HAZMAT Guide

American Portable Nuclear Gauge Association

This is a stand-alone version from the Training Manual. For the full length training manual click here.

There are approximately 22,000 radioactive materials licenses in the United States, of which approximately 7,000 are for portable gauges, most being moisture density gauges. Those licenses collectively represent about 25,000 gauges. The portability of the gauges, combined with their high number, leads to what seems like a high number of incidents, specifically thefts and damaged gauges. Many of these incidents could have been avoided if the involved licensees would have adhered to proper security compliance.

These incidents draw the attention of the media, which can’t pass up the opportunity to post headlines such as “RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS STOLEN” or “RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS DAMAGED”. The general public, unaware that the actual radioactive materials are relatively miniscule in size and double shielded, are subject to panic and paranoia. Local, state and eventually federal government officials take notice and soon attention is focused on the licensing and enforcement agencies (the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Agreement States and the USDOT).

If enough of the incidents are determined to be the result of inadequate security compliance on the part of the license holders, the agencies may take steps to improve compliance through stricter regulations and less tolerance, which could lead to increased or more frequent fines.

A NRC report dated December 12, 2007 focused on the number of incidents involving gauges. The report concluded that the number of thefts have not been reduced since earlier NRC security advisories cautioned license holders about improving security and control of gauges.

The NRC instituted the double lock system for transported gauges in 2005. The Agreement States were required to have the same program in place by July, 2008. But it doesn’t matter how many locks are used to secure a gauge to a vehicle when the target of the thief is the vehicle. Licensees must reduce the number of times they unnecessarily use the vehicle as a storage area or they must take further steps to prevent the theft of the vehicle.

The transportation of hazardous materials can be enforced by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. D.O.T.), NRC, Agreements States and law enforcement. Specifically, the regulations for transporting hazardous materials are covered under Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR’s) Parts 100-177. There are also regulations under Title 10 CFR Part 71 for the NRC. Agreement States and other state and local regulations must also be followed.

The minimum fine for a NRC violation is $3,250.00.

The industry as a whole must improve compliance in transporting gauges. As mentioned, failure to do so will be met with increased fines and stricter regulations and enforcement.

There are currently initiatives taking place to improve increased controls for radioactive materials in quantities greater than those found in portable nuclear gauges. Some of these measures include finger printing, strict source tracking accountability and GPS in every vehicle that transports a gauge. If conditions do not improve among users of portable gauges, these same measures may be considered for this industry.

Law enforcement and detection is another area that gauge owners need to take notice. Police cruisers are being outfitted with radiation detection monitors sensitive enough to detect a moisture density gauge. Officers are trained in HAZMAT compliance, and if you are pulled over, they will inspect your vehicle for proper gauge security and documentation.

When the gauge is moved from storage and transported by highway, air, rail or water you are considered to be shipping the gauge and must adhere to HAZMAT regulations, security and documentation. It is during transport that gauges are most vulnerable.

Training

License holders and users of moisture density gauges must receive Hazardous Materials Training (49 CFR 172 Subpart H) as a condition of their license. The USDOT considers anyone involved in the transportation to be a HAZMAT worker and must therefore have the appropriate training.

Training records must be on file for all HAZMAT workers. HAZMAT training is included in the initial gauge safety training required of all users, but it must be renewed every 2-3 years. Your annual APNGA dues include a HAZMAT refresher class. Annual HAZMAT classes will result in a better understanding and adherence to HAZMAT rules and regulations.

Any individual involved in the transportation process in any way, including document preparation, loading and unloading of gauges, maintenance or courier service must receive HAZMAT training.

New employees can perform HAZMAT job functions for 90 days but must be under the direct supervision of trained personnel. After 90 days they must be trained.

Training must familiarize the employee with the rules and regulations, including safety and security awareness, all job related hazardous materials functions, recognition of hazardous materials classifications, labels and markings, accident prevention and emergency response.

