), Electromagnetic Radiation Fields (latest edition).

H.  American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/ Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) C95.1, IEEE Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz.

I.  IEEE SA-C95.3.1 Recommended Practice for Measurements and Computations of Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields with Respect to Human Exposure to Such Fields, 0 Hz to 100 kHz.

J.  IEEE Std C95.7 IEEE Recommended Practice for Radio Frequency Safety Programs, 3 KHz to 300 GHz.

K.  ANSI Z136.1 American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers.

L.  ANSI Z136.6 American National Standard for Safe Use of Lasers Outdoors.

M.  Static magnetic fields: International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), “Guidelines on Limits of Exposure to Static Magnetic Fields,” Health Physics, vol. 66, January 1994, p. 100-106.21.

N.  Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Office of Engineering & Technology (OET) Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposures to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, OET Bulletin 65, Edition 97-01, August 1997.

4.  Definitions

A.  Electromagnetic Radiation.  Waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (radiating) through space at the speed of light.

B.  Infrared Light.  Electromagnetic radiation with longer wavelengths than those of visible light that extends from the nominal red edge of the visible spectrum at 0.74 micrometers (µm) to 300 µm.

C.  Laser.  Device that emits light (electromagnetic radiation) through a process of optical amplification based on the stimulated emission of photons.  The term "laser" originated as an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.

D.  Microwave Radiation.  Electromagnetic waves with wavelengths ranging from one millimeter to one meter, or equivalently, with frequencies between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 300 gigahertz (GHz).

E.  Non-ionizing Radiation (NIR).  Radiation having enough energy to excite atoms (make them move more rapidly) but not enough to ionize them (alter them physically).  Examples of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation include microwaves, radio waves, lasers, and visible light.

F.  Radiofrequency Radiation.  Generally defined as the part of the electromagnetic spectrum where electromagnetic waves have frequencies in the range of about 3 kilohertz (kHz) to 300 GHz.

G.  Restricted Area.  An area or room where access is controlled to protect individuals from exposure to non-ionizing radiation hazards.

H.  Sub-radiofrequency Radiation.  The part of the electromagnetic spectrum where electromagnetic waves have frequencies less than 30 kHz.

I.  Ultraviolet Light.  Electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than visible light, but longer than X-rays, from 10 nanometers (nm) to 400 nm with corresponding photon energies from 3 electron volts (eV) to 124 eV.

J.  Visible Light.  Electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye with wavelengths from about 380 nanometers (nm) to about 740 nm.  This range is between the invisible infrared, with longer wavelengths and the invisible ultraviolet, with shorter wavelengths.

5.  Requirements.

A.  The USGS will:

(1)  Establish programs and controls that comply with national consensus standards and regulations, control and prevent non-ionizing radiation hazards, and ensure employee and public exposures are maintained as low as practicable, but at no time exceeding the ACGIH Threshold Limit Values (TLVs).   At a minimum, program elements must include hazard assessment; controls to eliminate or reduce hazards such as engineering controls, administrative controls, or personal protective; appropriate instruction or training; and periodic evaluation of the effectiveness of the program.

(2)  Ensure that potential non-ionizing radiation hazards are properly identified  and evaluated to determine and implement appropriate hazard controls such as engineering, administrative, and work practice controls, and the use of personal protective equipment, where applicable.

(3)  Use methods such as warning signs, physical barriers, and locks procedures to prevent access to restricted areas and accidental exposures to harmful quantities of non-ionizing radiation.

(4)   Maintain and periodically update an inventory of non-ionizing radiation hazard areas and non-ionizing radiation sources.
 
(5)   Evaluate non-ionizing radiation sources.  Measurement procedures and techniques recommended in IEEE C95.3 may be used as basic guidance for evaluating radiofrequency hazards.  Notify affected employees of any survey and measurement results and of non-ionizing radiation equipment and hazard areas.

(6)  Inspect non-ionizing radiation sources at least annually and survey if modifications were made.

(7)  Ensure that all employees potentially exposed to non-ionizing radiation receive appropriate safety training commensurate with hazards from non-ionizing radiation sources they use, maintain, or otherwise encounter.  
 
(8)  Investigate all incidents related to actual or suspected non-ionizing radiation exposures.  Investigations shall address results of non-ionizing radiation measurements, including detailed descriptions of circumstances leading to the incident, and make recommendations to prevent future reoccurrence.  
 
(9)  Follow guidelines in ANSI Z136.1 and Z136.3 and establish laser safety committees as applicable.

(10)  Establish a medical surveillance program for users of Class IIIB and IV lasers and those who perform maintenance of Class IIIB and IV lasers.

(11)  Ensure that repair, maintenance, and alignment of non-ionizing radiation equipment is conducted by a trained and qualified individuals.  Only a qualified expert will design, review, and test controls for access to a Class IIIB or IV laser.  A qualified expert will design or review for adequacy all laser safety standard operating procedures for each such facility.

