EMF Risk Assessments
The EMF Regs from the HSE came into effect on July 1st 2016 (The Control Of Electromagnetic Fields At Work or CEMFAW) to protect employees from exposure to EMF’s. Due to the potential health effects of EMF’s in the workplace all companies are required to undertake a risk assessment of EMF exposure to their workforce.
What are EMF’s?
Invisible Electromagnetic fields are emitted by all electronic & electrical equipment when in use. The EMF Directive defines EMF’s as :
- static electric fields
- static magnetic fields
- time-varying electric fields
- time-varying magnetic fields
- time-varying electromagnetic (radio wave) fields
……with frequencies up to 300GHz. Therefore, for the purpose of the CEMFAW Regs EMF’s with the frequency range of 0Hz – 300GHz have to be considered & assessed.
So what’s the problem?
If EMF’s reach certain levels they have an adverse effect on the health of those exposed in two ways 1) Direct effects such as nausea, headaches, vertigo, heating-up of body tissue, nerves or internal organs and 2) Indirect effects such as interfering with pacemakers, body implants, body piercings etc. The type & extent of these effects is dependent on the type of electronic equipment used & the frequency band(s) of the EMF’s it emits.
Will I be affected & how will I know?
The vast majority of employees may not exceed the specified Action levels, but proof is needed! A number of high-risk industries AND high-risk individuals from EMF exposure have been identified – Industries include welding, electrolysis, electrostatic presses. High-risk individuals include those fitted with pacemakers, implants, medical devices etc & pregnant workers.
I don’t think we’ve got an EMF issue. So what do I need to do to comply with the HSE CEMFAW Regs?
Even if you potentially aren’t in the high-risk brackets / have at-risk individuals the Regs state Employers must undertake an initial assessment of any potential risks from EMF exposure. Furthermore they state :
- You must prove & ensure exposure is below the Exposure Limit Values
- identify any at-risk individuals & ensure they are protected
- provide on-going health surveillance of any persons identified
- if required produce an EMF Action Plan
- provide training & information to employees
So how can Scholes EMF help me?
Our team of qualified EMF H&S Consultants can ensure you comply with the EMF Regs by:
- Initial EMF audit, evaluation & assessment
- Where necessary conduct EMF measurement surveys using the latest high-end & compliant EMF Measurement Equipment
- Where necessary calculation & evaluation of the EMF Action Levels (AL’s) & Exposure Limit Values (ELV’s) using the above equipment to prove compliance
- Full EMF Survey Report to prove compliance including advice, site map, action plans (if necessary) etc
- Where necessary the provision of training & advice to relevant at-risk individuals