General Understanding and Awareness

A hazardous material is defined as any substance or material that is capable of posing a risk to the health and safety of the public, company employees, shipping carriers or property during transportation. These materials can be found listed on the Hazardous Materials Table under 49 CFR 172.101. The hazard class number and description are as follows:

  • Class 1        Explosives
  • Class 2        Compressed gases – flammable, non-flammable or poisonous
  • Class 3        Flammable liquids – flammable or combustible
  • Class 4        Flammable Solids
  • Class 5        Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides
  • Class 6        Toxic Materials – Poisons and infectious agents
  • Class 7        Radioactive Materials – l, ll, and lll
  • Class 8        Corrosive Materials
  • Class 9        Miscellaneous – other hazards not listed above

Gauge Sources

The moisture density gauge is a Hazard Class 7 device, described as Radioactive Material, containing very small amounts of Cs137 and Am241. The sources in the gauge are classified asSpecial Form Radioactive Material. Special form reapsule that can be opened only by destroying the capsule.

Your gauge manufacturer is not involved in this manufacturing process. They purchase the encapsulated sources from a company authorized to encapsulate the material. There are very strict guidelines regarding the manufacture of this material. The encapsulation process is overseen by an independent “competent authority” authorized by the International Atomic Energy Agency, a division of the United Nations.

The sealed source is virtually impenetrable. It is tested for impact, percussion, bending and extreme heat. The gauge manufacturer secures this double encapsulated source into a threaded and fused cap at the base of the source rod (gamma source) or imbedded into the shielding at the base of the gauge (neutron source).

Each source receives a serial number with a life expectancy. Your source serial numbers, which are different than the gauge serial number, is stated on the gauge as well as the gauge documentation. Source serial number information can also be obtained through the manufacturer. The Special Form Certificate, also known as a Certificate of Competent Authority, must be kept on file for viewing. Each different type of gauge and manufacturer has their own unique certificate – keep one on file for each different gauge. The form has an expiration date. New forms can be downloaded or printed off the manufacturer’s website.

Step by step HAZMAT Guide

To help you understand the requirements of HAZMAT training we have developed a step-by-step approach that starts at the storage area, moves to the transport of the gauge, covers emergency procedures and concludes with the return to storage.

Step 1) Before You Go – Checking the Condition of the Gauge: 

Decide which gauge in the storage area you will be using/shipping.

Make sure the gauge is operational. Is it charged? Turn it on and make sure the display appears.

The gauge uses a tungsten sliding block to completely shield the source rod while inside the gauge. A quick test will determine if the sliding block mechanism is fully functional. While the gauge is sitting flat on the floor quickly put the source rod in the backscatter position and then return it to the safe position. Use a survey meter to make sure the sliding block is fully closed. Turn it on and point it at the base of the gauge where the source rod resides. At one meter away the reading should pretty much match the number on the Yellow Radioactive II sticker, known as the transport index number – it should read less than one millirem. At the surface of the gauge the reading should be <20mrem per hour.

How does the gauge case look, inside and outside? Are there any holes, cracks or areas where the plastic has worn away? Are the clasps in undamaged condition? If there is any damage you can’t use that case.

Does the gauge have a lock on the handle? Is there a lock on the outside hasp?

How do the labels look? Can you read all the information contained on all labels? If not, you need to replace the label.

Is there a current leak test on the gauge?

If everything checks out write down the serial number of the gauge.

Step 2) Understanding the Labels and Documents – Preparing the Paperwork:

Before you remove the gauge for transport you must first prepare bill of lading and emergency response documents. This section will discuss these documents and how to prepare them.

Communicating the Hazards

Labels and documents are used to communicate the hazards associated with portable nuclear gauges. Shippers and emergency response individuals are trained to recognize this information and take the necessary precautions.  Examples of these labels and documents with explanations of the information are described below.

