10. December 2010 16:53
The long saga of EU legislation on Electromagnetic Fields continues. Wtih a little over 12 months until the postponement of implementation for the orginal faulty directive expires, things - in European law terms - are starting to get tight.
it's now pretty clear that we are going to end up with a directive in some form or another and, depending on the limit values that are set and action required, it could affect manufacturers carrying out processes such as arc and resistance welding, electroplating, radiofrequency welding and induction heating.
After Commissioner Andor told the parliament that the they would have a formal proposal by Christmas, a sense of real urgency crept in. Over the past few weeks we have been working with partners to ensure that the Commission avoids rushing through an incomplete directive. Though well-intentioned it would require business organisations, governments and unions to sign-up to a proposal with key parts missing and that could result in another faulty directive that imposes unreasonable burdens on business for processes that pose no genuine risk to health.
I'm glad to say that our combined work was successful and the Commission has promised to produce a complete directive for the EMF working party (made up of representatives of governments, employers and employees) to consider early in the new year. Whilst it is extremely unlikely that we will get rid of a directive on EMF altogether, there is still a lot to play for, with the potential to greatly limit the impact on manufacturing industry. We will continue to keep you posted.