Excerpt from the OH&S Canada magazine
An emerging health risk could impact the manufacturing industry as the growth of x-ray technologies continue without effective programs to control radiation risk.
This is a warning that the Manufacturing Safety Alliance of BC and Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (RSIC) jointly issued on July 9, 2019 following an exploratory review to understand the prevalence of x-ray radiation risk and control within the manufacturing sector.
“Education, proper risk-assessment tools and effective controls are necessary to mitigate these risks,” says Steve Horvath, RSIC’s chief executive officer.
An online radiation awareness course and interactive survey were conducted to determine the level of understanding about risks associated with radiation. Completed surveys indicate that there are few well-developed radiation-safety programs in place.
Larry White, training and resource development specialist who has been working on the project for the Alliance, says what surprised him most in the survey results was how few people know about the risks of radiation even when they are working with it almost every day, and that there is an overall lack of awareness around proper safety protocols. Radiation is often a part of Weld inspection, internal inspections, fill inspections and non-destructive testing. “Exposure over time can really harm people,” White cautions.
The RSIC and the Alliance signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to provide radiation education and support to organizations with radiation risks.
X-ray and radiation sources are prevalent in manufacturing and other sectors such as farming, forestry, sawmills, pulp and paper, instruction, pharmaceuticals and chemical processing.
Horvath says the collaboration between the two agencies has resulted in practical solutions for employers in the province to avoid potential health risks associated with new and developing x-ray source technologies.
“The hope is that it will help fill a void, help to improve radiation safety in the workplace and reduce radiation-related injuries,” White adds.
The Ontario government has been cooperating with the Canadian Department of Health on radiation for a while now. I have listed relevant history data dealing with this issue.
Radiation Protection Service
- Issued: September 28, 2012
- Content last reviewed: September 2012
The Radiation Protection Service consists of a Radiation Protection Field Service and the Radiation Protection Monitoring Service. This is Ontario’s primary source of expertise on all matters concerning exposure to radiation.
The Radiation Protection Field Service
- Inspects, evaluates and enforces radiation control measures and safe practices in Ontario workplaces
- Reviews and approves the registration of employers in possession of – and the installation of – x-ray sources (other than those used for human diagnosis or therapy, which are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care)
- Provides radiation safety services and advice to workplace parties, agencies and the public
- Provides assistance and advice to other ministries and agencies on exposure of the public to radiation in the environment
- Co-operates with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission(CNSC), Labour Canada and Health Canada on investigations of radiation exposure in Ontario workplaces under federal jurisdiction
- Is responsible for the interpretation of – and the application of – the Regulation Respecting X-ray Safety.
The Radiation Protection Monitoring Service
- Establishes, maintains and operates an environmental radiological monitoring network to assess radiation exposure around designated nuclear installations, to provide measurement data, expertise and services to Emergency Management Ontario, the Ministry of the Environment, and other agencies to provide early warning of any potential radiation hazards that may affect workers and the public
- Provides radio analytical and technical support to other provincial agencies involved in radiation surveillance programs and health studies related to the exposure of workers or the public to radiation.
As the reader can see, it seems that Ontario saw the need many years ago and have already delved into the problem for at least the past 7 years.
If your company deals with any type of radiation, please contact your government regulatory body, be it provincial or Federal, and ask for all the necessary information. It just may save a life.
Remember, section 25, subsection 2(a) of the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) states,
“An employer shall,
- provide information, instruction and supervision to a worker to protect the health or safety of the worker.”
HRS Group Inc. has a great team that can help you with all your health and safety needs. Contact Deborah toll free at 1-877-907-7744 or locally at 705-749-1259.
We can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ensure your workplace is a safe place.
Remember – In Ontario, “ALL Accidents are Preventable”
‘Work’ and ‘Play’ safe.
Daniel L. Beal
CHSEP – Advanced Level
VP & Senior Trainer
HRS Group Inc.