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Electromagnetic fields Directive
UNIEP recently followed the proposal to replace directive 2004/40/EC on minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents such as electromagnetic fields.
Given the fact that in most workplaces the threat of adverse effects of EMF exposure is low, UNIEP claimed that any regulation to be made on the subject needed to be as simple as possible, in order not to impose new red tape costs on small enterprises.
UNIEP recognized the improvements made to the new proposal directive in terms of simplification and proportionality, yet called for further clarification on technical issues to avoid complicated compliance verification processes, and suggested a cooperative approach between OSHA (European Agency for Safety and Health at Work) and SMEs.
Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, is the rapporteur in charge for the dossier for the Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL) in the European Parliament.
Latest update: 11/06/2013 The EU Parliament adopted EU Commission’s proposal for a Directive to update and improve EU rules to protect workers from the effects of electromagnetic fields.The proposed Directive will clarify the definitions of adverse effects on health, introduce an updated exposure limits system (frequencies that are recognised as having harmful effects on the human cardiovascular system or the central nervous system), as well as a number of provisions to make it easier for employers to carry out the risk assessments required by law. It is in fact an obligation for the employer to evaluate the risks of exposure to electromagnetic fields and take measures to reduce them, by giving the necessary training and equipment to exposed workers. The limits introduced can be an obstacle to the medical magnetic resonance sector and to some technologies used in the armed forces. However, the Directive makes some exceptions in these fields, provided that some measures to reduce the negative effects on human health are adopted.