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Praxis42 commence a Radon risk assessment programme in retail properties

Posted by Tracy Seward

Breathing in radon gas is recognised as the second-largest cause of lung cancer in the UK, resulting in up to 2000 fatal cancers per year.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep out of the ground and then collect at high levels within indoor workplaces. The highest levels of Radon are usually found in underground spaces such as basements, cellars, caves and mines, but high concentrations can also be found in rooms at ground floor level. Because of in-building air flows and ventilation, it is unlikely that radon will collect at high levels within accommodation above ground floor level.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) have developed maps of areas likely to be affected by radon and guidance to help employers undertake risk assessments of their workplaces.

Praxis42 has customers with hundreds of properties around the UK, many of which are within areas affected by Radon. We guide our customers on their responsibilities in undertaking workplace risk assessments, and when these must consider radon alongside the more usual premises and activity health and safety risks. We can then organise and manage a radon measurement programme that will reliably inform these risk assessments.

We have recently commenced a Radon measurement programme for a UK retail chain in excess of 350 stores. The programme will:

  • Identify those stores which are located within areas affected by radon and then decide whether these have accommodation that needs to be tested
  • Through measurement, clearly identify those stores with higher levels of radon and those where there is no concern
  • Where testing identifies levels in excess of the recommended concentration, make recommendations on remedial actions that will help reduce the level of radon. This will usually see the introduction of measures to increase ventilation, or the sealing of floor slabs to prevent the ingress of radon
  • Make recommendations on re-testing intervals

Eric Randall a Director at Praxis42 said “We are very pleased to be able to help this customer achieve compliance in managing this often-forgotten risk throughout their UK property portfolio. Deployment of our directly employed health and safety practitioners (who are located across the UK) to complete the measurement part of this programme has helped keep the overall cost to a minimum”. Eric went on to comment “When talking to potential customers with large property portfolios about their risk profile, the responsibility to include radon measurement as part of premises and activity risk assessments is often not appreciated”

Contact Help@Praxis42.com or call 0870 446 4201 for more information on Praxis42’s Radon Assessment and Measurement Programmes. HSE guidance on the subject can be seen here: Radon in the workplace

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