Are you familiar with EMF regulations? Do you know if your business is compliant with EMF regulations or not? What happens with non-compliance? If you’re asking these questions, then you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, we’ll discuss EMF regulations and provide answers to some of the most common questions dealing with businesses and EMF compliance.
What are EMFs?
EMFs are electromagnetic fields that are created by electronic devices, powerlines, and more. EMFs are a type of radiation that can either be from natural or man-made sources.
Man-made sources of EMFs include radio waves, WiFi signals, radiation from microwaves, appliances, electronic devices such as computers and appliances, and more.
Why are People Concerned about EMF Exposure?
Many studies have shown that EMF exposure can lead to a wide range of health issues and symptoms. This is because EMFs can be damaged by exposure to EMF radiation, resulting in some major consequences for employees’ health.
EMF radiation has been shown to cause the following:
- Cell damage
- Some types of cancer (including childhood leukaemia and certain types of brain tumours)
- Dysesthesia (a painful, itchy sensation)
- Loss of appetite/weight loss
- And more
While these symptoms are common to many health problems, studies have shown that EMF can be responsible in some cases.
Why Do EMF Regulations Exist?
Studies have shown that electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which are produced by electrical equipment, can be dangerous for employees. EMFs have been shown to cause a wide range of health issues, as well as interfere with cardiac devices.
For these reasons, the UK government has created regulations regarding the limits on EMF exposure in the workplace. All employers in the UK must comply with these regulations.
What Industries Do the EMF Regulations Cover?
The EMF regulations cover all industries; however, they do focus more on businesses that use welding and other electrical equipment.
What are Employers Legally Required to Do to Be Compliant?
To start with, as an employer, you’ll need to be familiar with the Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations (CEFWR) 2016. These regulations started in July 2016.
As a business owner, the CEFWR requires you to check the levels of EMFs to which employees are exposed to. You’re also required to ensure that exposure is below the ELVs (exposure limit values). If employees are exposed to EMF levels over the ELVs, then you must take action to resolve the problem. You’re also required to create and implement an action plan to ensure compliance with the exposure limits.
In addition, you must assess the risk of employees’ exposure and eliminate or at least minimise the risk. As a business owner, you’re required to provide information and training on the risks involved with EMFs in the workplace. And you must supply information on how you’re removing or controlling EMFs. Finally, it’s also necessary to provide health surveillance and medical exams, where appropriate.
How is EMF Compliance Determined?
Compliance is determined by the CEFWR regulations, which specify EMFs can either be measured or calculated.
Who Can Perform an EMF Compliance Survey?
Only qualified EMF inspectors, also called surveyors, are able to conduct EMF surveys. They’re the only ones qualified to establish EMF compliance. Not only that, but a qualified EMF surveyor can also provide advice and guidance on how to solve any EMF problems your business may have.
When searching for a professional EMF surveyor, it’s best to look for a building biologist. This is an inspector with specialised knowledge of indoor environments and how these affect the health of human occupants. They have knowledge of EMF radiation, as well as many other specialties. So, search for an EMF inspector who is accredited by the International Institute for Building Biology and Ecology.
It’s important to understand that the business is not qualified to run an assessment of its own. A professional EMF surveyor must conduct the compliance survey. This way, as a business owner, you’ll have peace of mind that the report reflects accurate readings of EMF levels in and around the business.
What is an EMF Survey?
An EMF survey uses the latest technology to determine the levels of EMF exposure in a business. Special meters are used to gauge levels of EMF radiation in and around the business premises.
What Should an EMF Compliance Survey Include?
The EMF compliance survey should include all strong sources of EMFs in the workplace. The survey must show where the risks are located and precisely which employees are at risk.
EMF compliance surveys generally include examination of equipment, site layout, perimeter surveys, and more. These can include:
- Power generation, distribution, and transmission systems
- MRI/NMR medical diagnostic equipment
- Induction heaters
- Dielectric heating (RF glue drying, plastic welding, and more)
- Industrial microwave ovens and microwave drying
- Handheld electric tools
- ARC (MIG, MAG, TIG, and more), as well as spot welding
In addition, EMR site evaluations need to specify the precise location of the non-compliant issue, implement action levels or exposure limits within the company health and safety conditions.
These are the areas that show a business is compliant and that all steps have been taken to be compliant with the CEMFAW guidelines to protect employees against the effect of EMF exposure.
An EMF inspector conducts health and safety surveys and report the results to the business. Their evaluations may include full electromagnetic spectrum evaluations. These may include employee risk-profile mapping of the shop floor. In addition, electromagnetic force-velocity potential can be used to find harmonic machine distortions. And all EMR workplace hazards will be highlighted, along with the solutions to fix any issues found.
The report should include detailed findings, including an “electronic witness” of the field strengths record in real-time and a certificate of conformity. These will fully demonstrate that your business is compliant and that you’re fulfilling all legal EMF exposure obligations.