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Radon in the workplace

Radon can affect workplaces and public buildings in the same way as houses.  For work situations however, legislation controls any exposure of the workers.

An action level for radon in workplaces has been set at 400 becquerels per cubic metre, but exposure should be reduced to a level which is ‘as low as reasonably practicable’.

The management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999 requires a suitable risk assessment of any risks whilst at work. In terms of radon, this effectively means measurements should be carried out.

If engineering controls cannot reduce radon levels to below 400 becquerels per cubic metre, the requirements of the Ionising Radiation Regulations of 1999 will come into effect. These are fairly complex regulations and can require reduction of radon levels, restriction of time spent in certain areas (reduced exposure) and the appointment of a radiation protection advisor.

For further information on radon in workplaces contact your enforcing authority. For most offices and shops this will be the local council’s environmental health department. For most factories, schools and hospitals, this will be the health and safety executive.

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