The EMF Regulations, aimed at protecting workers from adverse health effects caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields, came into force on the 1 July 2016. However, many organisations across the UK have still not carried out their risk assessment.

Development of the EMF Directive 2013/35/EU, the precursor to the EMF Regulations, started as early as 1989 after the EU published its general framework Directive 89/391/EEC, however the EMF Directive 2013/35/EU was not transposed in UK law until the 1 July 2016, a total development period of over 25 years.

In this period of time up to the present day, relatively little has been done by the majority of companies to analyse risks to employees associated with electromagnetic fields. This is despite the fact that employers are also required to take account of these risks as part of their general duty of care imposed by the Health & Safety at Work Act.

A number of companies tend to assume that the electromagnetic field (EMF) risks associated with products they supply or equipment they use are minimal, but this can be a dangerous assumption. For example, implanted medical devices, such as pacemakers, can be affected by electromagnetic fields. A worker with a pacemaker could have problems whilst working with a machine producing EMFs. If the supplier and user of the machine has not given proper consideration to the EMF performance of the machine, they could easily find themselves with legal problems.

Various commercial properties across the UK are full of equipment that has never been assessed for EMF emissions, meaning that employers will have no indication of whether or not they have a problem until it is too late. EMFcomp Ltd therefore supports other organisations currently advising companies to carry out EMF audits of existing installations as soon as possible.

EMFcomp Ltd has extensive experience in the specialist field of EMF assessment. Director Dr Richard Findlay wrote all computational dosimetry sections for the soon to be released Practical Guide to the EMF Directive, published by the European Commission. EMFcomp Ltd can provide expert EMF advice and assessment services, both measurement and computer modelling, for suppliers and end users of EMF equipment. These services are essential to ensure the safety of machinery producing EMFs and avoid legal problems associated with EMF Directive compliance issues.

Operators of welding equipment are examples of workers exposed to high levels of electromagnetic fields. The low frequency radiation (50 Hz) can lead to effects on the central nervous system.