Ajax TOCCO International Ltd have added EMF testing to their portfolio of services that they offer to the industry.

Ajax TOCCO International Ltd have added EMF testing to their portfolio of services that they offer to the industry.

If your company operates induction heating equipment, welding equipment or any equipment that produces a magnetic field, you have an obligation to carry out an assessment of the risks to employees of exposure to these magnetic fields and to reduce those risks if they fall outside the regulations guidelines.

Employers should be aware that from 1st July 2016 the UK introduced the Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations. The regulations bring into force the laws and administrative provisions necessary to comply with 2013/35/EU directive. The exposure levels listed are based on the ICNIRP occupational guidelines but Reference Levels are termed Action Levels (ALs) and Basic Restrictions become Exposure Limit Values (ELVs). The regulation also lists a number of ‘obligations of employers’ – minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents.

It should be noted however that compliance with the regulations may not necessarily preclude interference or effects on medical devices such as pacemakers. Interference with pacemakers may occur below reference levels so if an assessment is to be made concerning a pacemaker specific advice should be sought from the device manufacturer.

Guidelines for limiting exposure to low frequency electric and magnetic fields are published by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). The most recent guidelines covering low frequencies were published by ICNIRP in 20101.

The ICNIRP guidelines are intended to limit exposure, providing protection against all established adverse health effects. They do not address product performance standards, which are intended to limit electromagnetic field (EMF) emissions from specific devices.

The guidelines list different permissible exposure levels for the general public and those who are occupationally exposed. The general public levels are more stringent than the occupational levels in that the general population will contain individuals of all ages and of varying health status which might increase the variability of individual susceptibilities.

ICNIRP list a set of values called basic restrictions. These must not be exceeded but are listed as electric fields internal to the body so are difficult to measure in practice. Hence ICNIRP also list values called reference levels which can be measured more easily. Reference levels are listed for Electric (E) field, Magnetic (H) field & Magnetic flux density (B) and the values listed are conservative so if met prove compliance with basic restrictions.

It should be noted however that compliance with the guidelines may not necessarily preclude interference or effects on medical devices such as pacemakers. Interference with pacemakers may occur below reference levels so if an assessment is to be made concerning a pacemaker specific advice should be sought from the device manufacturer. 

Please contact Ajax TOCCO International Ltd to discuss your EMF testing requirements - enquiries@ajaxtocco.com