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Second stage social partner consultation on electromagnetic field legislation

20/05/2010 Second stage social partner consultation on electromagnetic field legislation

The European Commission adopted a consultation document on 20 May 2010 to seek the views of the European social partners.

The aim is to improve the directive for the protection of workers exposed to electromagnetic fields and the Commission outlining concrete proposals on how to correct the provisions which created controversy in the current directive.

The Commission is fully committed to protecting the health and safety of workers, including those exposed to the risks due to electromagnetic fields. However, health and safety rules should not create unnecessary difficulties for the industry or impede medical applications using the properties of electromagnetic fields such as medical Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

Today's document proposes a new series of corrections which would introduce the necessary proportionality, practicability and flexibility. The intentions are to limit the burden on employers by clarifying definitions, providing guidance to facilitate the carrying out of the risk assessment, measurements and exposure assessments wherever possible, and by promoting good practices, information and the training of workers.    

In line with Article 154(3) of the Treaty, the second consultation of the social partners is a mandatory step in the preparation of any new legislative proposal related to health and safety at work. Based on the outcomes of this consultation and other elements such as new scientific recommendations and studies, the Commission will prepare a comprehensive socio-economical impact assessment before adopting a new legislative proposal.