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chris42  
#1 Posted : 12 June 2019 09:38:36(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Hi All, hoping someone else has come across this issue and would share any help / advice. We have an employee who is absolutely convinced that mobile phone and wifi signals etc are bad for you. Now there is a Gov web page on WIFI that states it is not considered a problem and within guidelines. There is also a HSE web page regarding mobile phone which refers to two government issued leaflets.

Extract from HSE web site

“The outcome of this recommendation is the publication of 2 leaflets published on 8 December 2000 by the Dept of Health.

1) Mobile phones and health ; and

2) mobile phone base stations and health

Both of these leaflets are in file 559.

7. HSE do not propose to issue separate guidance. The leaflets include advice for employers and employees on the use of mobile phones which logically follows on from the advice to the public”

However, there is no link to these leaflets and I have no idea where to find file 559.

Would any of you out there have a link to the above, as his refusal to use such technology including a sat nav, is a bit of a problem. Especially it is almost impossible to get away from such signals in populated areas of the world. (made even worse by the fact he believes the world is flat and there is a large ice wall around the edge to stop people falling off- but that is a different story and sadly for me one of many).

My MD keeps asking me if this is a real thing or is he just nuts. So far, my response is that I don’t consider there is a significant issue that people need to worry about, and that he employed him directly.

Chris

fairlieg  
#2 Posted : 12 June 2019 09:49:04(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
fairlieg

CptBeaky  
#3 Posted : 12 June 2019 10:01:18(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

I like conspiracy theories, if only because I can learn how we know they are wrong. In this case, as far as my "research" shows, there is no proven link between wifi/mobile phones and cancer. There have been a few studies that show a link ( one even showed up 2.8x risk of developing brain tumours on the side of your head you hold you phone, when used for more than 30 minutes per day) but meta studies show no obvious links.

In both wifi and cell phones the radiation in non-ionizing, which do not contain enough energy to break DNA. Wifi would be far lower risk, in any case, as the signals are much weaker (having to travel less distance) and you don't hold them to your head.

As with all things, if in doubt try to reduce exposure as much as possible. Bluetooth headphones are better than putting a phone to your ear. Keep WiFi routers away from sleeping/resting areas etc. Personally I would worry more about the things that have been proven to increase the risk of cancer, smoking, eating processed/red meat etc.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17619826 Is a good meta study to start with

Benz3ne  
#4 Posted : 12 June 2019 10:27:21(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Benz3ne

Further to the good response above by CptBeaky, it should be noted that GPS signals surround us all every day, and are essentially a beam from the device to a satellite and back to device. This is, in simple terms, no different to how a digital TV signal is transmitted. Perhaps ask whether he watches TV at home, or has access to the internet, which would require the same type of signal as a SatNav. This is also prevalent in most mobile phones which beam GPS signals for location settings, which the majority of people don't turn off. Ergo, goes back to your point about being in the vicinity of these signals all day, every day, whether we like it or not.

I also listen to a lot of technology podcasts and there's been plenty of discussion about whether 5G networks will be harmful to health. The short answer is no, as they are non-ionising.

Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 12 June 2019 10:41:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

A Kurdziel  
#6 Posted : 12 June 2019 11:06:06(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

If they are genuinely a conspiracy believer there is NOTHING that can convince them that the low energy radio signals are not a threat to their health. Anything that you produce that is evidence disproving their “theories” is obviously part of the conspiracy. They will believe that they know better than any number of experts: gut instinct trumps knowledge/facts every time. The problem is that their theories are not open to actual challenge, just as it is not possible to “prove” that the whole world was not created in its entirety (including our memories of it) last Thursday.

Such people can function in our society most of the time but every so often they come up against our world and our rules. At some point you have to decide whether to keep them or ask them to leave. Remember nobody has the right to be wrong and impose their views on everybody else.

achrn  
#7 Posted : 12 June 2019 12:02:56(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
achrn

Originally Posted by: Benz3ne Go to Quoted Post

Further to the good response above by CptBeaky, it should be noted that GPS signals surround us all every day, and are essentially a beam from the device to a satellite and back to device.

I don't think that's right. GPS / satnav units don't transmit anything to the satellites. They receive a signal from each of the satellites in view – a standard satnav no more transmits to the satellites than your good old tranny radio transmits to the BBC when you listen to the Archers.

Your employee gets bathed in the GPS signals whether they use the satnav or not.

The only case where a 'satnav' transmits is if it's one that gets traffic information, in which case it has a connection to the mobile phone networks for getting traffic data and the like (or a wifi /Bluetooth connection to some other device that makes a connection to the mobile phone networks).  It doesn't send anything to satellites (I suppose it could make a satellite phone connection for the data, but that's very expensive, and no ordinary domestic road-going satnav I know of does it).

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Benz3ne on 12/06/2019(UTC)
Ian Bell2  
#8 Posted : 12 June 2019 12:14:10(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

In any case, given the current state of knowledge an employer is unlikely to be found liable, as current scientific knowledge is that there is no health risk.

If I remember rightly from my long ago NEBOSH legal module, a Court would have to accept the evidence of ill health caused by such technology and set a date of knowledge after which employers should take precautions.

