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Hazardous & Radioactive Material Procedures

Hazardous Material Procedures

Storage containers should be marked, labeled, and stored in a ventilated and protected area under the supervision of the Chief Scientist with the knowledge and approval of the Master. The labeling must include the common or trade name, the nature of the hazard (flammable, carcinogenic, etc.), and the manufacturer’s name, address, and telephone number. Consideration should be given to transporting and storing hazardous materials, normally shipped in glass containers, in special, non-breakable containers, or where glass is a necessity PVC coated bottles. Secondary containment should be utilized when moving breakable containers around the vessel. These are available from laboratory supply companies.

Compressed gases should be securely held to solid ship structure. Metal brackets or positive cargo straps should be used to hold them in place. Ropes or other similar lashings must be avoided. All gas cylinders must have their safety cap in place unless they are in use with a regulator. No cylinder should be moved without the cap in place

Working quantities only should be stored in the laboratory. A reasonable working quantity would be a one-day supply, considering the hazard posed by the material. Containers should be marked with the material's chemical and common names, type and classification. Bench top holders should be provided to restrain the container when in the laboratory.

Incompatible materials must not be stored together. A close review of the Material Safety Data Sheets will help to determine if two materials are incompatible.

Chemical Spill Response
The scientific party will be the first to realize that a spill has occurred. It is vitally important that the ship be immediately alerted when this happens even if the spill is considered minor. The science party and crew must work together to minimize the impact of the spill on the vessel. The science party will have the expertise in applying the proper neutralizing agents and final mopping up of the spilled material.

During the safety briefing at the beginning of the cruise the crew member giving the briefing will point out eye wash stations and the location of the deluge shower. All science party members should make note of these facilities as well as the locations of fire extinguishers liberally placed throughout the laboratory area

Radioactive Material Procedures

Typically radioactive material is confined to an Isotope Lab. The Lab is usually a 20ft laboratory van to isolate the radioactive material from the rest of the vessel for contamination issues. Consideration can be made for the use of radioactive material outside of the Isotope Lab with advance arrangement.

Swipe tests
Swipe tests are required before any work is done, during the cruise and then a final swipe test at the end of the cruise. A Liquid Scintillation counter is provided specifically for this purpose. The final swipe test report should be given to the Chief Mate and a copy kept for your records. A copy of your report will be requested by the Marine Resource Coordinator.

Spills
Any major spills or accidents involving radionuclides must be reported immediately to the Chief Scientist, the Master or designated licensed officer, and the WHOI Radiation Safety Officer (work phone: (508 289-2242). Upon completion of the cruise or fieldwork, the Authorized User must submit a detailed report of the incident to the WHOI RSO that includes the corrective measures taken.

Last updated: January 3, 2007