A properly labeled gauge case will display one Type “A” Package Label on one of the broadsides of the case and situated next to a Yellow Radioactive II label. There must be two Yellow Radioactive II Labels on opposite broadsides. There must also be two Air Cargo Only Labels on opposite broadsides. These labels must always be in legible condition.

The Type “A” Package identifies the type of case you are using to store the gauge as well as identifying information in the event of emergency response. It should be placed on one broadside of the gauge case next to one of the Yellow Radioactive II Labels and be in legible condition.

Information on the Type “A: Package Label includes:

  • UN3332 – UN Identification Number – This universal reference number lets emergency response personnel know exactly the type of material that you are transporting. A future requirement states that this number must precede the other identifying information on your labels and papers. Moisture density gauges have been assigned UN3332 – individuals will cross-reference this number to determine the hazardous material.
  • USA DOT 7A Type “A” Package – Refers to the case the gauge is shipped in. The case must meet integrity tests before qualifying for this designation. Type “A” Package documentation must be kept on file. This document will be discussed later in this section.
  • Radioactive Material – Proper Shipping Name – The proper shipping name for the gauge.
  • Special Form – This identifies the physical form of the radioactive sources inside the gauge.
  • RQ – Reportable Quantity – Abbreviated as RQ, the EPA has set threshold limit levels that, if exceeded, must be indicated at the end of the Proper Shipping Name. The limit for Americium 241 is 10mCi. Because moisture density gauges use more than 10mCi (usually 40-50mCi) of Am241 the designation RQ must be shown (If you are using a gauge that only has a density/gamma source it will not have to show the RQ).

The above label and information tells the handler you are shipping Radioactive Material in a Type “A” Package, Special Form, RQ.

The Radioactive II Label identifies the gauge as a Hazard Class 7 Radioactive Device. The label must list the type of radioactive materials contained in the gauge as well as the quantity of each radioactive material. A Transport Index number must also be displayed. The case requires two of these labels on opposite broadsides of the gauge case.

An explanation of the required information is as follows:

Contents – the abbreviated names of the radioactive materials

Activity – The activity of the radioactive materials must be in SI units (becquerels) but can also list the equivalent millicuries.

  • Example:
    • Contents        Cs137/Am241
    • Activity          0.30 GBq (8.0mCi) /1.48 GBq (40.0 mCi)


Transport Index
 – usually handwritten in the box – typically in the 0.2 – 0.7 range. Use the number that originally came with the gauge or contact the manufacturer for the correct number. This number informs the handler what their exposure rate is for every hour that they sit one meter away from the gauge. It’s a piece of information that lets them know how much radiation is present (and indirectly how radioactive the package is). In practice the handler will put more distance between themselves and the gauge, typically in the rearmost part of the vehicle, thereby further reducing the exposure rate.

The “Air Cargo Only” labels inform the handler that gauges cannot be transported on passenger aircraft. There must be two labels, one on each broadside.

Shipping Documents

Shipping documents must also communicate the hazards associated with portable nuclear gauges. Every time you “ship” a gauge to the work site, or turn your gauge over to a shipper for delivery, you must prepare a bill of lading.

There are three versions of the bill of lading. There is a private carrier bill of lading, used when you take the gauge to the worksite, a ground transport bill of lading when shipping by ground transport and an air transport type of bill of lading, also known as a dangerous goods statement.

The bill of lading must be accompanied by an Emergency Response Sheet.

Private Carrier Bill of Lading
 – This is the type of bill of lading you will use whenever you transport the gauge on a public roadway. It doesn’t matter if you are going to the worksite, the FEDEX office or a gauge service center. You can create your own document. There is no official private carrier document already prepared for you. It’s a do-it-yourself-document. The bill of lading document must contain specific information about you and your gauge. Include the following:

