Good Science in Plain Language

Radiation Safety Partnerships in Action

2nd Annual Health & Safety Breakfast, April 8,2015

With much appreciation to all our partners for their ongoing support and for joining us on April 8, we are sharing this Image and Resource Page.  It contains all the materials we have referenced during the breakfast session.  Find yourself in the photo gallery below,  try out our Regulatory Search Tool, watch the video, follow radon links for educational editorials on radon exposure, listen to webinars or pick up data points from our E-learning product presentation.  Whatever you do, we hope you will find this useful.

Your warm welcome, positive energy and terrific feedback this morning made our team feel right at home and forget all about the afternoon freezing rain forecast. Thank you for your support. We are looking forward to another exciting year of partnerships and collaborations.


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 I.  Radiation Safety Regulatory Search Tool

Click on the image to go to the Tool page

Have you ever wondered who is charge of your safety when it comes to the use of radiation? Canada has a stringent and complex radiation safety regulatory framework. One and the same workplace may fall under the jurisdiction of several regulatory bodies. For example, a large hospital in Ontario, one that runs imaging and nuclear medicine programs, needs to comply with:  X-Ray Safety Regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act enforced by the Ontario Ministry of Labour; with the Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act under the Ontario Ministry of  Health and Long-Term Care and Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations enforced by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Proper understanding and implementation of regulatory standards is paramount to workplace safety and prevention of radiation induced occupational disease. Our Radiation Safety Information Service @1-800-263-5803 receives many questions related to the Canadian Federal and Provincial regulations.  And we are happy to answer all of them, but thinking of how we can be more helpful to you, we came up with the Interactive Regulatory Search Tool idea. We wanted to give you an application that would allow to navigate the radiation regulatory terrain easier.

The Tool is now finished.  It  is built to provide answers to both, workplaces and the general public.  For example, the Tool can help navigate the requirements that pertain to the registration of an x-ray machine in Ontario; assist in finding regulations that apply, across Canada, to the transportation and disposal of radioactive sources; or provide regulatory guidance for specific user-functions related to the particular application of radiation (e.g. medical, industrial, dental, veterinary).

Partnerships in Action:  

The Tool was developed with the financial support of the Prevention Office of the Ontario Ministry of Labour. Feedback and advice of the Radiation Protection Service of the Ministry of Labour was invaluable in the development and design phases, as was  the communications’ support of our partners. It is with much appreciated help of  Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA), Workplace Safety North (WSN), Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA), Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS)  that over 2000 users have benefited from this application since its 2014.


II.  Radon Awareness Building


Click on the image to go to the Symposium page

1. Radon Symposium: Building a Comprehensive Provincial Policy on Radon

Toronto, May 1, 2014

The  Symposium was a day of education and open dialog on occupational and public health implications of exposure to radioactivity from radon gas. It offered  “good science in plain language” information about the potential radon hazard and allowed the event participants to form their own opinions and contribute to building a comprehensive provincial radon policy. Its unique Program featured experts in the field of health and safety, medical doctors, federal and provincial government representatives as well as presentations from front line workers.

It was the first joint initiative of the Institute and Ryerson University and it was a success.   The Radon Symposium was the fist event of its kind in the Province. It brought together a diverse group of stakeholders and presenters, and positioned the Institute as the clear champion in radon awareness building.

Partnerships in Action:

We are grateful to our partners Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA), Workplace Safety North (WSN), Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA), Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS); Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologies(CARST) Ontario Lung Association (OLA) for social media support and event promotion.  In two short months we built an audience of 120 attendees.   Your support brought  together  members of public, government agencies, unions, professional associations, health and safety associations, members of the provincial and municipal government, legislators, as well as radon professionals. Main stakeholder groups were:

