When and where does electromagnetic radiation occur?
Hazards from electromagnetic radiation in everyday work?
Where do electromagnetic radiation and electromagnetic fields (EMF) occur?
When and why are they hazardous?
In many occupations there are lots of areas where employees are exposed to electromagnetic radiation or electromagnetic fields (EMF).
This has been triggered by achievements such as the growing LTE/5Gwireless network and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT or IoT) industry 4.0, and Car to Car (C2C or C2x) or Machine to Machine communication (M2M).
This is particularly true of workplaces that are located in, on or near radar antennas, broadcasting and cellular phone transmitters (e.g. during maintenance work), or industrial plant that is used for smelting or welding using high frequency energy.
There is scientific evidence that electromagnetic fields have direct negative short-term effects on the human organism. The common microwave oven provides a good example of what electromagnetic radiation can do: Food can be heated enough to cook it by absorbing high frequency radiation. The same effect can take place in the human body. Such damaging effects must be prevented.
Persons who are exposed to electromagnetic fields at their place of work, such as in those areas mentioned above. must be protected from health hazards.
The main basis for occupational safety is, if at all possible, to firstly measure or otherwise determine the EMF exposure level at the particular place of work.
EMF Directive 2013/35/EU Overview
What is it for? What does it mean?
EU Directive 2013/35/EU governing the protection of persons from electromagnetic fields (EMF) at their place of work came into force on July 1, 2016.
The Directive specifies limit values for exposure in various EMF situations with a view to ensuring the health and safety of employees. All countries within the EU must enact legislation corresponding to the Directive, although stricter limit values than those required can be specified on a national level.
The specified limit values for the workplace must at no time be exceeded. Appropriate protective measures must be taken to ensure that the radiation exposure level is below that hazardous to health in all work areas where employees are exposed to strong electromagnetic fields. Those particularly affected are technicians, fitters and other tradespersons who carry out repair and maintenance work on transmitting equipment.
This must be done by clearly marking the relevant hazardous areas and by restricting access to these areas. Employees should also be protected by wearing personal radiation monitors that provide a clear warning of critical radiation levels long before the limit values for the individual employee are exceeded.
Flyer for occupational safety
EMF Directive 2013/35/EU Overview
What measures must be taken by employers to protect their employees?
A new feature of the EMF Directive is the requirement that, in future, employers must evaluate the risk separately for each workplace. The company has the responsibility of ensuring that the limit values for employees are not exceeded at any place of work.
Employers are now obligated to protect their employees from factors that could affect health by:
- Determining the safe areas around emitting equipment
- Restricting access
- Taking other precautions if necessary.
Standard-compliant measurement of the field exposure level and evaluation in accordance with the applicable occupational health and safety standards are the most important prerequisites for this.
The EU EMF Directive stipulates that the field values must be recorded at regular intervals and recorded in traceable form to ensure that the results are legally robust.
Effective protection therefore requires precise measuring equipment that is suitable for the particular practical application and use. This would include, for example, the facility for making non-directional (isotropic) measurements. It is also important that the measuring devices used are sensitive enough and have a high dynamic range in order to be able to register and evaluate the permissible field strengths according to their particular frequencies. Another requirement of the Directive is that measurement and risk assessment must be performed by expert persons. The measurement data obtained can then be used to determine any actions that may be necessary to eliminate or minimize the risks that occur.
Narda provides a wide range of specialized devices for measuring electromagnetic fields that meet these requirements so that you can simply perform and legally document all the necessary measurements.
Electromagnetic radiation isn't emitted by transmitting equipment only. Magnetic or electric fields occur wherever voltages are present or current flows, such as in industry, for example. Employers must protect their staff from effects that may endanger health, by determining safe distances from emitting equipment, restricting access, and other protective measures. This requires that they measure the field exposure levels and evaluate them according to the applicable occupational health and safety standards. Narda has the equipment you need.