  • Type the information on company letterhead.
  •  Type the words “Bill of Lading” under your letterhead.
  • Date: 2/1/20**
  • Type your company name and address:
    • Example:
      • Shipper: APNGA Paving
      • 1234 Gauge Road
      • Rockroad, MD 12345
  • In the body of the document type the following line of information about your gauge:
    • “UN3332, Radioactive Material, Type A Package, Special Form, 7, RQ”
    • Gauge Manufacturer, Model & Serial Number
    • Cs-137, 0.30 GBq (8 mCi)
    • Am-241, 1.48 GBq (40 mCi)
    • Radioactive Yellow II Label, TI = 0.5
    • Emergency Gauge Manufacturer Contact Telephone Number: 301-123-4567
    • Company RSO Telephone Numbers: 123-456-7890, 234-567-8901
    • US DOT Emergency Number: 800-424-8802
    • US NRC Emergency Number: 301-816-5100
    • Agreement State Emergency Number: 123-456-7890
  • The authorized person preparing the document must print and sign their name.

The following information describes the information listed on the above bill of lading:

  • UN 3332 Identification Number This universal reference number lets emergency response personnel know exactly the type of material that you are transporting. A future requirement states that this must precede the other identifying information on your papers – you may as well start doing it now.
  • Proper Shipping Name – The proper shipping name for moisture density gauges is “Radioactive material”:
  • Type A package – This describes the case the gauge is stored/shipped in.
  • Special Form – This identifies the physical form of the encapsulated sources.
  • 7 –This is the hazard class for radioactive material.
  • RQ – Reportable Quantity – Abbreviated as RQ, the EPA has set threshold limit levels that, if exceeded, must be indicated at the end of the Proper Shipping Name. The limit for Americium 241 is 10mCi. Because moisture density gauges use more than 10mCi (usually 40-50mCi) of Am241 the designation RQ must be shown (If you are using a gauge that only has a density/gamma source it will not have to show the RQ).

So, the above bill of lading and information tells the viewer you are shipping Radioactive Material in a Type “A” Package, Special Form, 7, RQ.

The next section of the bill of lading lists the gauge manufacturer, gauge model and serial number. Although not technically required this information could be invaluable when describing the gauge to emergency response individuals.

The next section of the bill of lading describes the:

  • Radionuclide name and activity – Your shipping papers must list the name of each radioactive material and its activity. The activity must be expressed in becquerels with the equivalent millicurie in parenthesis. Examples:
    • Cs-137, 0.30 GBq (8 mCi)
    • Am-241, 1.48 GBq (40 mCi)

The next requirement describes the:

  • Radioactive Label Category – Radioactive materials are categorized by their level of activity, Radioactive l-White, Radioactive ll-Yellow or Radioactive lll-Yellow. The higher the activity, the higher the Radioactive number.  The radioactive label for moisture density gauges is:
    • Yellow Radioactive ll
  • Transport Index – Also known as “TI”. The transport index box is located on the Radioactive Yellow ll label. This box will have a number written in that tells the viewer what their radiation dose rate will be, in millirems,  if they were to sit for one hour at one meter away. It is an easy way for the handler/shipper to know how much radiation they are exposed to by the package. The “TI” will already be designated and written on the label when you first receive the gauge. If the label needs to be replaced you will want to enter this same number on the new label. The TI number for moisture density gauges will usually be in the range of 0.2 – 0.7. Example:
    • TI = 0.5

Next bill of lading requirement:

  • Emergency Contact Number – Every license holder should have a 24 hour emergency contact telephone number for a competent emergency response source. The source should have first-hand knowledge about the gauge and be able to give comprehensive emergency response information, specifically the steps to be taken for remediation and control measures involving gauges whose integrity have been compromised in an accident or fire. Gauge manufacturers supply a contact number for this purpose. Make sure that the contact complies with your agency’s regulations. This emergency contact number should be listed on the bill of lading and emergency response sheet.
  • APNGA also recommends listing emergency contact numbers for the RSO, USDOT, NRC and Agreement State.
  • Click here for an example of a private carrier bill of lading.

