What is radon?

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Radon is an invisible, odourless, tasteless gas. When radium disintegrates, radon forms. Radon gets into buildings from building materials, groundwater and the ground. Without proper treatment, harmful levels can accumulate in confined spaces such as basements or crawl spaces without the building occupants being aware of any danger.  Because radon cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste, buildings must be tested to determine if radon mitigation is required.

According to Health Canada, exposure to radon increases your risk of lung cancer. While there is no legal requirement in Canada to test for radon, more and more employers are testing their workspaces nonetheless. It is an employer’s duty under the Occupational Health and Safety act to protect workers from harmful exposure at work.

While there are commercially available test kits, having a building tested for radon by a professional is always the better option. Radon testing is complicated and a professional can ensure that the testing is accurate and provide suitable recommendations.

At ECOH, our team of consultants are well-versed in assessing commercial buildings for indoor air quality (IAQ), including determining levels of radon, how to improve air quality and preventing future radon problems from occurring.

 Craig Maunder, M.Sc., CIH

Craig Maunder, M.Sc., CIH

This year, ECOH’s Craig Maunder will be at the 2018 American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference and Expo (www.AIHce2018.org) on May 21 presenting two case studies on IAQ and radon mitigation. Craig is both a Certified Industrial Hygienist and a Radon Measurement and Mitigation Professional, with many years of experience. Craig knows what he’s talking about when it comes to radon and IAQ.

Everyone on ECOH’s team of expert consultants can provide customized solutions to your health, safety and environmental challenges. The “ECOH Way” emphasizes pragmatic solutions to each situation. You can learn more about the services ECOH offers at www.ecoh.ca.

More information about radon is available online at the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety website: https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/phys_agents/radon.html.

Ten Moments in the History of Industrial Hygiene

 10 Moments in Industrial Hygiene History

10 Moments in Industrial Hygiene History

Did you know that industrial hygiene and occupational health have been a concern in the workplace since ancient times?

Yes, even the ancient Greeks were worried about conditions at work.

You can learn about the history of industrial hygiene with this handy infographic: 10 Moments in Industrial Hygiene History.

Did you know that one of our industrial hygienists will be speaking at the 2018 American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference and Expo (www.AIHce2018.org)?

Craig Maunder will present two case studies on IAQ and radon mitigation on May 21. Craig is a Certified Industrial Hygienest and a Radon Measurement and Mitigation Professional, with years of experience providing him the expertise to know what he’s talking about when it comes to radon and IAQ.

At ECOH, our team of consultants are well-versed in determining your environmental consulting and occupational health requirements. Our team's combined expertise in occupational health and industrial hygiene is unsurpassed.

Contact ECOH today to learn more about our services at www.ecoh.ca.

ECOH at AIHce 2018 in Philadelphia

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At ECOH, our team of scientists and engineers are standing members of several professional associations. The American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) serves occupational and environmental health and safety professionals in one of the largest nonprofit organizations dedicated to protecting worker health.

The annual American Industrial Hygiene Association Conference and Expo (AIHce) is taking place May 21-23, 2018 in Philidelphia, PA. This year’s theme is “Health, Safety and the Pursuit of the Next Generation.”

Now in it's 78th year, the annual expo is one of the top conferences in North America for industrial and occupational hygienists, as well as many other health and safety professionals.

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Craig Maunder, a Senior Project Manager at ECOH Management, is attending AIHce this year to present two case studies in his fields of expertise: radon mitigation and indoor air quality. A dynamic public speaker, Craig can distill complex scientific and technical concepts into clear, actionable information.

Craig is a Certified Industrial Hygienist, C-NRPP-certified Radon Measurement and Mitigation Professional, and a certified Toxic Substance Substance Reduction Planner with extensive experience in occupational hygiene, indoor air quality, radon mitigation, mould, and hazardous material assessment and abatement.

At ECOH Management, we provide customized solutions to your health, safety and environmental challenges. The “ECOH Way” emphasiszes expertise, quality and value. That’s why we are proud to have Craig represent ECOH at this year’s AIHce.

Learn more about ECOH’s services at www.ecoh.ca

Learn more about AIHA at www.aiha.org and AIHce 2018 at www.AIHce2018.org

Indexing Ontario’s Workplaces – Are they safe and healthy?

Written by: Sam Hancock

Until recently, there hasn’t been a single measure to determine the health and safety of Ontario’s workplaces, and if they are getting any safer year-to-year.

With the new Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) Health and Safety Index (HSI) – a first in North America – this information will be readily available each year starting in 2018. The HSI will reflect Ontario’s health and safety performance in one integrated, evidence-based, composite measure.

Based on a set of five components, the Health and Safety Index measures how safe Ontario’s workplaces are, if their safety record is improving and where efforts need to be focused to increase worker safety across the province.

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The index looks at Ontario’s workplaces overall versus individual locations. The five evidence-based components are:

  1. Prevention – what is being done to avoid risks?
  2. Worker Empowerment – how involved are employees in health and safety at work?
  3. Workplace Culture – what do employees think of health and safety priorities at work?
  4. Enforcement – fines or convictions for poor health and safety practices?
  5. Injuries – the frequency and severity of workplace injuries, and how long it takes people to return to work.

These components are weighted in relation to the other components, then totaled to reach the single index measure that has been designed to offer a more complete and sophisticated picture of progress on occupational health and safety. Data gathered from April 2017 will set the baseline, with the overall measure report being published annually starting in summer 2018.
The objectives of the HSI, aside from measuring the safety of Ontario’s workplaces, include:

  • promoting awareness of workplace health and safety in Ontario,
  • calling on stakeholders to help improve the system’s performance, and
  • starting a productive dialogue about health and safety among stakeholders.

Here’s a handy video from the WSIB explaining how the new index will work:


“Everyone in Ontario has an interest in making workplaces as healthy and safe as possible,” said Tom Teahen, WSIB President and CEO, in a June 2017 news release. “The Health and Safety Index will give an overall view of Ontario’s workplaces so that we know what’s working well, and what needs to work better.”

As the first of its kind, the Index was created so that it can be easily adapted by other workers’ compensation boards across Canada, making it a pan-Canadian effort.

Learn more about how the index works here: WSIB news release