(12)  Maintain records of, including but not limited to, surveys, exposures, training, maintenance, and audits.

(13)  Assess local compliance with program activities annually.

(14)  Assess national capabilities and regional non-ionizing radiation program compliance every 3 years in conjunction with the overall national capabilities and regional occupational safety and health program evaluations.

(15)  Ensure that radiofrequency and microwave equipment is reviewed and approved for use by the Radio Project Management Office prior to purchase.

6.  Responsibilities.

A.  Director.

(1) Ensures compliance with statutory and regulatory policy and non-ionizing radiation protection program requirements.

(2) Provides the resources and staff support necessary for the successful implementation of a non-ionizing radiation protection program.

B.  Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official.

(1)  Exercises the authority of the Director by providing support and monitoring compliance with the non-ionizing radiation protection program.

(2) Provides pertinent information concerning the Bureau non-ionizing radiation program to the Departmental Designated Agency Safety and Health Official or the designee upon request.

C.  Associate Directors/Regional Directors.

(1)  Ensure that personnel and financial resources are provided to implement non-ionizing radiation protection programs under their purview.

(2)  Hold managers and supervisors accountable for ensuring non-ionizing radiation activities in their regional or national capabilities programs are conducted in accordance with regulations and established procedures.

(3)  Ensure program deficiencies are abated in a timely manner.

(4)  Ensure radio purchases are approved through USGS Radio Program Management Office.

(5)  Ensure radio equipment inventory, contracts, memorandums of understanding, and other applicable documents are current, accurate, and filed with USGS Radio Program Management Office.

D. Chief, Office of Management Services

(1)  Assigns non-ionizing radiation protection responsibilities to the Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager for Bureau program management and administration.

(2)  Ensures OMS staff has sufficient authority, resources, and qualifications to effectively support regional and national capabilities non-ionizing radiation protection implementation.

E.  Bureau Occupational Safety and Health Program Manager.

(1)  Advises and supports the Bureau Designated Agency Safety and Health Official on non-ionizing radiation protection program responsibilities.

(2)  Oversees the implementation of the non-ionizing radiation protection program.

(3)  Develops policies and guidance on non-ionizing radiation and provides technical assistance and guidance to the Bureau in carrying out radiation protection program requirements.

(4)  Provides support, technical assistance, and direction to Office of Management Services (OMS) Operations in carrying out non-ionizing radiation program requirements.

(5)  Assesses non-ionizing radiation protection program compliance and implementation via the conduct of regional and national program evaluations every 3 years and provides management with recommendations for program improvement, as appropriate.

(6) Acts as liaison with the Department of the Interior (DOI) Safety Council and represents Bureau non-ionizing radiation protection interests to DOI and OSHA.

(7)  Provides regional, national capabilities, and field level support, technical assistance, and direction for implementing program requirements for non-ionizing radiation activities.

(8)  Documents program evaluation and external audit findings and risk within the Inspection and Abatement System (IAS), while monitoring local abatement actions through closure.

H.  Regional Safety Managers.

(1)  Assist regional science center managers and Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators in non-ionizing radiation protection program implementation. 

(2)  Assess regional science center non-ionizing radiation protection program compliance and implementation and document external audits and risk in the IAS and track abatement actions through closure.

(3)  Provide technical support and resource guidance to regional and local management and employees for implementing operational aspects of the non-ionizing radiation protection program.

I.  Science Center Directors and Line Supervisors.

(1)  Ensure that non-ionizing radiation activities are adequately budgeted for the successful implementation and continued improvement of the program.

(2)  Ensure that non-ionizing radiation activities are carried out in accordance with policies, regulations, and established procedures.

(3)  Ensure that all employees potentially exposed to non-ionizing radiation receive appropriate safety training commensurate with hazards from non-ionizing radiation sources they use, maintain, or otherwise encounter. 

(4)  Ensure that annual self-audits of non-ionizing radiation activities and operations are performed with findings documented in Inspection and Abatement System.

(5)  Ensure that findings and deficiencies of non-ionizing radiation activities are addressed and resolved in a timely manner.

(6)  Ensure that radiofrequency and microwave equipment is reviewed and approved for use by the Radio Project Management Office prior to purchase.

J.  Collateral Duty Safety Program Coordinators.

(1)  Assist local management and employees in providing technical oversight and support in implementing non-ionizing radiation protection programs.

(2)  Perform self-audits of non-ionizing radiation activities and operations and record in the Inspection and Abatement System. 

K.  Employees.

(1)  Use non-ionizing radiation equipment in accordance with policies and established procedures.

(2)  Wear personal protective equipment when required.

(3)  Participate in the medical surveillance program, when required.

(4)  Report exposure incidents and near misses to supervisors to investigate.

(5)  Complete required training prior to performing non-ionizing radiation activities.




/s/ Karen D. Baker                                                                                              May 7, 2014
_________________________________________________                      _________________
Karen D. Baker                                                                                                           Date
Acting Associate Director for Administration and Human Capital 


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