A comparison of the results of regulatory compliance inspections in 1999 by the states of Texas, Maine, and Washington

B. J. Brown, R. J. Emery, T. H. Stock, E. S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Inspection outcome data provided by the state of Washington Department of Health, Division of Radiation Protection, for licensees of radioactive materials was encoded according to a system established by the Texas Department of Health, Bureau of Radiation Control. The data, representing calendar year 1999 inspection activities, were then analyzed and the results compared to previously published studies for the same year in the states of Texas and Maine. Despite significant differences in regulatory program size, age, and geographic proximity, the most frequently cited violation for radioactive materials licensees were shown to be similar for all three states. Of particular note were the violations that were identified to be consistently issued in all three states. These included physical inventories and utilization logs not performed, not available, or incomplete; leak testing not performed or not performed on schedule; inadequate or unapproved operating and safety procedures; radiation survey and disposal records not available or incomplete; detection or measurement instrument calibration not performed or records not available; and radiation surveys or sampling not performed or performed with a noncalibrated instrument. Comparisons were made in an attempt to generate a summary of the most commonly issued violations that could be generalized to users of radioactive materials across the United States. A generalized list of common violations would be an invaluable tool for radiation protection programs, serving to aid in the reduction of the overall instance of program non-compliance. Any reduction in instances of non-compliance would result in the conservation of finite public health resources that might then be directed to other pressing public health matters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-315
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Physics
Volume86
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2004

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Keywords

  • Operational topics
  • Quality assurance
  • Regulations
  • Safety standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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