Physical Agents (Electro- magnetic fields) directive New EMF Physical Agents Directive Is EMF harmful? Implications for manufacturing
How can EMF effect people? Power Frequency Small electrical currents can flow through the body The current could interfere with the nerves Brain and spinal-cord particularly relevant Stimulation of nerves/muscles could result Micro-shocks
How can EMF effect people? Mobile Phone Higher frequency & therefore heating not electrical stimulation ‘in design’ limits heating will not exceed that produced by light exercise
Where in business is EMF encountered? Electric arc welding (MMA, MIG, TIG, spot) RF Welding of plastics Dielectric heating Electro-plating Induction furnaces Security systems (Retail, airport) MRI Radar Micro-wave communications
Cost benefit assessment European Commission 1992. Lack of time meant it was impossible to base the study on extensive studies in Member States the economic benefit of avoiding health impairment of accidents usually offsets costs Costs will be offset by reduced compensation & yet no compensation has been paid for EMF exposure
Cost benefit assessment HSE April 2003 We are …unable to identify any health and safety benefits from the Directive. Quantified one-off costs range from approximately £50.8 to 161.7 million, while annual recurring costs range from approximately £59 to 158 million. The ten year present value of these costs is between £0.5 - £1.5 billion. Benefits = £0
Physical Agents (Optical Radiation) Same format as other PA directives EL for man-made sources of optical radiation Manage exposure to natural UV Processes include welding, lasers, foundries Etc No Regulatory impact assessment Adoption??
Physical Agents Directives – the problems Noise – a real issue; lack of justification/design/consultation/project management. Vibration – 1 real issue 1 fake, No realism EMF – no real issue, no epidemiology Optical – real issue but no change promised by HSE
Managing Stress “Stress is the reaction that people have when they worry that they can’t cope with the pressures or other types of demand placed upon them.” EU negotiated agreement Directive next?
Conclusions. Diverting business from the real issues is dangerous Lack of a level playing field across EU The outcome isn’t inevitable Get in as early as possible Organise to survive! Does policy inhibit business success?
Gary Booton, Director of H, S&E EEF- the manufacturers’ organisation www.eef.org.uk