H&S Employer Responsibilities
WHAT IS RADON?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas, its a colourless, odourless radioactive gas present in the outside air. However, Radon gas can build up inside properties and this is when it becomes a problem.
WHY IS RADON CONSIDERED DANGEROUS?
Radon decays to form radioactive particles which we breathe in and long term exposure can cause damage to our lungs. Under Health & Safety at work Act employers have a duty of care to provide a safe working environment to all employees, which includes radon gas exposure.
WHERE DOES RADON COME FROM?
Radon gas is a breakdown of uranium in the ground. It can seep into enclosed spaces such as workplaces and homes. and buld up to record high indoor levels. The amount of uranium in the ground varies across the UK, the only way to enusre your premises is radon free is to undetake a radon test.
WHAT AREAS ARE AFFECTED?
The UK HSA has published an Indicative Radon Atlas, this was created to show where high radon areas are more likely to be. The chances of higher radon levels depend on the type of ground. a premises is built on.
WHAT WORKPLACES ARE AFFECTED?
Any workplace can be affected from radon gas, the only way to be sure of the radon levels is to undertake a test.
WHO SHOULD ACT?
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 the employer bears the principal duty to ensure the health and safety of employees and others who have access to that work environment. Furthermore, specific regulations made under that Act (Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017) require employers to take action where radon is present above a defined level.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
It is good practice for an employer to have their premises tested to establish the radon levels.
WHAT WILL THE TEST RESULTS MEAN?
Radon concentration levels recorded above the 300 Bq/m³ will require futher action to mitigate the issue.
WHAT ACTION IS NEEDED?
Radon mitigation techniques are designed to reduce radon concentrations in the workplace to below the Government threshold of 300 Bq/m3.