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Electromagnetic Fields Directive

17th January 2017

Service Overview

The Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Directive 2013/35/EU sets out employers' EMF safety requirements which are to be observed as a minimum – it was brought in on 29th June, 2016.

In locations where there are electrical devices which are high power, it is possible that high exposure will occur. In the manufacturing sector, high current operations and supplies are typical, and also the general public and employees are normally in close range of equipment with lower currents. For this reason, the directive is of particular importance to the industry.

Workplace legislation places a duty of care on UK and European businesses to ensure that employees are not exposed to excessive levels of electromagnetic fields.

Businesses in the UK and Europe now have a duty of care which is placed on them by workplace legislation, asking them to ensure that employees don't suffer from excessive levels of EMF exposure.

An EMF Site Survey involves:

  • A commercial site, building or office visit from an electronics expert.

  • An electromagnetic safety audit and assessment.

  • An identification of remedial processes and EMF deficits.

Outline of the Recent EMF changes

In replacement of 2004/40/EC, the updated directive (2013/35/EU) was brought in on 26th June, 2016.

There has been a revision of the framework of levels allowed and testing, and this has been done in line with the ICNIRP 2010 (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection).

Mandatory exposure limits in places of work came in with Directive 2013/35/EU for the first time. It is unlikely that many organisations will be affected hugely by the changes. This is because in many cases, no action will be needed, although every employer will have an obligation to administer an EMF risk assessment.

The onus will certainly be on organisations with equipment which uses high current levels and high voltage.  That means the dielectric heating equipment and induction equipment which is used in the industrial sector, as well as testing processes which are non-destructive, and welding.  The directive specifically exempts MRI scanners, but other sectors which are expected to be affected are railways, the health sector and the energy industry.  Sectors which don't need to be reminded of their responsibilities in relation to EMF are telecommunications and broadcast, where appropriate measures have already been in place for a time.

How can we help?

IES have recently acquired new test equipment which enables us to carry out testing at customer facilities throughout the UK. Our trained engineers have the knowledge and expertise to enable cost effective solutions, and the remedies to problems which may be encountered.

Martin Wood, CE consultant at IES Ltd, has been involved with radio frequency (RF) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) measurements for over 25 years. Over that time, Martin has been working with customers from various sectors including military, aerospace, and pharmaceuticals.

Martin is conversant with latest standards and regulation changes.

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