Employment and Social Policy Council : Electromagnetic Fields: Eu En Route to Meet Deadlines

Article excerpt

More than ten years after work began, the EU is finally establishing rules on the exposure of workers to electromagnetic fields. On 4 October, the Employment and Social Policy Council adopted a general approach on a draft directive setting minimum standards for the health and safety of workers exposed to physical agents. This text modifies and repeals Directive 2004/40/EC, which is not currently applied due to the potential damage it could cause to the use of medical technology. However, following this agreement, co-legislators should now be able to complete first-reading negotiations before the date of implementation of Directive 2004/40/EC - 31 October 2013.

The compromise, mainly negotiated under the Polish and Danish Presidencies, covers all fields with frequencies of up to 300 GHz. It establishes a series of obligations for employers regarding the evaluation and reduction of risks, and sets standards for informing and training workers. It also establishes exposure limit values and levels at which action should be taken, except 1. during the installation, trial, use, development and maintenance of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment for patients in the health sector; 2. during research into MRI; 3. …