The above information is the same information you will use when preparing transport document for a ground transport shipping company or cargo air transport company. If available, always use shipping documents offered by the shipping company. They can usually be accessed and filled out on their websites. Additional information will be required as follows:

  • Shipping paper certification statements – This statement, which is stated at the bottom of a common carrier or air transport shipping company bill of lading, commits you to providing a package whereby you state “I hereby declare that the contents of this consignment are fully and accurately described above by proper shipping name, and are classified, packaged, marked and labeled, and are in all respects in proper condition for transport according to applicable International and National Governmental Regulations”. If your gauge is shipped by air you must also add the line “I declare that all of the applicable air transport requirements have been met”. Most trucking and air transport forms have already listed these statements on their documents.
  • Click here for an example of a ground transport common carrier document.
  • Notice the shipper certification at the bottom of the page.
  • Make sure you verify the identity of the common carrier.

Air transport – You cannot ship your gauge on a passenger aircraft. Your best option is FEDEX. FEDEX only ships by cargo aircraft and can ship your gauge anywhere overnight (if necessary). Their form will require the same information as seen on the private carrier and common carrier documents. It must also include gauge case dimensions (include metric dimensions). It must also state that “All packed in one Type “A” package”.  Their dangerous goods statement, known as a “Declaration of Dangerous Goods Document” meets the requirements of the IATA (International Air Transport Association). It is accessible on their website, making it easy to type in the fields and print out the document. It also includes the required statement “Cargo Aircraft Only”.

Click here for an example of the FEDEX air transport document.

Make sure to pay close attention to filling out the forms. FEDEX is not allowed and will not make corrections for you.

You should print out 4 copies of the document. Make sure you print the documents on a color printer since the candy striped slashed borders must show up red. You will also need to fill out a normal air waybill. The gauge case must your company name, address and phone marked on it. Make sure to keep a copy of these documents on file. The FAA, a division of the USDOT, may very well contact you in the future for a copy of these documents. They will also want to see a copy of your license and your training certificates.

International Shipments

If you are shipping your gauge outside of the US you will need to use the shipping documents provided by the air cargo shipper. The required information will be the same as domestic shipments but, because the shipment will likely be turned over to a forwarder, you will need to supply the forwarder a “Letter of Instruction”, who will act to complete further Air Waybills for you. International shipments must also include a copy of the gauge Certificate of Competent Authority.

Emergency Response Information Sheet

This is the other document, along with the bill of lading, that you must have direct access to whenever transporting a gauge. Slide them back-to-back in a plastic sleeve and place them in the seat beside you or in the driver side door slot. The emergency response sheet is very similar to a MSDS sheet. It lists the potential hazards of radiation as well as the emergency actions you would take in the event of an accident or fire. It lists first aid measures you would take and includes the 24 hour emergency contact number. These information sheets are readily available through the manufacturer and should contain the following:

  • Hazards to health
  • Fire or explosion risks
  • Accident precautions
  • Emergency actions for fires
  • First aid
  • Emergency contact numbers – response personnel should be able to provide information regarding hazards and risks, emergency response and accident mitigation

Direct access also means readily viewable, meaning that the documents cannot be placed in the gauge case, glove compartment or trunk. Emergency response personnel know to look for HAZMAT information on the passenger seat or document holder on the driver side door. If you leave the vehicle place the documents on the driver’s seat. Check with your licensing agency for any other requirements.

Keep copies of the bill of lading and emergency response sheets on file for three years after the shipment. You can use the same documents for multiple shipments provided you keep a log of the different shipping dates. Each gauge must have its own set of documents.

Click here for an example of an Emergency Response Sheet. 

Step 3) The Type “A” Package Gauge Case

The gauge case is known as a Type “A” Package. The gauge must be transported in this case. You cannot transport a gauge in a self-made box or crate. All Type “A” Packages/Cases must pass a series of tests that ensure their integrity. These tests include water spray testing, free drop testing, a stacking test and a penetration test.

