Radon can affect workplaces and public buildings in the same way as domestic houses. However, in workplaces employers have a legal duty to protect their employees.
The 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'
As an employer there are basic steps that can be taken to address the problem. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 requires a risk assessment to be carried out to determine the likelihood of the workplace having an elevated level of radon. The most effective way of doing this is to carry out radon monitoring to determine the exact level of radon in the premises. If the results indicate an elevated level then remedial action will be needed and in most cases this will involve carrying out minor building works to reduce the radon to an acceptable level.
To assist employers, Building Research Establishment have prepared a guide entitled Radon in the workplace (BRE Trust Report FB41 Radon in the Workplace) which describes how to measure radon levels in workplaces and the practical cost effective methods that are available for reducing radon levels in workplace buildings.
For additional information on radon in the workplace please contact Environmental Health. Further information on radon in commercial premises is available from the Health and Safety Executive.