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Auditing the cost effectiveness of radon mitigation in the workplace

A.R. Denman (Head of Medical Physics Department, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, UK)
E.P. Harris (School of Law and Accountancy, Nene University College Northampton, Northampton, UK)
M.R. Hermann (School of Law and Accountancy, Nene University College Northampton, Northampton, UK)
P. Phillips (School of Environmental Science, Nene University College Northampton, Northampton, UK)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



Radon is a natural gas which can build up underneath buildings. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has found sufficient evidence to classify radon as harmful to human beings. The National Radiological Protection Board has identified areas in the United Kingdom where radon levels are above average. Northamptonshire is one such area, where the NHS was required to set up a radon mitigation programme to reduce the potential health hazard to its 11,189 employees, employed on 82 separate sites. Calculates the dose saving achieved and the associated costs and attempts to derive a value for the cost‐effectiveness of the programme, as compared to a programme recommended by the NRPB to reduce patient doses from dental X‐Rays in the UK. It also examines recent domestic remediation initiatives investigated by researchers in Spain, USA, Sweden and Canada. The methods used by Colgan and Gutiérrez to measure reductions in radon levels and to calculate associated annualised costs were used to analyse the results of the Northamptonshire NHS programme which produced an estimated cost of £680,000 per lung cancer saved. This paper reports on the costs and potential benefits delivered by the radon mitigation programme in Northamptonshire. It also discusses some of the wider policy implications for management, particularly in multi‐site public sector organisations where value for money in an environment of cash limited funding is an increasing pressure.



Denman, A.R., Harris, E.P., Hermann, M.R. and Phillips, P. (2000), "Auditing the cost effectiveness of radon mitigation in the workplace", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 153-160.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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