If you are not sure about how to complete the initial assessment to identify which premises need to be tested, please see the search services available to you and in particular the Postcode List Assessment - indicative search service.
For both workplaces and homes, arranging radon measurements in a large number of properties requires decisions to be taken about:
If planning and ordering is in-house, is there to be central organisation, regional responsibilities, or are the measurements to be arranged by the manager or tenant of each individual premise? Is the use of agents a cost effective option?
Can be run more efficiently with a single programme manager
Greater control regarding timescale and cost
Does not rely on varying commitment of local staff or tenants to arrange tests
Could be a significant amount of effort for one person
For workplaces, lack of local knowledge might impede choosing the right number of monitors and specific locations to test
Is arranging tests in all premises at the same time the best option or is it better to phase the programme over several months/years?
Spreads the workload - can be by administrative areas, prioritised by highest radon potential, or by sector.
Cost can be spread over more than one financial year
Administratively more complex
Undue delay in obtaining results may be challenged by the Regulatory authority
Could generate queries from staff/tenants awaiting tests and results
Are the measurement packs to be sent to a central or regional contact for them to take and place in the various premises (and retrieve after three months), or are the packs to be sent to a named person within individual premises?
|Placement and retrieval by central/regional teams|
Greater control over time scales for placing and removing
A few people can be given extra training in the choice of locations to place monitors.
Fewer losses caused by lack of cooperation by employees or tenants in the individual premises
Effort and distribution costs are higher
Most radon monitors have a limited shelf life once they leave the supplier and need to be placed promptly
If the nominated person misunderstands the placement guidelines, many premises may have invalidated readings
Who is to receive the results and who is responsible for ensuring any appropriate actions are taken? If results are being sent to regional contacts or individual premises, is there a nominated central person to coordinate?
|Results and responsibility for any action to a single nominated person|
Consistent protection policy and distribution of information
Central accountability and control of mitigation
Consistent single source of records
|Could be a significant amount of effort for one person|
Some of the decisions above will be dependent on finance, available effort in central/regional offices and the reliability of the occupiers of the premises being tested, whether they are employees in a workplace or tenants of domestic premises.
During the three month test period, you should assume that some monitors will be lost or invalidated in some way. If all the monitors in a premise are mislaid or misused, a replacement measurement pack will need to be arranged, adding to the cost. Using cable ties to secure the monitors and adding contact labels can help, particularly in workplaces. However, the best way to minimise the number of losses is to inform and enlist the cooperation of the people occupying the premises being tested.
Monitor placement instructions within measurement packs supplied by PHE are simple to follow. Therefore, even if the measurements are all arranged centrally, with good communication prior to sending out the measurement packs, it can still be cost effective to have the packs sent direct to the premises being tested. However, we do strongly advise that the packs are addressed to a named person, not just 'The Occupier' or 'Branch Manager' etc.
From a health protection standpoint, it is our preference for a single person with a named deputy and possibly a small support team to receive all the results and for them to liaise with other health & safety and facilities colleagues as needed. Ideally, they would also be responsible for liaison with the appropriate regulatory authority for any premises with high radon levels. For homes this will be the Local Authority and for workplaces, the Health & Safety Executive and the local Health & Safety Inspector.
The results should be added to any existing risk management system and the records accessible to future risk managers. Proper record keeping is important, not just for the original results, but also for noting the installation of any radon reduction systems together with maintenance dates and re-monitoring schedules. In workplaces, if exposure to high radon levels is managed by limiting occupancy within individual locations, a responsible person on site will need to be nominated to keep reliable records.
The Radon Group within PHE has many years of experience in delivering large radon measurement programmes for both domestic and workplace premises. To find out more about how we can support your programme, contact us.