Each manufacturer uses their own unique Type “A” Package.  You can download a copy of the Type “A” Package document from the manufacturer website or contact them for a copy. The documentation must be kept on file up to three years after the last shipment.

Overpack

If you use an overpack (a cardboard carton to ship the gauge and case in) you must also place two Yellow ll Radioactive and two Air Cargo Only labels on the broadsides. You must also mark the carton as an “Overpack”.

Package Inspection

The gauge and the case must be inspected before it is signed out of storage. Make sure the case is not cracked or damaged in any way, including hinges and hasps, make sure that all labels and markings are affixed and legible, and make sure the release mechanism on the gauge handle and the case is locked.

Step 4) Your Commitment

Before you leave with the gauge you must remember your role in protecting yourself and the general public from any unnecessary exposure to radiation.

ALARA Philosophy

The concepts of ALARA; protecting yourself from radiation exposure through time, distance and shielding, are of upmost importance during the transport of the gauge. All employees should be thoroughly trained in HAZMAT safety regulations. A copy of the company Radiation Safety Program should be enclosed with every gauge and in the driver’s area that includes a list of emergency contact telephone numbers (RSO work, cell & home, National and/or State Emergency numbers, and Law Enforcement and Medical numbers). The RSO should perform training drills with all gauge users to ensure that they are familiar with emergency actions.

Constant Surveillance

You are primarily in charge of keeping the gauge out of harm’s way and for keeping unauthorized individuals away from the gauge. The gauge is most vulnerable when it is away from the storage area.

Step 5) Preparing the vehicle

Before you secure the gauge in a vehicle you should have all necessary restraints in place. The gauge must be secured inside the vehicle with two independent controls. A gauge must be secured, blocked and braced in a storage area of a vehicle. The gauge cannot be transported in an area of the vehicle that has passengers. A cable tie or other form of tamper evident seal can be used to confirm that no one has tampered with the gauge during transport. Examples of proper storage for different types of vehicles include:

  • Typical passenger automobile – The gauge must be secured in the trunk. The first independent control would be the trunk lock. The second independent control would be a locked chain or cable securing the gauge case to the body of the vehicle inside the trunk. You cannot transport a gauge in the seat beside or behind you.
  • Van, SUV or station wagon – The gauge must be secured in the rear most part of the vehicle, behind the rear most passenger seating. The vehicle’s door locks would act as the first level of control. An additional locked chain or cable attached to the gauge and inside body of the vehicle would act as the second. Make sure to block and brace the gauge to ensure no movement inside the vehicle. Conceal the case with a blanket or cover.
  • Pick-up truck – The gauge can be secured inside a large tool chest with two locks on the exterior of the chest.  The chest itself must be double-secured (locked) to the body of the vehicle.  If you do not use a tool chest (or similar) you must use two locked deterrents to attach the gauge case to the body of the vehicle as well as two locked deterrents that prevent anyone from opening the gauge case, such as two locked latches on the outside of the case or one locked latch along with one locked cable wrapped around and overtop the case that likewise prevents opening the case.  The gauge should be blocked and braced to prevent shifting or bouncing and be concealed with a blanket or tarp.

Step 6) Be Nice to the Gauge

Gauges are heavy and seem very solid. Gauge cases also seem to be solidly constructed. But both will break and both are expensive.

Gauges can cost as much as a small car. There is a lot of precision and balance built into a gauge. Banging a gauge around, be it inside or outside the case, will destroy that precision and balance, resulting in repair costs that can run into the thousands of dollars. All gauges come with a drill rod that is used to create a hole for the source rod. The source rod is not a substitute for a drill rod. Hitting it with a hammer will bend or break it, which not only leads to a costly repair bill but also results in an incident that must be reported to the regulatory agency.

