We discuss the general issues of EMFs and pregnant women on a separate page. This website is maintained by National Grid, and here we give National Grid's own approach to this issue.
What is National Grid's approach?
We have a strong policy that the appropriate way to ensure the safety of all our staff is to ensure compliance with the relevant exposure guidelines.
At present, the exposure guidelines that formally apply to pregnant women are the occupational exposure limits from ICNIRP 1998. If a pregnant woman is happy continuing to work with exposures potentially up to these levels, we will allow them to do so.
However, as a precautionary measure, we think it makes sense to limit the exposure of pregnant women to the lower, general public, exposure guidelines. When a woman notifies us that she is pregnant, we will do whatever assessments are necessary to enable her to work in such a way that she does not exceed the public exposure limits.
Women who know they are pregnant but don't yet wish to tell us officially may wish to limit their own exposure using the following information.
What does this mean in practice?
Women working in offices will be compliant with the public exposure limits and no changes are needed.
Women working on operational sites, but not involving specific high-voltage electrical equipment - construction sites, gas sites - will be compliant. Working or passing underneath overhead lines is compliant too.
Women working on substation sites but only accessing the car park and office block will almost certainly be compliant, but can check with National Grid's EMF staff if they want to be sure, via the helpline (see link on right).
Women working in cable tunnels, on overhead line towers, or in high-voltage compounds may be able to experience exposures above the public limits. Contact the helpline and we can investigate.