Latest update: 28/11/2023

Non-binding guide to good practice for implementing Directive 2013/35/EU Electromagnetic Fields

The practical guidelines and case studies support employers with advice on carrying out risk assessments and implementing preventive measures related to risks arising from electromagnetic fields.

The guidance document prepared by the EU Commission in 2015, consists of 2 volumes, 1) Practical guide and 2) Case-studies, and also of a specific guidance document for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  
The guide has been prepared to assist employers to understand what they will need to do to comply with Directive 2013/35/EU laying down the minimum safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to risks arising from electromagnetic fields (EMF).

The use of electrical equipment and many common communications devices generate EMF, but in most workplaces, the levels of exposure are very low and will pose no risks to workers. 
However, some workers may be at particular risk from EMF, i.e. those wearing implanted medical devices and pregnant workers. Therefore, volume 1, the practical guide, provides a table to help employers carrying out an initial assessment of their workplace. The table presents a list of common work situations. For each of these work situations, it is indicated whether more in-depth assessments might be needed for workers with active implants, other workers at particular risk, and all workers. If a more in-depth assessment is needed, the guide provides advice on how to use the exposure limit values and action levels and methods for calculating or measuring exposure. Where employers need to implement additional protective or preventive measures, the guide provides further advice on the options that may be available.

Volume 2 presents twelve case studies that show employers how to approach assessments and illustrate some of the preventive and protective measures that might be selected and implemented. The case studies are presented in the context of generic workplaces, but were compiled from real work situations. The case studies cover: Office, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer, Electrolysis, Medical, Engineering Workshop, Automotive, Welding, Metallurgical Manufacturing, Radiofrequency (RF) Plasma Devices, Rooftop Antennas, Walkie-Talkies, Airports.

The guide for SMEs, provides practical advice for employers in smaller companies. The focus of this guide is how to carry out an initial assessment of the risks from EMF in the workplace. Based on the outcome of this assessment, it will help to decide whether there is a need to take any further action as a result of the EMF Directive.


Publication details
Published by: EU Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
Publication date: 2015
Number of pages: Volume 1: 214 pp.; Volume 2: 148 pp; Guide for SMEs: 24 pp.

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