Health & Safety Be Aware - New Induction Heating Guidance
On June 29th, 2013, the European Commission published Directive 2013/35/EU on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields).
This Directive will come into force in the UK from July 1st 2016.
In the Vehicle Repair Industry this will relate to the level of EMF (Electromagnetic Fields at Work) emitted by equipment used in our member’s workshops.
This will include the following equipment:
- Induction Heaters
- Resistance Spot Welders
- Plasma cutters
- MIG Welders
From July 1st 2016, whilst you will have to assess the exposure to EMFs and any risks linked to these, in most cases, you should not need to measure the EMF produced. A Risk Assessment & following Safe Working Practices are imperative, which are already requirements under the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999.
Whilst it is likely that new equipment will eventually be manufactured to reduce the EMF produced during operation, you can continue to use your existing equipment by adopting safe working practices.
HSE may exempt the work activities from the equipment above from the exposure limits stated in the CEMFAW regulations 2016, however, workers must be protected from harm from EMF’s.
If your work activity is exempt you will not have to comply with exposure limits in respect of activity, but you will have to meet the exemption conditions. These are:
- Reduce exposure to lowest level reasonably practicable
- Produce an action plan to monitor this is achieved
- Carry out a Risk Assessment to cover all equipment subject to EMF’s
- Ensure all staff are fully trained in the correct use of this equipment to control exposure to EMF’s
- Any new equipment must be installed with Induction training by the supplier or manufacturers
- Any new staff must be given Induction training on relevant equipment before use
- Produce information for staff to explain EMF’s.
Please note, you must give special consideration to staff with active implanted medical devices such as heart pacemakers, as EMFs could interfere with the correct operation of the implant.
You must also consider staff with metal implants e.g. orthopaedic joints, pins or plates as it is possible that the implant could become heated or twist in an EMF. Workers can obtain information from the manufacturer of the device and from the medic who completed the implant procedure.
Effects of EMF are temporary, are neither cumulative nor lasting and there are no known long term health risks.
For more information, please contact the IGA member helpline on 0845 305 4230.