How to Wear a Dosimeter Badge & Ring

Knowing how to wear a dosimeter badge & ring could make the difference in your safety. Working with ionizing radiation can be hazardous without proper dose tracking and monitoring. Therefore, it is essential for medical device operators and individuals working in environments with radioactive materials or devices emitting ionizing radiation to be proactive and diligent about wearing their dosimeters correctly. We will discuss the importance of wearing a dosimeter badge, different types of dosimeters, how to wear them correctly, and best practices for ensuring safety while working with ionizing radiation. 

Importance of Wearing a Dosimeter Badge

Wearing a radiation dosimeter badge is crucial for anyone working with or near radioactive materials or devices that emit X-ray radiation. Regular exposure to ionizing radiation can harm one’s health if not appropriately monitored. Dosimeter badges help ensure that employees do not exceed the radiation limits set by federal guidelines and state regulations. In addition, by accurately recording exposure levels, dosimeters can provide valuable information to the Radiation Safety Officer, helping keep employees safe.

Types of Radiation Dosimeters

Various dosimeters are available for monitoring radiation exposure, including whole-body and ring dosimeters. However, we suggest 4-element OSL XBG badges for most uses. 
dosimeter badge OSL x-ray safety | Radiation Safety


Whole-Body Dosimeters


Whole-body dosimeters are issued to monitor radiation exposure to the head and torso. These dosimeters are sensitive to all types of ionizing radiation that can cause external exposure.

Ring Dosimeters

Ring dosimeters are issued to monitor radiation exposure to the hands. They are beneficial for employees working with X-ray radiation or low-energy isotopes, where specific extremities may receive elevated exposure.

Applying for Radiation Dosimetry 

An application for personal dosimetry must be submitted to the Radiation Safety Office before dosimetry will be issued. The application process ensures that individuals working in environments with radiation exposure are provided with the appropriate radiation dosimeters to monitor their dose levels accurately. If you don’t have an RSO assigned to your company, identify one person who will be trained and administrate the account. Check OSHA and state regulations on becoming an RSO.

Dosimeter Exchange Frequency and Process

Radiation Dosimeters are issued for either a one-month or three-month wear period. At the end of the wear period, replacement dosimeters will be distributed through the designated badge coordinator. Dosimeter holders are reused and should not be returned with the used dosimeter.

Radiation Exposure Reports

The dosimeter vendor issues Radiation exposure reports, listing each individual and the exposure recorded. The Radiation Safety Office keeps these reports for review and inspection by regulatory agencies. Employees have the right to know their measured radiation exposure at any time. Annual reports are issued to each individual for their records.

Lost or Damaged Dosimeters

If a dosimeter is lost or damaged, it is crucial to report this promptly to the badge coordinator or the Radiation Safety Office so that a replacement dosimeter can be issued. In addition, maintaining accurate records of radiation exposure is vital for ensuring safety and compliance with regulations.

Pregnancy and Fetal Dosimeters

Pregnant employees should wear both a chest dosimeter and a fetal dosimeter. Even if the chest dosimeter is exchanged quarterly, the fetal dosimeter must be exchanged monthly.

How to Wear a Dosimeter Badge 

Properly wearing a dosimeter badge is essential for accurate radiation dose monitoring. The following guidelines provide information on how to wear different types of dosimeters:


  • Without apron: midway on the torso between shoulders and waist on either side of the chest
  • With apron: outside the lead apron at shoulder level on either side of the chest


  • Without an apron: on either side of a collar facing the radiation source
  • With apron: outside the apron at collar level facing the radiation source

Collar & Waist

In some radiation environments, two dosimeters may be required. In such cases, one is worn at the collar and waist.

  • With apron:
    • Collar: outside the apron at collar level facing the radiation source
    • Waist: either side of the waist, under the apron

Fetal & Chest

For pregnant employees:

  • Without apron:
    • Chest: either side of the chest
    • Fetal: waist level on either side
  • With apron:
    • Chest: outside the apron on either side of the chest
    • Fetal: centered on the waist, under the apron


Ring dosimeters are suitable for dose monitoring when providing radiation services on extremities.

  • On one hand or both hands
  • Label facing the radiation source

It is important to note that ring dosimeters are labeled for either left or right-hand use, so be sure to check before wearing.

Tips for Wearing a Radiation Dosimeter Badge

Dosimeters Do Not Provide Protection

Dosimeters do not protect employees from radiation. Instead, their purpose is to document radiation exposure and ensure compliance with annual dose limits.

Dosimeters Help Create a Safe Work Environment

Dosimeter badges provide valuable insight into the safety of the work environment and the radiation levels in that area. Wear the badge daily and store it in a location free from radiation exposure while not removing it from the workplace.

 Best Badge Placement Location

The optimal place to wear the badge is on the neck or chest, facing the radiation source. If wearing a lead apron, the badge should be worn over it, not underneath it. For pregnant employees, the badge should be worn on the abdominal area and beneath the apron. Contact your RSO for more information. 

Avoid Borrowing Badges

Avoid borrowing or loaning dosimeter badges. Instead, employees should always wear the badge with their name on it.

Missing or Damaged Badges

Report missing or damaged badges immediately and obtain a replacement immediately.

Where to Get a Radiation Dosimeter Badge

High-quality, OSHA-compliant radiation badges can be obtained from reputable providers like Radiation Safety, LLC. Radiation Safety provides easy-to-use badges, the best pricing, outstanding customer service, and attention to detail. Customers can get four-element OSL radiation detection badges if expedited within as little as two business days.


Correctly wearing a dosimeter badge is crucial for accurately monitoring radiation exposure and ensuring the safety of employees working with ionizing radiation. By following the guidelines in this comprehensive guide, individuals can effectively mitigate the risks associated with radiation exposure and maintain a safe working environment. 

Consult your Radiation Safety Officer for further instructions and guidance on wearing dosimeter badges in your workplace.


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