EMFs and Workplace Safety
Everyone in modern society is exposed to electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) that exist around all electric or electronic devices. Recently, scientific studies have raised questions about potential health effects of these fields. There is hot debate over the level of exposure that presents a safety risk. In the interim, as this question is examined, various national and international agencies have established workable minimum levels of exposure to EMFs…but sources are in conflict with each about the exact level. The crucial thing is that all workers should be protected by harmful EMF pollution and not have to suffer the negative short and long term consequences.
EMF Sources at Work: Cell Phones, Computers, and Just About Everything
EMFs are produced whenever electricity is used by cell phones power lines, wiring, and appliances or equipment. People in the workplace vicinity can be exposed to both electric and magnetic fields. The effects depend on which field is present, as well as the strength of the field. For instance, workers can be exposed to high magnetic fields if they work near electrical systems that use large amounts of electric power, such as large electrical motors. Higher frequencies create the potential for exposure to high electric fields, such as those present near radio transmitters, industrial process systems, or even CRT displays.
The employer should be consider the following measures:
Conduct a risk assessment and calculate EMF strengths
Make EMF Safety a priority by including it on your WHIMIS routine checklists
Eliminate or reduce as low as possible the risk of exposure and where risk can't be eliminated that measures are devised by the employer
How can I find out how strong the EMFs are where I work?
It is critical to remember that EMF levels depend on the actual equipment (type of electronics, number of wi-fi networks present) used in the workplace. Different brands or models of the same type of equipment can have different magnetic field strengths. It is also critical to keep in mind that the strength of a magnetic field drops off quickly with distance. A spot measurement is most useful in estimating a worker's personal exposure if it is taken at a location that approximates the worker's location and at a time when the exposure is typical of the workday. Whilst spot readings are taken, they should be noted on paper along with notes showing the meter location, time, and what equipment is operating. A spot measurement is useful to gain a complete perspective of what types of HF and LF radiation exist in your workplace!