Introduction Directive 2013/35/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields (EMFs) was published in 2013. The directive gives minimum requirements for the protection of workers from risks to health and safety arising from exposure to electromagnetic fields (0 Hz to 300 GHz). The aim of this paper is to describe the directive and how it has been implemented into practice.
Methods New guidelines have been written by different countries of the EU. Measurements and evaluations of EMFs have been conducted. High field values have been searched, and risk analyses for EMF exposure have been performed.
Results For example, the following topics have been proposed in new guidelines: offices, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, electrolysis, medical devices, engineering workshops, automotive industry, welding, metallurgical manufacturing, radiofrequency (RF) plasma devices, rooftop antennas, walkie-talkies, and airports. Evaluation criteria for the current is 100 A, and for the voltages, 100 kV. There are also evaluation principles for active implanted devices, and there are guidelines on distance attenuation principles of EMFs.
Discussion There has been progress in implementing the directive. However, small and medium size companies have often limited resources to put toward evaluation and risk analysis. Protection against these fields can be technical, increasing distance, working processes, worker guides, or in some cases, personal protection devices. Health examination can also give in some cases information on excessive exposure (e.g., microwaves). Documentation of the actions is probably lacking to some extent in risk analysis files.
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