UBC Vancouver: You might see radioactive signs on vehicles

You may see vehicles on the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus with “Radioactive Materials” signage – but that shouldn’t worry you.

A student on campus recently spotted a truck with brightly colored signage near a cordoned off area near the Fred Kaiser building on the main mall.

Although the signage may seem somewhat alarming, especially with the word “radioactive” underneath, the vehicle was likely used to transport equipment.

Matthew Ramsey, director of academic affairs at UBC, said Vancouver is great that there had been no radioactive incident on campus and that the students had no cause for concern.

“It poses no risk to the public,” he said.

The vehicle appears to be a delivery vehicle and it is common to see one on the UBC campus in Vancouver, as the university has several labs and research facilities.

Although Transport Canada could not say exactly what the vehicle was carrying, the department has an emergency response guide that includes signage posted on the back of the vehicle.

The guide was designed for use by emergency responders, such as police and firefighters, who may be the first to arrive at the scene of a transportation incident involving dangerous goods. This allows them to quickly assess the type of hazards involved in the incident.

The “Placards” tab in the left-hand menu of the online guide groups together all the hazardous material signs appearing on transport vehicles.

The panel on the rear of the vehicle falls under the “Class 7” category, and Transport Canada notes that “radiation poses minimal risk to transport workers, emergency response personnel and the public during accidents transport”.

Photo via Transport Canada

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