Radiation Safety Officer Training for Laboratory Professionals

April 24 – 28, 2017

  • $2,825

Harvard Longwood Campus, Boston, MA

This is the most comprehensive RSO training available. The faculty is superb and covers in depth all theoretical and practical aspects of radiation safety. With the knowledge I gained I will be able to significantly improve the safety procedures in our facility. The interaction and discussion with other participants was invaluable.
  • —Elpidio D. Pena, MD

Program Overview

Learn How to Implement a Radiation Safety Program in Laboratories

At this radiation safety officer training program you will learn the skills you need to become a radiation safety officer in laboratory settings. The hands-on program design ensures you develop the skills and knowledge needed to design and implement a radiation protection program at your organization. By learning these skills, you will be able to provide a safe environment for employees working in your laboratories.

As a participant, you will explore all areas of radiation protection you need to know to act as a laboratory RSO, including:

  • Radiation quantities, units, and measures
  • Radiation exposure, biological effects of radiation, and human health risks
  • Regulatory requirements and radiation protection standards
  • Instrument use
  • Radioactive materials handling, transportation, inventory control, and waste management
  • Good management practices for radiation safety programs

Focusing primarily on the radionuclides most commonly used in biotechnology, hospitals, and medical facilities, this program prepares you for the real-world challenges faced by laboratory radiation safety officers. You will gain hands-on experience with hand-held instruments and engage with highly-experienced radiation safety officers, ensuring you return to your organization with tools to implement a radiation safety program in your laboratory.

A 40-Hour Radiation Safety Officer Training Program

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Agreement States require radiation safety officers to have adequate training – including at least 40 hours of training in the safe handling of radioactive materials – and experience to assume the RSO role. In this program, you will have the opportunity to gain 40 hours of training required for an RSO and receive a DOT and IATA Class 7 Radioactive Materials Shipping Certification.

At this radiation safety training course, you will explore the characteristics of ionizing radiation, develop an understanding of the units of radiation dose and quantities, gain hands-on experience using radiation detection instrumentation, and learn about the biological hazards of exposure to radiation.

Whether you aspire to a radiation safety officer position or need an improved understanding of health physics, this course prepares you to meet laboratory radiation protection challenges.

Why is Radiation Safety in Laboratories Important?

Laboratories across industries use radioactive materials for diverse purposes, including research, sterilization, manufacturing, measurement, power generation and medicine. Each of these organizations must appoint a radiation safety officer to oversee the safe use, application, monitoring, and disposal of these materials and protect employee health.

A main cause of excessive radiation exposure stems from the fact that many who work with radiological material have only a passing knowledge of their safe use. A radiation safety officer who has implemented an effective laboratory radiation protection program can help mitigate this risk by reducing the chance of excessive radiation exposure.

This program focuses specifically on preparing you for a radiation safety officer role in university, biotechnology, health care, and medical laboratory settings. You will leave Harvard having gained the skills needed to implement an effective radiation safety program and to protect employee health.

Objectives & Highlights

Learning Objectives

  • Develop focused radiation safety officer skills specific to biotechnology, university, hospital, and medical laboratory environments
  • Eliminate regulatory compliance problems by demonstrating compliance with radionuclide permit and license requirements
  • Assess risks of radiation and biological effects and work effectively with employees to eliminate those risks
  • Incorporate the “tools of health physics practice” as applied to laboratories
  • Manage radiological effluents and waste streams associated with biotechnology research laboratories
  • Understand regulatory requirements and expectations
  • Create and maintain a safe laboratory environment

Optional Evening Sessions

Optional evening sessions allow you to focus your learning on specific topics for which you have responsibilities. Optional sessions include:

  • Medical health physics (part 35)
  • Laser hazard control (ANSI 136.1-2009)
  • Hand-held instruments practicum
  • Liquid scintillation counting practicum
  • X-ray radiation safety
  • DOT radioactive materials shipping certification

Please note: the 40-hour requirement may be met through the completion of the 36-hour core course plus at least two two-hour optional sessions which are included in the course fee.

