Category: Incident Management

21 Jul 2021
online radiation safety course

The Mobile Radiation Safety Software Solution for the Modern RSO

Fieldwork is an essential component of radiation safety programs. From inventorying radioactive materials, machines, and equipment, to performing audits and inspections, there exists a need to capture real-time information while on the go.

Historically, this information would be recorded on paper forms and later transcribed to an electronic record or placed in a binder. Such methods are both outdated and time-consuming. Their very nature prohibits RSOs from accessing the most up-to-date records while traveling or on-site, and keeps them from streamlining effective administrative processes within their radiation safety programs.

But with the advent of mobile-optimized radiation safety software, performing these tasks and recording the results is more efficient than ever before.

In response to the growing awareness and need for such a software solution in radiation safety, Versant Physics has developed the cloud-based software Odyssey, with mobile optimization as a core focus. Users of the software can access Odyssey on their desktop or laptop computers, tablets, and mobile phones anywhere they have an internet connection.

odyssey screenshot of sealed sources

Versant Physics’ implementation analyst, Katelyn Waters, has seen multiple Odyssey clients incorporate the software into their fieldwork.

“Clients frequently use Odyssey to perform on-site inventories of RAM, sealed sources, radioactive waste, machines, and equipment. They use tablets and cell phones to quickly pull up inventory records by location. From there, individual profiles can be viewed and edited on the go as needed.”

These inventory records are displayed as a table with a simple and searchable format convenient for reviewing information on the smaller screens of mobile devices. Tables contain links to individual profiles with buttons to easily adjust the activity of radioactive materials, update survey, inspection, or calibration due dates, or edit other profile information.

Each profile also has the option to print out a physical label for the inventory. The label can include a logo, information from the profile, free text, and a unique QR code. The QR code can be scanned to take a user directly to a profile to increase speed and accuracy during an inventory.

“The biggest benefit of the QR code system that I see is the ability to perform cradle-to-grave tracking of RAM, sealed sources, and waste containers,” says Waters. “Users can scan the QR code attached to the material throughout its lifetime to view location, activity, and ownership changes to ensure that they are always accessing accurate, up-to-date information.”

odyssey qr code

These QR codes are available to be printed for RAM, sealed sources, waste containers, machines, equipment, and laboratories in Odyssey. Utilizing the labeling tools not only helps radiation safety staff quickly access information, but also complies with FDA and NRC labeling requirements for radioactive materials, machines, and laboratory doors.

“In addition to completing inventories, we also see our clients utilize the Forms module of Odyssey for audits, inspections, and surveys,” says Waters. “Customizable forms can be created which include images like floor plans. These forms can be filled out and the images marked up using mobile devices during the inspection itself.”

odyssey customizable form screenshot

The forms utilized during these inspections are custom forms set up during the implementation process by the Versant Physics team, or by an administrator. The same form can be filled out repeatedly for consistency and to track changes in responses over time. This standardization of forms is an essential aspect of radiation safety for quality control.

Another important consideration for data capture is efficiency. Odyssey aims to accomplish efficient data collection by prefilling data from its other modules into the form where applicable. This reduces the amount of time spent filling out the form and helps minimize the potential for human error as existing data does not need to be copied over.

Utilizing cloud-based software has become increasingly relevant as radiation safety programs move from paper-based methods to electronic solutions. Performing work in the field itself on mobile devices aids in getting records more efficiently into this desired electronic format. Odyssey is engineered to assist with this transition to increase data accessibility, efficiency, and accuracy for radiation safety programs.

Interactive demos are now available! Click here to try out the personnel dosimetry and inventory tracking modules for free!

You can also schedule a live demo with our software specialists to learn more about individual Odyssey modules, mobile features, and software usability.

01 Mar 2021
Incident Management for Radiation Incidents

Incident Management for Radiation Accidents

Any workplace, regardless of industry, can be affected by an emergency or accident. However, if your facility works with man-made ionizing radiation sources such as medical diagnostic equipment or radiopharmaceuticals, it is important you prepare for potential radiation incidents to ensure a swift and appropriate response should something occur.

Workplace radiation incidents can include:

  • Radioactive material spills or releases
  • Contamination of personnel
  • Malfunctioning safety controls
  • Lost, stolen, or orphaned radioactive material sources
  • Equipment leaks (ex. Industrial equipment)
  • Transportation incidents or accidents
  • Misuse of medical source materials or industrial radiographic material

While clean up methods and preventative measures will vary depending on the type and severity of the incident, how you collect and track information regarding the incident should be standard across your organization.

