The Control of Electromagnetic Fields at Work Regulations 2016

The information on this page will help you understand what you need to do as an employer under the CEMFAW Regulations which came into force in July 2016. It may also be useful to others with responsibility for health and safety, ie employees and safety representatives.

What must you do?

An employer is required to:

  • assess the levels of EMFs to which your employees may be exposed;
  • ensure that exposure is below exposure limit values (ELVs);
  • take action if employees are exposed to EMFs in excess of the ELVs;
  • when appropriate, devise and implement an action plan to ensure compliance with the exposure limits;
  • when appropriate, assess the risks of employee's exposure and eliminate or minimise those risks. Ensure you take employees at particular risk, such as expectant mothers and employees with active or passive implanted or body worn medical devices, into account.
  • provide information and training on the particular risks (if any) posed to employees by EMFs in the workplace and details of any action you are taking to remove or control them. This information should also be made available to their safety representatives as appropriate; and
  • provide health surveillance or medical examination as appropriate.

The CEMFAW Regulations contains a Schedule which introduces limits, explains the effects of EMFs and provides details of safety conditions which must be met. In addition they allow the sensory-effects ELVs to be exceeded when certain safety conditions stated in the Schedule to the Regulations are met.


Exemptions to the exposure limits apply in the following circumstances:

  • for any activity in respect of which a suitable and sufficient alternative exposure limitation system is in place and where the activity is carried out:
    • by a person acting in the capacity of a member of either Her Majesty's armed forces or a visiting force;
    • by any civilian working with such a person; or
    • on any premises or part of premises under the control of the Secretary of State for the purposes of the Ministry of Defence or the service authorities of a visiting force.
  • during the development, testing, installation, use and maintenance of, or research related to, magnetic resonance imaging equipment for patients in the health sector, where:
    • the exposure of employees to EMFs is as low as reasonably practicable; and
    • employees are protected against the health effects and safety risks arising from their exposure to electromagnetic fields.    
  • if HSE has issued an exemption for your work activity and you can meet the conditions of that exemption.

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Updated 2021-08-24