Credits, Fees, and Logistics

Please note: A laptop or other portable personal computing device is strongly recommended for course enrollees.


Inn At Longwood
342 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
$209/night plus 14.45 percent tax, includes internet, 15% coupon for The Longwood Grill

To book online: click here

A limited number of rooms have been reserved at a reduced rate until April 1, 2017. These rooms are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please be advised that hotels in the Boston area can sell out very quickly. We recommend making your hotel reservation as soon as you receive registration confirmation. Please mention HSPH0423 and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to receive the special rate. The hotel is a five minute walk to the school.

Program Check-in

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
FXB Building
651 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

The program takes place at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, located in the heart of the Harvard Longwood Campus in Boston. Public transportation is also readily available to the city’s many shopping districts, museums, and restaurants.

For directions, click here.

Continuing Education Credit

This program is accredited by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and offers 3.7 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)*, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, equivalent to 36.75 contact hours of education without optional sessions.  4.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs)*, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, equivalent to 44.75 contact hours of education with optional sessions.

*Participants can apply these contact hours toward other professional education credits.  Some of which include CSP, CHMM, NRRPT, etc.

The American Academy of Health Physics will grant 40 Continuing Education Credits for completion of this course.

ABIH has previously been awarded CM credit for this program.  The current program can be claimed for CM credits.

All credit counts are subject to final agenda. ERC shield

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has an Education and Research Center (ERC) funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

What is Included in the Fee?

  • Continental breakfasts, lunches, and refreshment breaks
  • Reception at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Comprehensive take-home reference materials: Includes an electronic archive containing all pertinent NRC and DOT regulations, NRC Regulatory Guides, NRC Regulations (NUREGs), as well as numerous references and software tools for the practicing RSO
  • Up to four additional evening sessions of your choice (subject to availability)
  • Continuing education credits
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health certificate of participation


Current faculty, subject to change.

Edward F. Maher, ScD, CHP

Program Director

Instructor, Department of Environmental Health
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Associate and Senior Health Physicist
Dade Moeller & Associates

Sean M. Austin, MS, CHP


Senior Health Physicist
Plexus Scientific Corporation
Manager, Medical Physics Division and Senior Health Physicist
Dade Moeller & Associates

Christopher B. Martel, MSC, CHP


Director, Clinical Science NA
Philips Healthcare
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Medicine

Corinne Mitchell, MS


Radiation Safety Program Manager
Harvard University

Nicholas M. Panzarino, MS, CHP


Certified Health Physicist
Dade Moeller


This agenda may be subject to change.

