This week, employers in West Wales can expect a visit from an HSE Specialist Inspector, a team of who are visiting businesses and organisations in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion to raise awareness of radon gas and the need for workplaces to be tested.
Testing for radon gas is a simple, inexpensive process. A small, passive detector is placed in the property for a period of 12 weeks before being sent to a laboratory for analysis. The number of detectors required depends upon the size and layout of the building, however with each detector costing under £20 (including all laboratory work), the costs involved are not as great as some may fear.
In many instances, the test results will show that the level of radon inside the workplace is lower than the ‘action level’ of 400 Bq/m3 and no further action is necessary. If the readings do show that the concentration of the gas is above this action level, the employer must comply with the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99).
Depending on the levels detected, IRR99 may require an employer to restrict or even exclude access to parts of the building, monitor who is using the building and for how long and even put up warning signs. The simplest and usually most cost-effective alternative however is to carry out remedial works to lower the level of radon being drawn into and trapped inside the building.
Remediation can be carried out by installing special air management or positive pressure units internally or by creating a retrofit radon sump beneath the building, where the gas is collected and vented off through an exhaust pipe to a safe location away from the building.
National radon specialists ProTen Services (http://www.protenservices.co.uk) have been involved in the field of radon gas for over 20 years, and can supply radon detectors (analysed at a third party laboratory), design specifications for remedial work and undertake the necessary works. Our motto is “Proof It, and Prove It”, as we will always carry out repeat radon testing after any remedial works have been carried out to ensure they have had the desired effect.
ProTen have also produced a handy guide for employers, detailing the legal obligations for risk assessments, the health risk potentially posed to employees, when action is required and the best practice for remedial works. To be sent a copy of this guide please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01225 447960.
It is estimated that up to 370 lung cancer deaths in the UK each year are attributed to radon exposure received whilst at work: don’t ignore it, test your workplace for radon today.
# # #
Formerly known as Protim Services, ProTen Services Ltd offers a wide range of property preservation and environmental services including damp proofing, timber treatment, basement waterproofing, radon testing & remediation and structural wall stabilisation