Good Science in Plain Language

Root Cause Analysis Investigation – 2017 Course

Engage Proven Techniques to Conduct Causal Analysis for High Consequence/ High Significance Events

Diablo Canyon-panoramaCOURSE DESCRIPTION | Unexpected events in a nuclear project frequently have significant consequences – delays, dose, rework, disruptions, discharges, dollars . . . and much worse.

In this comprehensive five-day course, participants will learn and engage proven techniques for conducting focused and effective causal analysis reports for nuclear power industry events, conditions or trends that have high consequences and/ or high significance outcomes.
The student will learn about and engage the essential investigation skills necessary to enable that the direct and underlying event and organizational factors have been sufficiently and effectively investigated; and that specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely corrective actions have been developed, with the intent of significantly reducing the probability of recurrence of the same or similar event.

RCA LabyrinthWHO SHOULD ATTEND | This course is intended for Causal Analysts, Project Managers in nuclear supplier organizations, Operations, Maintenance and Radiation Protection Management, Safety Officers, Labour Management, General Managers, Project Oversight Assessors, Contractors who rely on the licensee to do their root causes; and notably nuclear organizations and supplier groups who are experiencing frequent consequential events and/ or close calls while supporting a nuclear facility’s major project.

COURSE CURRICULUM | Participants will engage in:

  • Planning, organizing, and controlling a root cause assessment
  • Selecting appropriate systematic methodologies
  • Determining the depth of the root cause evaluation needed
  • Determining the role of prior occurrences and related factors
  • Developing extent of condition and extent of cause analyses
  • Assessing safety culture
  • Drawing and demonstrating linkage among the factors
  • Developing SMART corrective actions
  • Learning to prioritize corrective actions with consideration of risk significance and regulatory compliance

The Phoenix method | The Phoenix Method is a business-oriented, consequence-focused, significance-driven investigation process successfully applied for over 25 years in organizations and industries with a strong desire to avoid repeating mistakes and to prevent serious accidents or events from recurring. The Phoenix Method may be utilized to evaluate any event for which the adverse consequences can be defined …..
“If the pain is describable, the Phoenix Method is applicable.”

Overview of a RCA Report


2017 Root Cause Analysis Execution Course (5 day):
– For regular course schedule and information go to

RSIC National Office, 165 Avenue Road, Suite 300, Toronto, ON M5R 3S4
– Course is available as an on-site option, call us today for a quote

Four Convenient Ways To Register |
Web |
E-mail |
Phone |        416-650-9090 ext. 2
Fax |                   416-650-9920

Download 2017 Root Cause Analysis Investigation Brochure Here:

Download (PDF, 569KB)

1st Certified Radon Chamber available in Canada is Only Months Away!

The first Certified Canadian Radon Chamber is coming online in spring of 2017.

The Radon Chamber project that started two years ago is in its final stages. The chamber is currently undergoing certification. Once certified, it can provide commercial services of equipment maintenance and calibration as well as research and development capabilities.

It will also provide national radon measurement and mitigation professionals with an easy to use Canadian-based alternative to shipping radon monitors across the border to the US for quality control purposes.


The Institute team, with much appreciated support from Health Canada, has dedicated the past two years to upgrading the chamber’s technical capabilities, running experiments to ensure stability of radon concentrations and reliability of test results.

With all the upgrades in place and demonstrated proficiency documented in accordance with the Guidance for the Certification of Radon and Radon Decay Product Chambers, the team is awaiting approvals of the submission from AARST-NRPP.


The Canadian Radon Chamber is located in Saskatoon, at our National Laboratories. In a matter of months, our laboratories’ team will be ready to help with spike and performance testing of all radon measurement devices, including: 

  • Alpha-Track;
  • Electret-Ion Chambers (E-PERM);
  • Activated Charcoal;
  • Continuous radon monitors;
  • as well as perform calibrations verification and efficiency determination services for ZnS(Ag) Scintillation Cells and calibration of continuous radon monitors.

For those of you who were with us from the start and provided feedback on the initial surveys: Thank you for supporting us and being a part of this exciting journey! We are every bit as anxious as you are to see the launch of the 1st Certified Radon Chamber available in Canada.

For the new members of the C-NRPP, we would like to say welcome to an extraordinary group of dedicated professionals. We hope to make your important work just a little easier!

The official launch is coming up quickly.

Below you can find the Test Requisition Form as well as Subscription Services and the Price List.

