Personnel monitoring is one of the most crucial aspects of worker safety. Without the use of radiation exposure monitoring devices to constantly monitor and record an individual’s exposure levels, it would be impossible to see whether the worker is going over their radiation limits. The level of radiation the worker accumulates depends greatly on the radiation dose they receive and the time they spend in hazardous areas. So when a person is exposed to high power sources of radiation or spends a longer amount of time in such a place, they will receive a larger dose.
People working in potentially dangerous environments, like nuclear power plants, need to be constantly monitored for keeping track of accumulated dose of radiation. Hence, they have hygiene standards and a maximum cumulative dose that cannot be exceeded, and so they must always wear dosimeters on the workplace. Similarly, aircraft crews are exposed to high levels of radiation when flying at high altitudes, and so need to monitor the dose to not exceed monthly or yearly acceptable levels. There thus exists a set of very specific guidelines that underline exactly how personnel exposure monitoring needs to be carried out for maximal efficacy.
Monitoring of external radiation exposure
The methods used to monitor external radiation exposure aim to assess the dose received by the entire body as well as the doses received by individual parts of the body in order to determine whether the latter is in noteworthy excess of the dose received by the whole body. It also attempts to monitor and analyze what type and quality of radiation the worker has been exposed to.
This information could come in handy if an individual is ever over-exposed to radiation.
Monitoring of internal radiation exposure
Internal radiation exposure is monitored when it is suspected that a contaminant has been deposited internally. It involves the identification of the radioactive material and the assessment of the dose. If the quantity turns out to be in major amounts, the radiation exposure monitoring devices will be required to determine the whole-body burden, as well as where exactly in the body the dose has been distributed or concentrated.
Monitoring of skin and clothing radiation exposure
Routine monitoring of the clothing and skin to radiation exposure is carried out in order to ensure there is no special risk of contamination. Normally, a contamination detector should be quite sufficient for this purpose.
What Instruments can be used for personnel exposure monitoring in harsh environments
Certain devices in a secure enclosure are used in the field for Army purposes, where conventional instruments designed for laboratories cannot be used. Elsewhere, employees can use personal dosimeters like the DKG-21M where they come in to work, take the programmed device, and give it back after the day is done. These devices are protected so that they cannot be disabled, or manipulated with to change the data. Additionally, there is also software like PDC Ecomonitor that allows you to keep statistics of the staff, and helps you make reports.