Good Science in Plain Language

April 18th marks 40th Anniversary of the Wildcat Strike led by the United Steelworkers Union in Elliott Lake that lead to the creation of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (RSIC)

April 18th, 2014 marks the 40th anniversary of the wildcat strike organized by the United Steelworkers Union (“USW”) in Elliott Lake, Ontario in response to the dangerous working conditions in the region’s uranium mines. This historic and symbolic event occurred after hundreds of workers contracted cancer while exposed to unsafe levels of radiation in their workplace. Remarkably, these miners initially had their health claims denied by the Compensation Board at the time of the tragedy.


Soon after this event, the leadership of the USW together with the Ontario Government established the Ham Royal Commission to further investigate and develop recommendations on how to prevent such a tragedy from occurring again. A notable consequence of this was the enactment of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act in 1980. This landmark legislation provided mandatory worker health and safety committees, the right of employees to refuse to perform unsafe work, and the right for employees to be provided with full information on all workplace health and safety hazards.


Another significant outcome was the establishment of the Canadian Institute for Radiation Safety – an independent, national organization dedicated to promoting and advancing radiation safety in the workplace, in the environment and in the community.


“Today the Canadian Institute for Radiation Safety is known as the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada (“RSIC”) and it has an expanded scope that includes a growing Personal Alpha Dosimeter (“PAD”) service to monitor radiation exposure for a number of professionals working in a variety of fields,” said Steve Mahoney, President of RSIC. The institute’s PAD service clientele includes 1500 miners located across Canada and abroad. This service is licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and has been made mandatory for all uranium miners in Canada.


“RSIC congratulates the USW for their leadership in the 1970s to force action. In addition, RSIC applauds the USW for their continued dedication to worker safety in uranium mines across Canada and for their continued support of our institute as we continue to raise awareness and perform services that help keep miners and other professionals safe. ” added Mahoney.


Contact Name:
Hon. Steve Mahoney, P.C.

(416) 650-9090 ext. 22


New! Study Radiation Safety Online.

Questions about Radiation?

Free Radiation Safety Inquiry Service answering questions about radiation.



We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know!

Know more about this natural risk,
test your homes,put your feet up,
relax, and watch that latest Netflix movie.

read more

Radiation and Prevention of Occupational Cancers – Every Effort Counts

What we want to keep in focus are potential risks posed by radiation in a typical Canadian workplace. According to the International Labour Organization an estimated 609,000 work-related cancer deaths occur worldwide each year, it still amounts to one work-related cancer death every 52 seconds.

read more

National Day of Mourning: Avoiding tragedy with a commitment to prevention and passion for action.

April 28th is our opportunity to honour our colleagues who have died or suffered a disabling injury on the job.

read more