Monday, April 24, 2017
8:00–8:30 am Check-In and Continental Breakfast
8:30–9:00 am Maher Welcome, Program Objectives, and Overview
9:00–9:45 am Panzarino Atomic Structure and Radioactivity
9:45–10:15 am Panzarino Radiation Quantities and Units
10:15–10:30 am Refreshment Break
10:30–11:15 am Maher Radiation Interaction with Matter, Types, and Sources of Radiation
11:15 am–12:00 pm Maher Biological Effects of Radiation, Understanding Risks of Radiation
12:00–1:00 pm Lunch
1:00–2:00 pm Maher Risks to the Pregnant Worker, Radiation Risk Communication
2:00–3:00 pm Panzarino Radiation Exposure Control: Time, Distance, and Shielding
3:00–3:15 pm Refreshment Break
3:15–5:00 pm Panzarino External and Internal Dosimetry: Regulatory and Other Practical Considerations
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
7:30–8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00–9:45 am Maher Radiation Protection Standards, 10 CFR Part 19 and 20
9:45–10:00 am Refreshment Break
10:00–11:00 am Martel Compliance with Effluents Release Limits (Air and Water)
11:00 am–12:00 pm Martel Recordkeeping and Retention for Compliance Demonstration
12:00–1:00 pm Lunch
1:00–3:00 pm Maher Preparing for License Inspection, Notice of Violation and Penalties
3:00–3:15 pm Refreshment Break
3:15–4:45 pm Martel Survey Documentation, Contamination Control, Good Practices and Employee PPE
4:45–5:15 pm Martel Skin Dose from Radioactive Contamination
5:15–5:45 pm Regular Sessions End
5:45–7:45 pm Maher Optional Session: Laser Hazard Control (ANSI 136.1-2009)
5:45–7:45 pm Martel Optional Session: Medical Health Physics (Part 35)
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
7:30–8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00–10:00 am Mitchell Introduction to Liquid Scintillation Counting, Instrumentation, Standards, Quenching and Instrument QA/QC
10:00–10:15 am Refreshment Break
10:15 am–12:00 pm Mitchell Radiation Hazard Assessment, Instrument Surveys, Counting Statistics, Contamination Levels, Wipe Testing, and Documentation
12:00–1:00 pm Lunch
1:00–3:00 pm Martel Hand-Held Instruments and Surveys
3:00–3:15 pm Refreshment Break
3:15–5:15 pm Mitchell Liquid Scintillation Laboratory Counting
5:15–5:45 pm Regular Sessions End
5:45–7:45 pm Martel Optional Session: Hand-Held Instruments Practical
5:45–7:45 pm Mitchell Optional Session: Liquid Scintillation Counting Practical
Thursday, April 27, 2017
7:30–8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00–10:00 am Maher Introduction to Radioactive and Mixed Waste Management, Status of National Low-Level Radioactive Waste Policy Act
10:00–10:15 am Refreshment Break
10:15 am–11:30 pm Maher Waste Minimization and Volume Reduction Practices, Waste Management Brokers and Service Vendors, Disposal
11:30 am–12:30 pm Lunch
12:30–2:30 pm Austin Transportation of Radioactive Materials, Procurement, and Receipt of Radioactive Material
2:30–2:45 pm Refreshment Break
2:45–4:00 pm Austin Transportation of Radioactive Materials, Procurement and Receipt of Radioactive Material
4:00–5:15 pm Austin Inventory Control of Radioactive Materials; Response to Personnel Contamination Incidents
5:15–5:45 pm Regular Sessions End
5:45–7:45 pm Austin Optional Session: DOT Radioactive Materials Shipping Certification (Part I)
5:45–7:45 pm Optional Session: X-Ray Radiation Safety
Friday, April 28, 2017
7:30–8:00 am Continental Breakfast
8:00–9:45 am Panzarino Air Sampling for CHIPS
9:45–10:00 am Refreshment Break
10:00–11:30 am Panzarino Employee Bioassay Programs
11:30 am–12:30 pm Lunch
12:30–2:30 pm Maher Security and Protection of Radioactive Materials
2:30–2:45 pm Refreshment Break
2:45–4:00 pm Maher Management Systems in Radiation Protection, Audits, License Renewal, Procedures, Training and Technical Resources for the RSO
4:00–4:30 pm Maher Program Evaluation and Closing
4:30–5:00 pm Regular Sessions Program Adjournment
5:00–7:00 pm Austin Optional Session: DOT Radioactive Materials Shipping Certification (Part II)

Who Should Participate

This program is designed for professionals with radiation safety responsibilities in biotechnology, university, hospital, or other laboratory settings. Ideal participants include:

  • Radiation safety officers
  • Health and medical physicists
  • Nuclear medicine and medical imaging professionals
  • Radiologists, radiologic technologists, and radiotherapy professionals
  • Environmental health and safety and industrial hygiene professionals
  • Biologists, chemists, pharmacists, and other researchers using radioactive material
  • Facilities managers at laboratories utilizing radioactive materials

Develop a Network of Laboratory Radiation Safety Officers

This program convenes professionals from a myriad of backgrounds who have, or will have, ongoing radiation safety responsibilities in laboratories around the world. By bringing together a diverse group of professionals, this program offers a truly rich experience where you learn as much from your fellow participants as from the expert faculty.

Supplementing lectures from experts in radiation protection and medical physics, you will find ample time to work with your colleagues and discuss successes and failures in addressing the radiation safety challenges you each face daily. You will leave Harvard having developed a network of peers you can rely on for guidance as your return home and implement what you learned at the program.