Test Requisition Form

Download (PDF, 670KB)

Subscription Services and the Price List

Download (PDF, 13KB)

3rd Annual Breakfast Meeting with the Health and Safety Organizations, November 17, 2016



2015 Breakfast hosted by the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada

On Thursday November 17, 2016, the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada will host its 3rd Annual Breakfast Meeting with its Health and Safety Partners. The meeting is organized to bring together national and provincial Health and Safety Organizations:

Our guest of honour is Mr. George Gritziotis, Chief Prevention Officer, Ontario Ministry of Labour.

This breakfast event is our way of thanking all our partners for their support of the Institute’s radiation safety mandate and its prevention agenda. During the meeting we will give a short briefing on the Institute’s ongoing projects and our new initiatives. At the end of the event we will invite the leaders of our partner organizations to sign the Memorandums of Understanding with the Institute for the year 2016-2017 and to discuss ways we can work together to further the ultimate goal of PREVENTION in the province.


Click here to download PDF program

8.30 am – 8.45 am Continental Breakfast
8.45 am – 8.50 am
Opening Remarks and Introductions

Steve Horvath, RSIC President and CEO
8.50 am – 8.55 am
Welcome Address

Tim Armstrong, QC, RSIC Chair of the Board of Directors
8.55 am – 9.05 am
Welcome from the Guest of Honour
George Gritziotis, CPO & Associate Deputy Minister,  Ontario Ministry of Labour
9.05 am – 9.15 am
Prevention and Radiation Safety

Steve Horvath, RSIC President and CEO
9.15 am – 9.25 am
Partnerships in Action 

Natalia Mozayani, RSIC Executive Director
9.25 am – 9.55 am
New Educational Product Presentation

Suketu Patel, RSIC Scientist
9.55 am – 10.05 am Question and Answer Session
10.05 am – 10.20 am Closing Remarks and Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing
10.20 am – 10.30 am Photo Opportunity
10.30 am Meeting Concludes

Centre for Health and Safety Innovation
5110 Creekbank Road, Mississauga, ON L4W 0A1

A Dedication Ceremony of the RSIC National Laboratories at the Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto


Late President and CEO of the Radiation Safety Institute, Dr. Fergal Nolan

Institute’s late President and CEO, Dr. Fergal Nolan

Tim Armstrong, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada, is pleased to announce the upcoming Toronto event marking the dedication of the Institute’s National Laboratories in honour of the Institute’s late President and CEO, Dr. Fergal Nolan.


The Saskatoon Dedication Ceremony took place on September at the RSIC National Laboratories. For more information about the event please visit the Dedication Ceremony page.


The Toronto Ceremony will include the unveiling of a plaque, welcoming notes from the Chair of the Board, Government officials, RSIC Board Directors and Nolan family members. The official ceremony will be followed by a cocktail reception.

The Ceremony will take place at 4:00 pm on Friday October 21, 2016 at the St. Thomas Room at the iconic Windsor Arms Hotel, located at 18 St. Thomas Street, Toronto, Ontario.

Windsor Amrs 1


Dr. Fergal Nolan served the Institute with complete dedication, vision and energy for more than 30 years. His passion for the Institute’s mission played a defining role in making it the unique national organization it is today. It is the only independent of industry and government non-profit institution in Canada that is solely dedicated to radiation safety. The Institute has been serving Canadians for over 35 years. Our National Laboratories were established in Saskatoon in 1989, with the generous financial support from the Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan. Today the Laboratories provide an array of key radiation safety services to Canadian industries and the public. The Laboratories are the only licensee in North America approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to offer personal radiation monitoring program for underground uranium mines.


Free Radon Test Kits are Offered to Vancouver Islanders

Radiation Safety Institute of Canada supports the initiative taken by the Canadian Cancer Society to provide free radon tests to Vancouver islanders and encourages British Columbia residents to take this opportunity and to get their homes tested.

On July 19, 2016 in the article Radon Risk? Free radon test kits for Vancouver Island, Check News reported that 600 free test kits are available from the Canadian Cancer Society for the three Vancouver Island targeted communities; Nanaimo, Colwood and Gordon Head area. “There’s been some testing done on the Island in recent years, but it’s been limited, so our project is seeking to send out a larger number of test kits and see what the potential could be,” says Jenny Byford of the Canadian Cancer Society.

The article quotes Kelley Bush of the Canadian Cancer Society to say, “Radon gas comes from the breakdown of uranium in the ground. When it comes out of the ground outside it gets diluted and it’s not a health concern, but if it finds a way into an enclosed space, like a home, then it can accumulate to high levels and it becomes a health risk”.

