In order to comply with the EU’s new Radiation Protection Directive, a new Radiation Protection Act came into force in 2018. This means that for the first time, the issue of exposure and measurement of radon in both workplaces and homes is included in different European countries Radiation Protection Acts.
We met Canon’s sales manager Mats Sonesson at their Uppsala office in Sweden. Here, Mats tells us what they did to comply with the new law to ensure employees were working in a radon-safe environment.
How did you approach the issue of carrying out radon measurement in your office?
We wanted to know that the office we rent is okay and that our employees are not exposed to radon levels which are above national guidelines. As an employer, we are legally responsible to ensure our employees are not exposed to any health risks in the workplace. Understanding and controlling radon levels is a key element of that.
What was your experience of conducting an accredited radon measurement?
It was surprisingly easy. The first few days our employees wondered what the radon detectors were for, but after that they just blended into the office to the extent that we almost forgot to send them back for analysis! Registering information on Radonova’s website was straightforward and we received clear instructions on where the detectors should be placed. We fixed the detectors with zip-ties to make sure they weren’t damaged when our office was cleaned.
Have you been able to use the radon measurement you conducted in terms of your wider environmental responsibilities?
Yes, we are sending the report from the radon survey to our central office as it is something that illustrates how we are reducing our environmental impact and meeting environmental legal requirements in line with ISO 14001.
Why did you choose Radonova as your supplier?
As we are accredited according to ISO 14001, it was sensible to order the radon measurement from Radonova as the company is accredited according to ISO 17025, 14001 and 9001. Radonova’s website assures quality at a cost-effective price and in general the site is easy to navigate and order from.
Finally, do you have any advice to employers who have not yet measured radon in their workplace?
Considering how easy it is, and the fact that the law now requires measurement, the question is really why shouldn’t you do it? The measurement process is so straightforward. If the measurement would have indicated that a workplace has radon levels which are above legal levels, a significant health risk would have been identified. In that respect, it is comforting to be aware that any radon issue is being addressed and managed. In our case, the measured radon content was below the reference level.