  • School Boards (Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Rainbow District School Board, Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board etc. )
  • Ministries (Health, Labour)
  • Atomic/Nuclear Energy Organizations (AECL, Canadian Nuclear Workers Council)
  • Health Organizations (Windsor health unit, Toronto Public Health, Timiskaming Health Unit, Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, City of Hamilton Public Health Services, Occupational Cancer Research Centre, etc. )
  • Environmental Organizations (Pinchin Environmental Ltd)
  • Educational Units (Ryerson University, McMaster University, etc)
  • Radon testing and mitigation professionals

Please click here to see the Speakers’ Presentations

2.  Radon “Call to Action” Campaigns

In 2014 the Institute had supported its awareness message with a focused “call for action” campaign encouraging Canadians to take the simple steps and test their homes for radon.  As part of that advocacy effort, the Institute had issued press-releases,  gave interviews, sponsored topical editorials and invested in home radon testing adds. Some examples of our 2014  engagements are below:


Click on the Image to go to the Radio Show


Series of interviews on CBC Radio, June 3d, 2014,(potential reach approx. 4.3 million listeners). To hear the interview of our President and CEO, Steve Mahoney,  with the host of SUDBURY – Points North, Jason Turnbull, click on the Radio One image.




Click on the image for the Radon in Home editorial



Toronto Star Insert, November 14,2014.  Editorials “Lung Cancer is a threat due to high radon levels in homes” and “Learning from the Past: Reflecting on the Radon Tragedy in Elliot Lake” (readership 662,000 + Online presence through Media Planet dedicated Platform with potential reach of up to 1,5 million)




Click on the image to go to the Elliot Lake editorial



National Post Insert , December 12, 2014.  Same as above editorials  (readership 383,000 + Online presence through Media Planet dedicated Platform with potential reach of up to 1,5 million)



Partnerships in Action:  This is not the first year of our radon awareness campaigns. We have been active in this field since the 1990s. But this is the year in which we experienced a dramatic increase in radon orders and in the visits to our radon information pages.  Our partnerships with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA), Workplace Safety North (WSN), Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA), Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS); Canadian Association of Radon Scientists and Technologies(CARST) Ontario Lung Association (OLA), United SteelWorkers  have made a difference. The result?  A 50% increase in radon orders and a 58% increase in visits to our radon information pages, compared to 2013.  With your help we were able to reach twice as many Canadians and convince them to test their homes. Thank you! 


3.  Targeted Radon Awareness Initiatives



Click on the Image to go the Webinar

  Radon Awareness Webinar (RSIC – PSHSA)

On November 17, 2014 the RSIC and PSHSA joined forces on a topical radon webinar specifically designed to bring to the PSHSA stakeholder audience and staff a high-level overview of the proposed Radon Awareness and Prevention Act, 2014, its intent and the current status.  It also provided insight into actions employers should take to be aware of and prepare for this possible legislation.

This webinar was presented by the PSHSA with guest speakers from the Radiation Safety Institute, Steve Mahoney, RSIC President and CEO and Laura Boksman, RSIC Chief Scientist.

Partnerships in Action:  On the day of the launch the webinar was attended by 33 individuals.  It continues to be accessible on-line and we shall monitor hits and page views going forward.


III.  Focused Joint Prevention Initiatives


Click on the image to go to the Webinar


 1. Radiation Safety in the Workplace Webinar (RSIC – CCOHS)

This webinar, recorded in 2011, gives participants a better understanding of what radiation is, the health effects of exposure, and some of the principles and practical methods of radiation protection. The hour-long presentation plus the accompanying question period will provide attendees with the knowledge required to make informed decisions and opinions about radiation safety related issues in any industry.

The webinar was presented by CCOHS with guest speaker, Claire Cohalan, RSIC Staff Scientist.

Partnerships in Action: By December 2013, the English podcasts had been accessed over 2,000 times and the French podcasts had been accessed by 1,186 individuals.


2. Introduction to the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (RSIC-WSPS)

The webinar was recorded on October 3, 2014. The purpose of the initiative was to put the existing MoU in action and educate the WSPS Account and Key Account Managers on the mandate of the Institute, the use of radiation in the Ontario workplace, the existing regulatory standards and the potential health risks associated with overexposure to radiation. The webinar was designed to help the WSPS account management professionals support those clients that have radiation sources on site.