With this free program it has never been easier to test your home for radon and remember, if you find that radon levels are elevated it is not a difficult issue to fix. With the program in place, there is simply no reason to put this off.

Please see a short two minute news clip for more information on the program and remember you can always reach out to us for any questions about radon.

Remembering Dr. Fergal Nolan – a Dedication Ceremony of the RSIC National Laboratories

Chair Tim Armstrong, Board of Directors and Steve Horvath, President of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada are pleased to announce the upcoming event of the dedication of the Institute’s National Laboratories in Saskatoon in honor of its late President and CEO, Dr. Fergal Nolan.

Photo from family archive: Dr Fergal Nolan awarded with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Left to right: Hon Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation; Dr Fergal Nolan, Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Photo from family archive: Dr. Fergal Nolan awarded with a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. Left to right: Hon. Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation; Dr. Fergal Nolan, Hon. Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario

Dr. Fergal Nolan served the Institute with complete dedication, vision and energy for more than 30 years. He was not only instrumental in making the dream of the first national laboratory providing Personal Alpha Dosimetry Service a reality, but he was also a true champion of health and safety in Canada. In 2012, the Premier of Ontario awarded him the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contribution to Radiation Safety in Canada and abroad. Dr. Nolan lost his battle to cancer in January of this year.

Dr Nolan’s passion for the Institute’s mission played a defining role in making it the unique national organization it is today. It is the only independent of industry and government non-profit institution in Canada that is solely dedicated to radiation safety. The Institute has been serving Canadians for over 35 years. Emerging from the human tragedy of the Ontario Elliot Lake mines, where more than 220 workers lost their life due to radiation exposure, it carries a legacy and purpose of promoting radiation safety and awareness through sharing science and best practice.

Our National Laboratories were established in Saskatoon in 1989, with the generous financial support from the Government of Canada and the Province of Saskatchewan. Today the Laboratories provide an array of key radiation safety services to the Canadian industry and the public. The Laboratories are the only licensee in North America approved by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to offer personal radiation monitoring program for underground uranium mines.

The Dedication Ceremony will take place from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Friday September 16, 2016 at the RSIC National Laboratories, located at 102-110 Research Drive, Saskatoon, SK.  The Ceremony will be followed by a cocktail reception with stakeholders, government representatives, honored guests and clients.



The University of Guelph Is Hiring a Radiation Safety Officer!

The University of Guelph is committed to equity in its policies, practices, and programs, supports diversity in its teaching, learning and work environments, and ensures that applications for members of underrepresented groups are seriously considered under its employment equity policy. All qualified individuals who would contribute to the further diversification of our University community are encouraged to apply.

Forbes Ranks U of G Among Canada’s Top Employers

Professional and Managerial Group

Radiation Safety Officer

Environmental Health & Safety, Human Resources

Hiring #:  2016-0189

Please read the Application Instructions before applying

Reporting to the Manager, Research Risk the incumbent will be working closely with the current radiation safety professional and will be responsible for the oversight and administration of the University Radiation Safety Program.  This includes ensuring compliance with the CNSC held licenses, regulatory requirements for x-ray emitting equipment and lasers and University policies and procedures.  Additional the RSO will promote occupational health and safety and environmental protection through the development and management of policies and programs, consultations, workplace assessments, training, and regulatory compliance focusing in the specialized area of Radiation Safety.

The incumbent advises the University community (faculty, staff, students, etc.) and provides technical guidance to consultants and contractors on health and safety matters related to radiation safety, and evaluates potentially hazardous situations involving radioactive stressors, utilizes sophisticated sampling and analytical instruments/techniques (as required),  implements hazard control measures and codes of practice for safe working, prepares reports and recommendations using professional judgment, audits,  and investigates workplace incidents. The incumbent provides guidance on the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations, liaises with regulatory bodies, and with consultation from the Radiation Safety Committee formulates and implements related University policies, programs, guidelines, procedures and codes in the area of radiation safety. The University’s health and safety policies and endeavors, establish additional procedural framework for this position.

Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Manage a Radiation Safety program that provides effective control of ionizing radiation (nuclear, x-ray) and non-ionizing radiation (e.g. laser) activities in accordance with applicable legislation.
  • Plan, coordinate and execute audits/inspection of the Radiation Safety program as per legislative and University requirements and follow up with the audits and assessments with corrective action plans
  • Minimize radiation exposure risk to the environment and personnel working with or around ionizing and non-ionizing radiation sources
  • Act as the subject matter expert in relation to radiation safety issues including risk assessment and containment and related legislation under regulators such as the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and Ministry of Labour
  • Advise the University community regarding issues related to the use of radioisotopes and radiation emitting devices
  • Develop, review and maintain procedures to ensure compliance with radiation safety program and regulatory requirements
  • Prepare annual compliance reports (ACR)  as required of  CNSC held licenses,  license renewal applications, amendments, audit responses and other regulatory reports as necessary
  • Represent the Radiation Safety Program on committees and maintain communication with CNSC and MOL regulators and inspectors
  • Ensure all licenses held by the University (including but not limited to Class II facilities, Consolidated, Development and Testing and Nuclear Medicine) are properly maintained and conditions stipulated are implemented.
  • Ensure that the work practices reflect the safe use of radioactive material, protection of the public and follow the principles to keep exposures as low as reasonable achievable
  • Facilitate and manage registrations of x-ray machines
  • Oversee and manage the personnel dosimetry program
  • Develop and deliver training related to radiation safety
  • Serve on the Radiation Safety committee
  • Serve as consultant to emergency responders for incidents involving radioactive materials
  • Investigate incidents involving radiation

Requirements of this position include:  University Master’s degree or higher in Engineering, Nuclear Physics, Health Physics or related field and minimum of 4+ years of relevant experience with radiation safety. Additional requirements include: demonstrated working knowledge of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and Regulations, as well as the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) and all related legislations; excellent verbal, written and interpersonal skills and the proven ability to interact effectively with internal stakeholders in a diverse population at all levels as well as with external stakeholders with various regulatory agencies and other institutions.  Demonstrated excellent communication and organizational skills with the ability to manage time effectively, set priorities, ability to manage a high volume of work with competing demands, strong judgment, analytical and problem solving skills; solid computer competency including word processing, spreadsheet, database, web applications, social media, internet search engines.

The incumbent will maintain or be expected to obtain CNSC certification in Class II facilities.

In addition, due to the types of radiation licenses held by the University, it is a regulatory requirement that a comprehensive background check will be required.  Offers will be pending a successful background check has been completed as prescribed by the Federal Controlled Goods Program.

Position Number   851-015
Classification        P06*
Professional/Managerial Salary Bands (PDF file)

Posting Date:  2016 05 11
Closing Date:  2016 06 01

National Day of Mourning: Let’s Prevent Occupational Cancers

medium_Horvath - head shot 2

Today we are remembering all those who lost their lives working to make our lives better.

By Steve Horvath, President and CEO of the Radiation Safety Institute

Every year more than 900 people die in workplace accidents. This is more than a just a number. Every fatality carries with it a story of pain and loss that will forever stay with those left behind – families, friends and colleagues.

The staggering number of tragic incidents across the country is distressing; 900 is a sobering number. We all deserve a safe workplace and our families deserve the comfort that we will be back home safe and healthy at the end of the day. But as unacceptable as this fatality statistic is, we cannot lose sight of other risks and hazards in the workplace, particularly occupational disease — which can also be deadly, and that is equally unacceptable.

On the National Day of Mourning, the team of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada would like to remind all workers and employers of the potential hazards that radiation sources have on employee health if not handled properly. It is a common misconception that radiation-emitting devices and radioactive materials are mostly used in the nuclear power industry. The reality of a modern Ontario workplace is that the application of radiation is found in almost every industry: health care, construction, manufacturing, power generation, pharmaceutical, security, veterinary practice, education, transportation, utilities, etc. Nuclear gauges, X-ray machines, lasers, CT-scanners and different radioisotopes are just a few examples of commonplace radiation devices and sources used by Canadians on a daily basis.

small mining try 2Furthermore, not all radiation is man-made. Naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) also pose a potential risk and can create a workplace hazard, the most common example being radioactive radon gas. The Canadian labour force accounts for approximately 19 million individuals. Hundreds of thousands of Canadian workers come in contact with radiation daily. If we include naturally occurring radioactive material, we are looking at a potential exposure of millions of people. When not handled properly, radiation hazards present a significant health and safety risk. The main risk associated with a radiation hazard is excessive exposure that, in turn, may lead to acute injuries (e.g., radiation burns) or long-term disease, like cancer.

According to Statistics Canada, cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, surpassing heart disease mortality rates by 10% as of 2011. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that two out of five Canadians are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes and a quarter of Canadians are expected to die from cancer.