Identifying How the Accident Occurred

The first step in responding to a workplace radiation incident is understanding how the accident occurred in the first place. Was there any missing signage in the area where the accident occurred? Were ALARA principles being followed by all personnel? Has the equipment been properly maintained and inspected regularly? Even accidents that occur due to simple human error should be noted and tracked, especially if similar incidents happen regularly.

woman with yellow safety helmet and goggles on ipad

Identifying the Type of Radiation Exposure During an Incident

During a radiation incident, it is important to determine if and how an employee was exposed. The risk from exposure varies depending on the energy the radionuclide emits, the type of radiation (alpha, beta, gamma, x-rays), whether the exposure was external or internal (via injection, eating, drinking, etc.), how long people were near the radioactive material, and more.

Tracking this information is important because of the potential health effects that can result from radiation exposure. Exposure to low levels of radiation, such as the amount found in our environment (See Background Radiation Sources), will not typically have immediate health effects. However, it can contribute to overall cancer risk over a long period of time. Exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation can result in health problems ranging from skin burns and radiation sickness to cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Sometimes the effects of a radiation incident or exposure will not be known right away. As time goes on, it can be difficult to recall the details of the incident with enough clarity to implement preventative measures. In these situations it is recommended that RSOs and EHS managers utilize an Incident Management software to not only identify and track the initial incident, but to use it to look back on what occurred when creating new policies and procedures.

Steps to Protect Against Future Exposure Incidents

Whether your facility handles man-made radiation or naturally occurring radioactive material, there are certain steps that can be taken to protect workers from future exposure after an incident has occurred.

  • Implement countermeasures such as time, distance, and shielding

Time, Distance, and Shielding are considered the standard measures for minimizing occupational radiation exposure. Limiting the amount of time spent around a radiation source reduces the overall dose from the radiation source. Similarly, the intensity and dose decrease the farther away a person is from a radiation source. Shielding measures including barriers made of lead, concrete, or water can provide protection from penetrating radiation such as gamma rays.  

  • Radiation Safety Training
    One of the best ways to keep accidents from occurring is by training employees on the basic principles of radiation safety and the risks of mishandling radiation producing equipment or radiopharmaceuticals. It is important to provide refresher training periodically, especially in light of an incident, to ensure employees are up to date and prepared.

  • Regular monitoring, inspections, and facility audits/surveys are also ideal ways to eliminate radiation accidents and ensure everything is operating smoothly.

Implementing safety measures and following ALARA principles will help decrease the number of incidents that occur, however it probably won’t eliminate them entirely. To ensure the safety of both yourself and others in your facility, it is vital that radiation incidents be attended to promptly. Furthermore, it is important that such incidents be carefully recorded and tracked to prohibit the incident from occurring again. Utilizing Incident Management software is a great way to help you document accidents, emergencies, and illnesses, view trends in data to identify problem areas, and help you prepare and prevent future incidents from happening.

Versant Physics radiation safety software suite Odyssey is now offering the Incident Management module. The module, which can be used individually or in conjunction with any of Odyssey’s radiation safety modules, provides RSOs and EHS professionals the ability to monitor and track a variety of workplace incidents, including radiation safety events.

odyssey incident management module on mobile devices

The module features a user-friendly dashboard for easy tracking and analysis. Users can also efficiently follow-up with open cases and analyze trends in reported incidents, making it easier to create a safe, compliant workplace for you and your staff.

Contact to schedule a demo, or visit our Odyssey page for more information on functionality and pricing.


Versant Physics logo

Forum Article "Radiopharmaceutical Extravasation: Pragmatic Radiation Protection" published ahead of print

An article written by Versant team members Dr. Darrell R. Fisher, Ph.D. and Misty Liverett, M.S., CNMT was recently published ahead of print in Health Physics. The article provides an unbiased, scientific assessment of pragmatic and reasonable health physics actions that should be taken in response to inadvertent extravasation events. Click the link below to view the article.



Permit Profile

Each permit has a dedicated profile of information that includes authorized personnel, radioactive material, machines, and devices. Permit conditions, completed audits, and forms are also found on this profile.

Authorized Condition Database

Create and view authorized conditions included on permits. Previously created authorized conditions are listed with their code, category, and description.

Permit Enforcement

Information specified on a permit not only serves as a record of that permit, but also controls what can be added to other modules. The location, owner and type of radioactive materials, machines, and equipment can be enforced by permits.

Permit Audits

Perform permit audits, mail the results to relevant personnel, and track responses to non-compliances.