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RR649 - Assessment uncertainties relating to electromagnetic fields (EMF) measurement and computation

Guidelines for limiting occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) have been produced by international organisations, and have been recommended for use in the UK by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). There is also an EU Directive (the EMF Directive) which sets restrictions on occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and which is expected to be implemented in UK legislation by April 2012.

Technical standardisation bodies have produced assessment methods that can be used with these guidelines and with the EMF Directive. Neither the exposure restrictions nor the technical assessment standards specify how measurement and computation uncertainty should be considered as part of an over-all EMF assessment in the workplace.

This report describes possible uncertainty management regimes, and discusses the likely implications of these regimes for UK industry. Although it does not describe in detail how to make an assessment of uncertainty, its appendices contain examples of uncertainty assessment from three CENELEC EMF assessment standards.

This report and the work it describes were funded by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Its contents, including any opinions and/or conclusions expressed, are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect HSE policy.

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Updated 2010-03-19