EU Physical Agents Directive due to become law

Published: 22 June 2016 Ezine

The scheduled date for the implementation into UK law of the EU Physical Agents Directive (EU PAD), which covers the minimum health and safety requirements for people working with electromagnetic fields such as MRI scanners, is 1 July 2016.

The majority of MR activities in healthcare are exempt from the exposure value limits covered by EU PAD and the Health & Safety Executive, which is responsible for implementation in the UK (except for Northern Ireland), will only introduce new requirements from the directive which go beyond current UK legislation. These are set out in the draft HSE Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016.

In Northern Ireland, the HSENI are responsible and they have published Proposals on the transposition of 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 (EMF).

“We anticipate that the impact for MRI departments will be minimal,” Alex Lipton, the SCoR professional officer with responsibility for MRI said.

“It is not intended that departments will be required to measure or calculate for exposure assessments,” Alex continued.

“Manufacturers’ information and current guidelines can be referred to. As now, there is a requirement to carry out risk assessments and the MRI Safety working party at the British Institute of Radiology is producing generic risk assessment templates.  

“There are also requirements for training and keeping worker exposure to a minimum. We recommend that managers review training plans to ensure they meet the requirements set out in the regulations.”

Click here for activities exempt from EU PAD requirements and click here for more information about the exemptions.

Click here for EU PAD background information and the Electromagnetic Fields Directive.

Click here for more general information.

Please email Alex Lipton with any questions.