Workers using spot welders are, on a daily basis, exposed to high levels of magnetic induction which are often much higher than the ones established by the Italian Decree Law 81 and the successive Decree Law 159 of the 1st of August 2016, namely the regulation setting the limit for the exposure of professionally exposed workers to magnetic fields.
For the purpose of protecting their health, G-iron srl has designed, produced and supplied shielding systems specific for spot welders, owned by the company Imesa SpA, which effectively mitigate the magnetic field produced without hindering the use of the machine in any way. The Italian public health authority Azienda USL Toscana Sud-Est (former USL 7 Siena), in cooperation with INAIL, has evaluated the efficiency of the shields with regards to the protection of professionally exposed workers for the purpose of publishing the results on the Portale Agenti Fisici, namely the Portal of Physical Agents.
Such Portal is meant to represent a useful source of information to guide companies towards taking the appropriate safety measures to protect workers’ health. The exposure of workers using spot welders was evaluated by referring to the position of the operator’s body and the measurement techniques applied comply with both Italian laws and with ICNIRP’s recommendations. Both open field and shielded field readings were taken during standard operating conditions of the machine.
Following the installation of the shield, the readings taken highlighted that the intensity of the magnetic field produced by the spot welder comply with the target values established by law and the machine was, therefore, put back into the production cycle.
Moreover, at a distance of 1.5 m from the shielded machine no limitation of access is needed, including particularly sensitive people such as pregnant women or pacemaker patients for which stricter limits are to be applied.