Development of a flowchart system for the risk assessment of occupational exposure to low and high frequency electromagnetic fields

Georgios Andrew Gourzoulidis, Constantine Kappas, Efthymios Karabetsos

Abstract


Purpose: The assessment of occupational electromagnetic field (EMF) exposure currently falls under the legislative framework of the Directive 2013/35/EU. However, this framework has difficulties in many practical aspects, which were not dealt by the released practical guides.

Material and Methods: For the vast majority of occupational exposures there is no need for the execution of in situ measurements since they are not expected to be high. Nevertheless, whenever needed, the appropriate measurements remain always the most reliable approach. Expanding the general EMF exposure assessment approach, the standard EN 50499 proposes certain exposure zones (0, 1 and 2); moreover, for the low frequencies an extra exposure zone (3) as well as a number of handy flowcharts have been proposed in the literature, in order to clarify and facilitate the EMF protection scheme.

Results: The need to clarify the occupational EMF exposure management framework as a whole, including: i) the low, intermediate and high frequencies; ii) all the "additions" of the Directive, such as the Weighted Peak Method (WPM); iii) the entire limiting system; iv) the appropriate corrective Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) measures as well as v) the possibility of introducing derogations, led to the introduction of the proposed handy occupational EMF exposure assessment tool, in the form of flowcharts.

Conclusions: Most of the occupational and the general public exposures have been proven to fall into the first exposure zone, i.e. zone 0, while additional measurements are needed when it comes to the "higher" exposures zones.


Keywords


Directive 2013/35/EU; Electromagnetic fields (EMFs); Occupational EMF exposure; Risk assessment

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References


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