1649a Ilo activities for the prevention of the risk related to occupational exposure to emf in workers


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Abstract

IntroductionHazards of non-ionising electromagnetic radiation (EMF) and risks from occupational exposures to them have been an increased concern to the ILO in particular over the last three decades. The health implications of over exposure to EMF are well documented in the scientific literature, such as injuries caused by leakage from microwave ovens or radiofrequency, and in some countries acute health effects of EMF can be considered occupational injuries. On the other hand there is only very limited scientific evidence presently on the diseases possibly caused by EMF exposure in workers. The ILO uses various means of action to give governments and employers’ and workers’ organisations the necessary help in drawing up and implementing programmes for the control of workplace risk factors, including EMF, as international standards in the form of legal instruments, codes of practice, practical manuals, training materials and education and training and technical cooperation. The ILO has collaborated with the ICNIRP and the WHO in the development of several practical guides and reports, including: Occupational Hazards from Non-Ionising Electromagnetic Radiation (ILO OSH Series No. 53), Protection of Workers From Power Frequency Electric and Magnetic Fields (ILO OSH Series No. 69), Visual Display Units: Radiation Protection Guidance (ILO OSH Series No. 70), and Safety in the Use of Radiofrequency Dielectric Heaters and Sealers (ILO OSH Series No. 71). These tools provide guidance on workplace safety and health measures and procedures that will lead to higher standards of safety for all personnel engaged in the operation which gives rise to occupational exposure to non-ionising radiation. The ILO also collects information on good workplace practice on protection of workers against non-ionising radiation and on the identifications and recognition of diseases as occupational caused by non-ionising radiation and provides support for the applications of the relevant ILO instruments in member States.

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