The European Parliament and the Council of the EU have adopted Directive 2012/11/EU amending Directive 2004/40/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (electromagnetic fields).
The new directive does not substantially amend Directive 2004/40/EC except Article 13(1) and extends the deadline for transposition by 18 months, until 31 October 2013.
Following the entry into force of Directive 2004/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, stakeholders, in particular those in the medical community expressed serious concerns about the impact that implementing that Directive could have on the use of medical procedures based on medical imaging, as well as its impact on certain industrial activities.
The Commission examined the arguments put forward by stakeholders and decided to reconsider some provisions of Directive 2004/40/EC, on the basis of new scientific evidence published between 2005 and 2010.
The deadline for transposition of Directive 2004/40/EC was postponed a first time until 30 April 2012, in order to allow a new directive based on the most recent evidence to be adopted by that date.
On 14 June 2011, the Commission adopted a proposal for a new Directive to replace Directive 2004/40/EC. The aim of the proposal is to ensure both a high level of health and safety protection for workers and the continuation and development of medical and other industrial activities using electromagnetic fields.
However, given the technical complexity of the subject matter, Member States could not yet reach a consensus on several important issues and it became clear that additional time was needed to enable the European Parliament and the Council to adopt a new directive. This should now be achieved by 31 October 2013.