Edited By Gunnar Prause, Urve Venesaar and Wolfgang Kersten
Europe’s Goal for Better Workplaces:Development of the Legislation for Occupational Exposure to the Electromagnetic Fields Tarmo Koppel and Ülo Kristjuhan
145 Europe’s Goal for Better Workplaces: Development of the Legislation for Occupational Exposure to the Electromagnetic Fields Tarmo Koppel1 and Ülo Kristjuhan1 Abstract This paper tackles the development of the new European Union’s occupational electromagnet- ic fields (EMF) directive. The directive was called for to answer the European workers’ need for protection from emerging health risks, such as electromagnetic fields. The aim of the study was to determine the readiness of the stakeholders to adopt this new occupational health and safety legislation. The strengths and weaknesses of the directive are analysed based on the study conducted amongst the stakeholders of the new directive. The authors asked from scientists, legislators, employees, work inspectorate employees and medical personnel their expectations and possible problems with the new directive. As a result, several shortcomings were pointed out, but weighted differently by different parties. The researchers see that the new directive does not encompass all the biological effects of the electromagnetic fields. The workers share the opinion of the researchers, but are also worried about the long-term effects the directive does not cover. The employers are most concerned with the administrative and financial burden. The doctors and work inspectors feel that they are not trained to identify and deal with the EMF related health effects. The authors also discuss the economic impact of the directive and find the most affected to be small and medium-sized enterprises. JEL classification codes: H5, Q5 Keywords: EU directive, electromagnetic fields, occupational exposure, national legislation, policy development 1. Introduction Annually...
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