A gauge inside a case makes for a very heavy and awkward package. Grabbing the handle on the side of the case and dragging the package it to its destination is an easy way to save your back but also an easy way to wear a hole into the base of the case. A hole or crack in a case violates the Type “A” Package designation and cannot be used to transport a gauge. New cases can cost $400.00+. Use a cart to move the gauge to and from the vehicle.

Gauges are not waterproof. Do not leave them out in the rain or set them in puddles of water. Likewise, internal condensation can have the same effects as rain. The electronics in the gauge will fry if exposed to moisture. The temperature changes a gauge is exposed to can cause condensation. Take steps to “air out” the inside of the gauge. Many gauges have vent ports that can help reduce condensation. You can also unscrew the keyboard and leave it ajar while the gauge is in storage. This will help to air out the gauge.

Make sure storage areas are not subject to flooding. Place gauges on pallets or shelves.

Do not let gauges “cook” on a hot asphalt mat. When testing on asphalt never allow the gauge to sit on the mat beyond the test period. The hot temperature can overheat the electronics in the gauge and distort the readings. Some users have resorted to using ice to cool down the gauge but this can also subject the gauge to condensation.

Step 7) Security while in Transport, at the Jobsite, Temporary Storage and the Vehicle

Security concerns regarding gauges are at an all time high and therefore awareness of security risks are a training priority. Because gauges are portable they are more vulnerable to theft and damage. RSO’s must teach their employees to recognize and respond to security threats.

It is very rare that a thief is targeting the gauge itself. More often than not the vehicle is the target. That is why regulatory agencies frown on the idea of using the vehicle as a temporary storage area. However, if you must leave the gauge in the vehicle you need to take extra measures in securing your vehicle. Use vehicle alarm systems, steering wheel locks, GPS tracking (Lo-Jack), and other anti-theft methods.

Always park the vehicle in well lit areas and, if possible, behind gated access.  If you stop at rest areas and have other workers with you, take turns using the facility. If you stop at a restaurant always keep the vehicle in sight (sit at a window).

Thieves target anything they believe has value. To a thief a gauge case looks like any other tool chest or power-tool box. They’re usually in a hurry and they don’t stop to read the labels and stickers on the case. It is only later that the thief discovers he has a device with radioactive materials. At that point they are only interested in getting rid of the gauge as fast as they can. That’s why they’re often found in ditches, fields and rivers.

But that still leaves an unsecured radioactive device. APNGA recommends leaving information on and in the case that can be viewed by the thief asking them to leave the gauge in the vehicle or anonymously notify the gauge owner or authorities as to its location. It may not work but it gives them an out. Some companies have offered a reward for the return of the gauge.

Step 8) Gauges at the Worksite/Constant Surveillance

Always keep constant surveillance on the gauge while taking tests. Only remove the gauge from the vehicle when you are in the act of taking a test. When the test is finished immediately return it to and secure the gauge in the vehicle. Do not chain it to a telephone pole or some other location that can be accessed by unauthorized individuals.

While a test is in progress many gauge users mark the location of the gauge with a flag attached at the end of a flexible whip pole. These flags are easily viewable by operators of heavy construction equipment. Poles and flags can be purchased at most bicycle shops.

Step 9) Temporary Storage and the Vehicle

Once the day is done and you’re on your way back make sure to keep all transport security and control requirements in place. If you are staying in the area and putting the gauge in an authorized temporary storage area make sure that area meets the same requirements of the permanent storage area.

Where permitted, and absolutely necessary, you can use the vehicle as a temporary storage area. The gauge cannot be brought into a hotel or motel, nor can it be stored in a home, garage or local shed or storage area that is not pre-authorized. Take every means reasonably available to provide the ultimate security for a vehicle that is storing a gauge.

Step 10) Returning the Gauge to the Company Storage Area

Upon return to the office storage area make sure to sign the gauge back in. Check to make sure the gauge and case are not damaged and that the sliding block is fully closed. If you suspect that the gauge needs service notify the individual authorized to perform gauge maintenance. Remember to charge the gauge batteries while the gauge is in storage.