Generation of the test field for radiofrequency (RF) protective clothing

Project No. BIA 1059


completed 12/1999


Work performed in the electromagnetic RF fields of transmission installations and within the range of industrial, scientific and medical electromagnetic fields may lead to exposure limits being exceeded and persons being exposed to hazards. Individuals may be protected by RF protective clothing which attenuates the field to which they are exposed, enabling the limit values to be adhered to. RF protective clothing is subject to the provisions of the EC Directive governing personal protective equipment, and must be subjected to EC type testing prior to distribution. Until now, however, neither an accredited testing body nor suitable test criteria existed for this area. Performance of the stipulated EC type tests was not therefore possible. The objective of the project was to draw up suitable test criteria and to establish the area of "RF protective clothing" testing within the BG Institute for Occupational Safety (BIA).


The first part of the project took the form of Project F1684, "Drafting of test criteria for protective clothing against RF fields", performed by the Federal Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA). A survey was performed of the literature, experts were approached, in-house laboratory tests performed for the development of suitable test procedures, and a standardization project launched at the Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN). Test criteria were developed comprising requirements upon RF protective clothing and suitable test procedures. The second phase of the project involved preparation for the performance of EC type testing in the BG Institute for Occupational Safety (BIA). This comprised the requisite organizational measures, submission of an application for accreditation, the development and erection of new test facilities in the BIA, and the forging of contacts to other test bodies responsible for the performance of subtests.


The resulting test criteria formed the basis for draft standard E DIN 32780-100, "Protective clothing - Part 100: Protection against electromagnetic fields in the frequency range from 80 MHz to 1 GHz - Requirements and test methods" (March 1998 and July 2000). This draft standard now provides the necessary test criteria. The technical and organizational measures required for the performance of tests by the BIA and subtests by external testing bodies are also in place. The BIA has been accredited as a testing and certification body for RF protective clothing by the ZLS, the body responsible in Germany for accreditation in accordance with the German Equipment Safety Act. The BIA is thus in a position to offer EC type testing and certification for RF protective clothing.

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Financed by:
  • Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin (BAuA)
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA

electrical engineering

Type of hazard:



Elektromagnetische Felder, Persönliche Schutzausrüstung, Exposition

Description, key words:

RF electromagnetic fields, EC type testing, test procedure, test criteria, standard project, notified body, RF protective clothing