Are You Aware of the Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations?
- Date: Wednesday 22nd March 2017
- PDF: Download
EMFs are static electric and electromagnetic fields that can be emitted from electronic equipment such as computer and IT equipment, photocopiers, printers and communications equipment and facilities.
Exposure to high levels of electro-magnetic frequencies (EMFs) can give rise to a variety acute health effects and serious injuries. The effects that can occur depend on the frequency of the radiation. At low frequencies, the effects will be on the central nervous system of the body whilst at high frequencies, heating effects can occur leading to a rise in body temperature.
It is important to note that these effects are rare and will not occur in most day-to-day office environments and working situations, especially when using computers and general office equipment. Types of sources which may exceed specified values are telecoms base stations and maintenance of radar or high powered communications equipment.
What should you do:
The regulations state two action values that provide limitations on the exposure of employees to EMFs. An exposure assessment should be completed to determine if EMF levels meet the determined action levels (ALs) or Exposure Limit Values (ELVs) as listed in the regulations. You can find a list of equipment that emits EMFs and their associated risk in HSG281.
An action plan and risk assessment may be required to show that ELVs are not exceeded or to show the arrangements in place to manage exposure to EMFs. Employees affected should be made aware of the findings and where an employee reports experiencing health effects from exposure exceeding an ELV, health surveillance and medical examinations should be provided as appropriate.
If you require any further information or advice, please contact SSG on 01752 201616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Gemma McDonald, SSG