Not all businesses have heard of The Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016, however this piece of legislation requires all employers to assess employees’ potential exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs).
If the levels of EMFs are low and employees are not exposed to high levels, then there is no action required except for employees that are at particular risk.
You may ask what is EMFs? Well, EMFs are present in all workplaces but likely at low levels and do not cause any risk to employees. EMFs are static electric, static magnetic and time-varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic (radio wave) fields with frequencies up to 300 GHz. If an electric or electronic piece of equipment is used an EMF is produced, which will have differing frequency fields dependent upon the equipment. Some examples of sources of EMFs are mobile phones, computers and other office equipment, and obviously machinery and equipment used in industry.
What the Law says an employer must do,
- assess the levels of EMFs to which your employees may be exposed;
- ensure that exposure is below a set of Exposure Limit Values (ELVs)
- when appropriate, devise and implement an action plan to ensure compliance with the exposure limits;
- when appropriate, assess the risks of employees’ exposure and eliminate or minimise those risks. You must make sure you take employees at particular risk, such as expectant mothers and workers with active or passive implanted or body-worn medical devices, into account.
- provide information and training on the particular risks (if any) posed to employees by EMFs in the workplace and details of any action you are taking to remove or control them.
- take action if employees are exposed to EMFs in excess of the ELVs;
- provide health surveillance or medical examination, as appropriate.
Employees at particular risk?
These include an employee who has declared to their employer a condition which may lead to a higher susceptibility to the potential effects of exposure to EMFs. This includes expectant mothers who have informed you of their condition and workers who have declared the use of active implanted medical devices (AIMDs), passive implanted medical devices (PIMDs) or body-worn medical devices (BWMDs); or an employee who works in close proximity to electro-explosive devices, explosive materials or flammable atmospheres.