Because cancer latency periods can span 20 to 30 years, it is not always easy to pinpoint the exact time and place, or even the period of time, when the cancer-causing exposure may have happened. But we do know that when such outcomes occur, it has the potential to translate into an immense stress for workers and their families, as well as millions of dollars in medical care costs, insurance claims to the WSIB, and costs associated with disruption of operations for the employers.

What we can do today is take a proactive approach to radiation safety in the workplace and remember that a proper radiation protection program and its implementation, along with timely testing for such hazards as radon gas, can prevent cancer in the future.

The Radiation Safety Institute of Canada believes that education and awareness are key to staying safe.  We know there are many work priorities with which we all struggle and that many hazards, such as radiation, are undetectable by human senses and may fall to the back burner. We encourage you to consider making an investment in your future health today: simply take a moment to think whether or not you have all the knowledge and controls in place to be safe around radiation.

Let’s get educated, stay informed, take radiation protection seriously and make the right decisions about radiation safety in the workplace today.  And remember, we are always here to help answer questions and provide guidance with “Good Science in Plain Language.”


Steve Horvath is President and CEO of the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada. He is formerly the President and CEO of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, a national organization dedicated to promoting the total health and well being of working Canadians. In addition to his leadership at the CCOHS, he has held senior executive positions with companies in the technology, manufacturing and service sectors including responsibilities as President and CEO of multi-national companies.


Cell Phones and Cancer Risk

Concerns about the potential relationship between cell phone use and brain cancer risk continue to arise. The worry is that radiofrequency energy from cell phones may affect the brain and other tissues. The only known biological effect of exposure to radiofrequency energy is heating and exposure from cell phone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to cause a measurable  increase in body temperature.

In the words of the National Cancer Institute: “it is generally accepted that damage to DNA is necessary for cancer to develop. However, radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage in cells, and it has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals (3–5).”

At this point in time there is no conclusive scientific evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans to suggest that cell phone use causes cancer. The debate in the scientific and public domains continues. Have you ever had a conversation on a controversial subject that started with “The research shows(…)”?

Cell Phone & Brain Fact It is true, the research is there. Researchers have carried out several types of epidemiologic studies to investigate the possibility of a relationship between cell phone use and cancer risk. Some of the more talked about studies are: The INTERPHONE study; The Danish cohort study; The Million Women Study. The problem with the all the studies done so far is that each has its own drawbacks and limitations. So before we can start drawing our own conclusions from any study it is important to understand what these limitations are.

Scientific methodolody, if you are not a die hard researcher, could be a boring subject. So lets switch gears and go straight to the visual. Here is a another great video from the team at Veritasium that talks about cell phone use and related studies. If all this will leave you with more questions, remember you can always call us at 1-800-263-5803, reach out to us on twitter @RSICanada or on our Facebook page.


Complimentary Passes for Partners in Prevention Trade Show


2016 PIP Weblink narrow

Partners in Prevention 2016 Conference and Trade Show  will take place on April 26-27, 2016 at the International Center in Mississauga, Ontario.

We are happy to be a part of this very important Health and Safety Event.

Radiation Safety Institute invites all its friends, clients, graduates and partners to take advantage of the Complimentary Exhibition Passes to join us at the event and visit us at booth #321.

Follow the link below to access the free complimentary passes (the exhibition pass value is $29).

Download and save PDF file –> Fill in and bring it with you to the show or pre-register online at Partners in Prevention website by April 1, 2016.

Complimentary Exhibition Pass Download




The International Centre, 6900 Airport Road, Mississauga

Date & Show Hours:

April 26 – 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
April 27 – 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Our Executive Director, Natalia Mozayani, and  our Chief Scientist, Laura Boksman, will represent the Radiation Safety Institute of Canada at booth# 321.












In a TV program, our Chief Scientist, Laura Boksman, responds to public concerns following the distribution of iodine potassium pills to residents in a 10 kilometer radius from the Nuclear Power plants.  Laura talks nuclear emergency,  iodine pills, radon testing and radiation safety.

Laura on CHCH

The interview was broadcasted by CHCH Television Station on February 4, 2016. 



New! Study Radiation Safety Online.

Questions about Radiation?

Free Radiation Safety Inquiry Service answering questions about radiation.




Gemstones are sometimes put through a nuclear reactor or accelerator because the high levels of ionizing radiation change the structure of gemstones resulting in fully saturated body colours.

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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.

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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.

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