Electric and magnetic fields

6. Electric and magnetic fields
6.1. Scope
6.1.1. This chapter gives specific information to help employers, workers and
competent authorities apply the general principles in Chapters 2 and 3. It applies to
activities where workers are exposed to electric and magnetic fields, including static
fields (0 Hz), extremely low frequency (ELF) fields (up to 300 Hz) – which include
electric and magnetic fields at frequencies between 50 and 60 Hz (also called power
frequencies) – and radiofrequency (RF) fields (from 300 Hz to 300 Ghz).
6.1.2. In the application of the provisions of this code, the detailed guidance
given in the following practical guides published in the ILO Occupational Safety and
Health Series should be taken into consideration: No. 69 on Protection of workers from
power frequency electric and magnetic fields (Geneva, 1994); No. 70 on Visual display
units: Radiation protection guidance (Geneva, 1994); and No. 71 on Safety in the use of
radiofrequency dielectric heaters and sealers (Geneva, 1998).
6.2. Assessment
6.2.1. For the prevention of adverse effects of electric and magnetic fields on
workers, employers should:
(a) identify the sources of electric and magnetic fields and the equipment and activities
which could give rise to exposure at or near prescribed national or internationally
recognized standards;
(b) obtain information on the exposure of workers:
(i) where they are likely to be exposed to significant electric or magnetic
fields, including in the case of workers who may move from site to site;
(ii) by comparison with other similar workplaces and equipment;
(iii) from the occupational health service or the competent authority;
(c) seek advice from suppliers about the fields produced and the recommended
precautions, and make this information a factor to be considered in the purchase of
new equipment;
(d) if this advice is incomplete or otherwise of doubtful value, arrange for
measurements by a technically competent person, to be carried out in accordance
with current national and international knowledge.
6.2.2. Employers should assess the hazard or risk by:
(a) reference to national exposure limits and to internationally recognized standards
(see section 6 of the annex) in the absence of national standards;

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