The study has been carried out in cooperation between BMK and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) from June 2021 to around March 2022. Around 150 companies were sought who would provide the data and information collected from them in return for free measurements. These will be incorporated into Austria-wide recommendations for the survey of radon concentrations at workplaces.
The new Radiation Protection Act 2020 came into force in 2020 and for the first time regulates the protection of workers at workplaces in radon protection areas. Radon protection areas are designated in the Radon Protection Ordinance. Detailed information on the radon situation in Austria and the background to the designation of radon protection areas can be found in the article Radon Map.
Radon protection areas are areas in which high indoor radon concentrations are to be expected with increased probability due to the properties of the soil. In these areas, the Radiation Protection Act 2020 stipulates that radon concentrations be measured at all workplaces on the ground floor and in basements. The aim is to protect the health of the workforce.
In order to comply with the measurement obligation, the person responsible for the professional activities carried out at these workplaces must arrange for the radon concentration to be determined at each of these workplaces. The measurement must be carried out by an authorized monitoring body. A list of authorized monitoring bodies can be found in the article on authorized bodies in Austria.
Note: Further information on radon protection at the workplace
A contingent of radon measuring devices was available for the study. Between June 14 and July 30, 2021, companies could apply to participate in the study. Requirements for participation were:
- At least one company location is in a radon protected area and has workplaces on the ground floor or in basements.
- For the first time, the company is required by the new legal regulations to survey the radon concentration at workplaces. This is fulfilled if the company was not covered by the scope of the Natural Radiation Sources Ordinance. These are, for example, water supply plants, companies with underground work areas and radon spas.
- The company is ready to fulfill its legal measurement obligation in the second half of 2021.
The participating companies were selected from the applications received on the basis of their suitability for the study (criteria below) and immediately notified by the BMK. There was no legal entitlement. In order to obtain as representative a cross-section as possible of companies in radon protection areas, company size, company sector, location and time of application were taken into account in the selection process.
The results of the study are incorporated into Austria-wide recommendations for the survey of radon concentrations at workplaces in radon protection areas.