GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF CLASS
The HEALTH PHYSICIST serves in a professional capacity to interpret Federal and State laws and apply them by
assisting the Radiation Program Director or Supervising Health Physicist in developing program policies and procedures.
The Health Physicist also uses state of the art knowledge to apply recent scientific findings and new laws from
regulatory agencies to develop methods for staff to use to comply with the intent of the laws and ensure compliance
by institutions. The Health Physicist also analyzes results of inspections to initiate appropriate corrective action
where the impact of decisions for noncompliance situations may result in revocation of a license or closure of
a facility or organization. At this level, an error in judgment while performing the job duties could result in
extensive or lethal injuries to the employee or to a large population of people.
This is a single classification and not currently part of a series of classes.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Allocation of positions to this class will depend on the total work performed which may include one or a combination
of the duties or tasks listed below.
- Program Administration. Typical tasks: directs the development of training programs related to radiation
safety operations; develops concepts and methods necessary to implement Federal and State laws and combines these
with state of the art scientific findings to propose changes in the laws to the program director; assists in policy
development and setting priorities of the radiation program; analyze radiation program procedures proposed by agencies
and private industries to determine potential hazards and recommend preventive measures to keep radiation exposures
as low as reasonably achievable; uses knowledge of nuclear reactor design and functions, atmospheric dispersion
models, and radionuclide characteristics to perform population and environmental risk assessments; participate
in accident response planning by writing interagency action plans for a variety of situations (e.g., mass casualty
responses, triage, population relocation, and recovery).
- Program Compliance. Typical tasks: employees perform the following duties for large complex institutions
and commercial enterprises and the impact of the decisions for noncompliance situations may result in license revocation
or closure of a facility or organization and where litigation may be involved; conduct complex surveys or collect
samples without cross contamination using special test equipment to determine contamination levels or potential
health hazards; perform sophisticated tests to ensure compliance of reactors, for people with medical needs, and
for regional needs based on environmental impact of nuclear wastes (e.g., defense, research, or medical applications);
conduct extensive inspections of radiation programs to determine compliance with the Federal and State laws; perform
calculations and analyze data; exercises independent scientific judgment in making recommendations on the application
of test findings; monitor adherence to safety regulations, policy and exposure standards, and use of protective
equipment; evaluate procedures in use to determine of corrective action needs to be taken to ensure a safe work
place; prepares reports recommending corrective action, lists methods and time frame for compliance; conducts follow
up inspections to ensure corrective action has been completed; takes legal action if necessary; may revoke the
license; inspect international shipment to ensure compliance with all international rules; perform inspection of
other types of radiation sources that are nonionizing radiation in nature such as: powerful lazers high powered
radar equipment, intense ultraviolet sources, and radio frequency emitters.
- Dosimetry Program. Typical tasks: determines sources of contaminates (e.g., medical sources, reactors,
environment) to ensure compliance of laws and protect the population; perform complex whole body external and internal
dose calculations which involve intercompartmental kinetics; distribute and collect dosimetric devices; inspect
to assure compliance with regulations that pertain to use of and exposure to radioactive materials; ensure that
program standards are being met and responds when radiation doses are outside normal limits; interpret results;
develops plan of corrective action.
- Radiation Emergency Management. Typical tasks: under Oregon Revised Statutes serves when called upon
as the official state on seen coordinator or university representative at radioactive accident sites and directs
the clean-up operations by; gathers information, makes measurements, and analyzes radiological hazards; advises
other present of hazards and of mitigation procedures recommended; informs superiors and documents activities,
findings, and results; performs follow up examinations to determine accuracy of analyses, usefulness of recommendations,
etc.; discusses information with news media personnel and others if so directed by superiors.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS
Employees in this class have daily regular contact with technical or professional staff to conduct extensive
inspection of radiation programs; evaluate radiation procedure, and consult with administration of radiation issues.
There will be frequent contact with State and Federal governmental agencies, and private industry to discuss issues
that are often proprietary in nature.¿
Employees in this class work under general supervision of an administrative supervisor. Test data, findings,
reports, and recommendations are reviewed occasionally for conformance to agency policy and industry standards.
Records are reviewed for quality control. Guidelines used in performance of duties include standard operating procedures,
established methods manuals, technical references, and appropriate institutional licenses, plus State regulations
and Federal statutes.¿
These positions are found in regulatory agencies or educational institutions located throughout the state. They
require the willingness to work between highly informed technical people and often misinformed and irritated members
of the public. They require the willingness to work with radioactive materials where there is danger of potential
exposure if guidelines are not followed.¿
Two years of experience in radiation health including performing radiation surveys; using radiation survey meters,
and monitoring radiation levels; AND a Bachelor's degree with courses in physical or biological sciences;
AND one year of graduate studies in Health Physics, Radiation Biology, Nuclear Physics, or Nuclear Engineering.
Specialized training by Nuclear Regulatory Commission may be substituted for the required graduate study.