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Laidler Associates cautions machinery suppliers and users that they must still assess and control risks associated with electromagnetic fields (EMFs), even though the EMF directive has been postponed.

The directive was originally drafted in 2006, but the Health and Safety Executive has recently confirmed that it will not now be in place until at least 2014.

This delay does not, however, absolve machine manufacturers from their present-day responsibilities for analysing the risks associated with EMFs.

Employers are also required to take account of these risks as part of their general duty of care imposed by the Health and Safety at Work Act.

Paul Laidler of Laidler Associates said: ‘It’s easy for companies to assume that the EMF risks associated with the products they supply or the equipment they use the workplace are minimal, but that can be a very dangerous assumption.

‘Consider the case, for example, of someone fitted with a heart pacemaker, the operation of which is disrupted by the electromagnetic field around a machine.

‘If the supplier and user of the machine had not given proper consideration to the EMF performance of the machine, they could easily find themselves in legal hot water,’ he added.

Laidler Associates is particularly concerned that factories are currently full of equipment that has never been assessed for EMF performance, which means that employers will have no indication of whether or not they have a problem until it is too late.

The company therefore advises that EMF audits of existing installations are desirable, without waiting for the new directive to come into force.

Laidler Associates claims to have extensive experience and expertise in EMF assessment.

The company offers realistically priced EMF consultancy and assessment services for both suppliers and end users of equipment, and these services can be an invaluable aid not only to avoiding potential legal problems, but also to ensuring that the safety of machinery and of the workplace.

Laidler Associates

As market leader in machinery safety, Laidler Associates provide advice and assistance for machinery safety legislation and risk assessments providing solutions on a worldwide basis. Laidler works with companies from around the world including USA, Japan, China and Ireland. Laidler Associates specialise in taking the stress out of conformity and can assume responsibility for assembling documentation such as PUWER reports or the Technical File and issuing the Declaration of Conformity for CE Marking projects.

Qualified Laidler engineers travel across the world saving clients time and money by providing up-to-date training and information to all business sectors that require conformity to the many CE Directives and European Standards. The wide range of services include CE Marking, risk assessment, PUWER assessments, EMC testing and training.

Laidler have recently launched a new software package which helps businesses through the CE Marking and PUWER assessment processes. Laidler Associates is the official partner of the PPMA (Process and Packaging Machinery Association) on regulatory affairs.

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