Download (PDF, 2.32MB)

Partnerships in Action: The webinar is being rolled out to the appropriate WSPS account managers and consultants.


3.  Education and E-Learning


3.1.  Workplace Radiation Safety Educational Series (2014-2015 RSIC- PSHSA joint project)

This web-based series is intended for workers who come in contact with radiation or may be exposed to radiation, but do not have the background knowledge (e.g. emergency responders, long-term care facilities’ workers, supporting hospital staff). The series contains several educational products that combine video and interactive e-learning components.  The target audiences are:

  • Emergency responders (fire, police, ambulance) who go to workplaces where they may encounter radiation hazards
  • Staff at Long-Term care facilities caring for patients who have gone through nuclear medicine procedures in which they have been injected with radioactive sources that remain active upon the patients’ return to the facility
  • Supporting hospital staff (x-ray techs, ultrasound techs, etc) who examine nuclear medicine patients and may have concerns about their own radiation exposures

Partnerships in Action: The E-learning Series is now finalised. It is scheduled for launch on April 28, 2015 on the first day of Partners in Prevention 2015, Health and Safety Conference and Trade Show.

Download (PDF, 2.04MB)


3.2. Proposed Awareness Series “Radiation Hazard in the Ontario Mining Industry” (2015-2016 OHSPIP Application)

memorial 2

Elliot Lake Memorial, from the USW archives

The proposed awareness initiative aims to focus on the topic of  radiation hazard in the Ontario mining sector. It will provide the industry workers and employers, associated Health and Safety partners and labour representatives with “Good science in plan language”® information on radiation hazards as well as advice on the best radiation safety practices and access to qualified resources.

Appreciating the complexity of the underground mining environment and building on the Mining Review Progress Report findings, the proposed Initiative intends to go beyond the radon hazard alone and include in the awareness series other key hazards that may, combined with radon, exacerbate the negative impact of the exposure and result in occupational lung cancer.


The initiative will deliver two training products that are uniquely designed for the needs of underground mining:

  • Foundations of Radiation and Compounding Airborne Hazards
  • All About Radiation and Compounding Airborne Hazards

The foundational course will target underground mine workers; the “All  About (…)” product will target supervisory level staff, worker representatives, members of JHSC, employers and OHS system partners.

To allow for flexibility in knowledge transfer, the Initiative will deliver, adopted from the E-learning Series, a complete set of course materials for face-to-face sessions.

Partnerships in Action: If successful in securing funding, the project will be implemented in collaboration with the WSN, OHCOW and WHSC.


4. Other Initiatives

  • On the invitation of the WSPS,  the RSIC participated in the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Open House. ESDC, in partnership with Ministry of Transportation (MTO), WSPS and IHSA hosted the 3rd Annual ESDC Labour Program Open House at CHSI on May 8, 2014.
  • On the invitation of the WSPS,  RSIC hosted a workshop at the 2014 Partners in Prevention and the Institute’s President and CEO, Steve Mahoney, gave a key note speech at the Conference.
  • IHSA and WSPS were included as additional Health and Safety Resources on several RSIC commercial Project Proposals.
  • Support from the WHSC in E-learning development, particularly where knowledge sharing on  Moodle LMS is concerned, has been invaluable to the RSIC educational team.
  • On the invitation of the WSN, RSIC hosted a workshop at the Mining Health and Safety Conference in Thunder Bay.
  • RISC made a presentation on the potential benefit of the Personal Alpha Dosimetry for monitoring exposure of non-uranium mines to the Mining Safety and Review Committee in early 2015.


5. Join us in celebrating our 35 Year Anniversary!

We are working on a visual series about the Institute. It  includes 5 videos, some retrospective, others representing  our modern day operations. Here is the first-in-five video project. You are our first viewers. Hope you enjoy it.