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Legal Provisions regarding the Protection against Risks arising from electromagnetic Fields

According to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, every employer is obliged to assess the workplace of employees.

Since electromagnetic fields may pose adverse health effects, a risk assessment must be performed in this regard.

In Germany, the protection of employees against risks arising from electromagnetic fields is governed legally by the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance on the Protection of the Employees against risks arising from Electromagnetic fields (OSH Ordinance on electromagnetic fields - EMFV) that came into force on 19 November 2016.

With the introduction of the EMFV, the Occupational Health and Safety Directive 2013/35/EU was implemented into national legislation in Germany. The ordinance was published in the Federal Law Gazette part I no. 54 page 2531 on 18 November 2016.

In order to facilitate the application of the EMFV in business practice, the ordinance is specified in a practically oriented manner by Technical Rules. These Technical Rules on the EMFV (TREMF) are developed by the Committee on Occupational Safety (ABS), advising the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs regarding questions of safety and health when working with electromagnetic fields.

Non-binding guide to good practice by the European Commission

The European 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) came into force on 26 June 2013 as the 20th individual directive in the meaning of article 16 section 1 of the Occupational Safety and Health Framework Directive 89/391/EEC and for repealing Directive 2004/40/EC.

In order to facilitate the implementation the European Commission provided a non-binding guide to good practice for implementing Directive 2013/35/EU in November 2015.

The non-binding guide consists of two volumes and a separate guideline for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):

The non-binding guide is mainly intended as an instruction for employers, specifically for those from small- and medium-sized enterprises. Furthermore, it may also be useful for employee representatives and supervisory authorities in the member states. This guide is available for download in all official languages of the EU.