Issue Date: October 26, 2009
OSHA Safety Bulletin Targets Accelerators
Increasing use of particle accelerators has prompted OSHA to issue a safety and health bulletin on the safe operation of these machines. The bulletin focuses on special-purpose accelerators used by industry and research accelerators used at universities, of which the agency says there are about 4,000 in the U.S. Hazards associated with accelerators include high-voltage electrical shocks, ionizing and nonionizing radiation exposures, and, for larger accelerators, fires and suffocation risks from working in oxygen-deficient atmospheres and confined spaces. OSHA recommends a list of basic procedures to help protect employees operating or working near accelerators. These include defining work processes for accelerator activities, identifying the hazards associated with those operations, and implementing controls to reduce the hazards. More information is available at osha.gov/dts/shib/shib073109.pdf.
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