Many employers required to order radon measurements this winter.

24.01.2023 | 12:59

Employers whose workrooms are in areas with increased radon risk are required to have the concentration of radon measured.
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The measurement must be carried out within five years of the date the area was added to the list of areas with increased radon risk, for example in Tallinn by 6 August 2023. The list is available here.

Radon is a highly radioactive colourless and odourless gas that is heavier than air. Long-term exposure to high concentrations of radon may cause lung cancer. Radon concentration in buildings increases when doors and windows are closed and there is no airflow.

Employers are responsible for organising the measurement of indoor radon concentration in workrooms that are in a high-risk radon area and located:

  • underground;
  • on the underground floor of a building;
  • on the floor of a building, the exterior wall of which is in contact with the ground; or
  • on the ground floor if there is no underground floor.

Therefore, radon concentration must be measured in all locations in direct contact with the ground. Areas with increased radon risk are, for example, in Tallinn, Tartu, Võru, Türi, Jõhvi and Jõgeva. The full list is available HERE.

Radon concentration measurement results must be traceable in accordance with the procedure provided in the Metrology Act. This means that measurements must be carried out by a competent measurer who has been accredited or recognised as a professionally competent measurer and the relevant measurement methods must be followed.

If the measurement results reveal that the level of radon in workrooms is higher than the reference value, it is necessary to update the working environment risk assessment and introduce it to employees. In addition, it is necessary to take measures to reduce health risks to employees. For example, employers could implement structural measures (additional ventilation, additional insulation of workrooms where possible and practical) or limit working time in workrooms with a higher radon concentration.

We recommend companies operating in rental premises to negotiate radon measurement with the owner of the building. Although measurement is the employer’s responsibility, the owner of the building organising the measurement would fulfil the employer’s obligation. The employer must receive the measurement results and, if necessary, implement measures to reduce the health risk.

More information on radon and the obligations of employers are available in the Working Life Portal.

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