Human Resource Responsibilities: Frequent Flyer Radiation Exposure
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- Barish, R.J. & Dilchert, S. Employ Respons Rights J (2010) 22: 361. doi:10.1007/s10672-010-9159-6
At the high altitudes that are the domain of commercial airliners, passengers are exposed to cosmic radiation at an intensity that is hundreds of times greater than at ground level. Such radiation exposure represents a risk for individuals who fly frequently as part of their job. Business travelers who fly at least 85,000 miles (137,000 km) per year are likely to receive radiation exposures that exceed the regulatory limit established for members of the general public exposed by proximity to medical or industrial radiation facilities. Their exposures will not, however, exceed the higher level allowed for radiation workers. Human resource managers need to identify those employees who fly frequently on company business or due to a company-initiated relocation (e.g., expatriate assignment), classify them as radiation workers, and ensure compliance with the regulatory requirements for providing risk education and exposure assessment for such workers. Failure to do so may incur potential liability for radiation-related health problems, particularly in the case of pregnant employees where the embryo or fetus is also at risk.