On a practical thought, WIFi and other similar technologies are now so common place and hence exposure to non-ionising radiation, proving any ill health ocurred because of a specific employers negligence would seem to be an incredibly difficult case to prove.

jwk  
#9 Posted : 12 June 2019 12:33:17(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

The problem is that their theories are not open to actual challenge, just as it is not possible to “prove” that the whole world was not created in its entirety (including our memories of it) last Thursday.

It wasn't created last Thursday, in fact it hasn't been created yet, but it will have been by the time you read this,

John

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A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC), hilary on 17/06/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#10 Posted : 12 June 2019 12:47:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

I know I am real because I have taken the red pill

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jwk on 12/06/2019(UTC)
Spacedinvader  
#11 Posted : 12 June 2019 13:13:35(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Spacedinvader

Have to wonder how they get to and from work.  In a faraday cage?

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jwk on 12/06/2019(UTC)
Hsquared14  
#12 Posted : 12 June 2019 14:14:01(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

Originally Posted by: Spacedinvader Go to Quoted Post

Have to wonder how they get to and from work.  In a faraday cage?

Those of us who do drive to and from work do so in a Faraday cage - it's just at most of us call it a motor vehicle - is that the way to convince him he is safe and not being zapped from outer space?  From personal expereince you are unlikely to change his opinion because his stock response will be "you would say that wouldn't you!!"  You have done your bit, hand it over to HR as it is now a capability / disciplinary matter and not health and safety.

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A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC), Dave5705 on 20/06/2019(UTC)
chris42  
#13 Posted : 12 June 2019 14:25:38(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Thank you all for your input, I had been to the first of those links that Fairlieg kindly provided which is where I got the extract from, so still haven’t read the 1st one “mobile phones and health”. My own research on Mr Google can up with the same as the comments, so probably don’t need to anymore.

He has been with us a few months and I had joked to someone that he would turn up in a tin foil hat one day. They then pointed out the baseball cap he wears is lined with foil. So that is how he gets to work. Tried to show him a picture on my phone the other day, he took two steps forward looked and then two steps back really quickly. I have also just found out I am lumbered with managing him.

I suspect you are all correct I will not change his mind; we will have to see if we can work around this phobia. Can you actually get rid of someone because they are nuts? Not sure how many people would still be here at the end of that process. Including myself as the same person that employed him, employed me. HR just gave me a dirty look when I asked if we could test for this in future.

The world may not exist, my understanding is that you can not prove anything exists other than yourself “I think so therefore I am”. Your senses could be lying to you, on the whole I suspect they are not and the world does exist and it is a sphere. I doubt very much I am capable of dreaming this particular universe up. I wish I had that reference from some academic tome, but sadly it was an old Sci Fi film (Dark star I think), where they tried to talk an AI bomb out of going off. I’ll just go get my foil hat :0)

So if you have taken the red pill, do you know what tasty chicken tastes like ?

O dear I think I’m broken for the rest of the day, best I just put my head on the desk now, till home time.

Chris

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A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC)
Benz3ne  
#14 Posted : 12 June 2019 14:52:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Benz3ne

Originally Posted by: achrn Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Benz3ne Go to Quoted Post

Further to the good response above by CptBeaky, it should be noted that GPS signals surround us all every day, and are essentially a beam from the device to a satellite and back to device.

I don't think that's right. GPS / satnav units don't transmit anything to the satellites. They receive a signal from each of the satellites in view – a standard satnav no more transmits to the satellites than your good old tranny radio transmits to the BBC when you listen to the Archers.

Your employee gets bathed in the GPS signals whether they use the satnav or not.

The only case where a 'satnav' transmits is if it's one that gets traffic information, in which case it has a connection to the mobile phone networks for getting traffic data and the like (or a wifi /Bluetooth connection to some other device that makes a connection to the mobile phone networks).  It doesn't send anything to satellites (I suppose it could make a satellite phone connection for the data, but that's very expensive, and no ordinary domestic road-going satnav I know of does it).

More the point I was attempting, and failing, to make highlighted in bold above. If the Sat Nav receives GPS then they'll be in contact with GPS-type signals. Thanks for the correction. :) 
Benz3ne  
#15 Posted : 12 June 2019 14:56:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Benz3ne

Originally Posted by: Hsquared14 Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Spacedinvader Go to Quoted Post

Have to wonder how they get to and from work.  In a faraday cage?

Those of us who do drive to and from work do so in a Faraday cage - it's just at most of us call it a motor vehicle - is that the way to convince him he is safe and not being zapped from outer space?  From personal expereince you are unlikely to change his opinion because his stock response will be "you would say that wouldn't you!!"  You have done your bit, hand it over to HR as it is now a capability / disciplinary matter and not health and safety.

Also a good point.

Question: If they have refused to use 'health and safety' equipment as stipulated in their safe systems of work (e.g. 'you must use a Sat Nav when travelling for work purposes') and it is part of their job description, and/or they have signed to acknowledge this, then is it a refusal to follow a SSOW as outlined by their (assumed) superiors?

The above is a legitimate question that I'm 90% sure of the answer to, but that last 10% bugs me. Would be interested to see everyone else's responses to it.

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A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC)
Spacedinvader  
#16 Posted : 12 June 2019 15:03:40(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Spacedinvader

Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post
I had joked to someone that he would turn up in a tin foil hat one day. They then pointed out the baseball cap he wears is lined with foil.

Off to clean my keyboard, screen and blow the remaining tea out my nose!

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Dave5705 on 20/06/2019(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#17 Posted : 12 June 2019 15:09:58(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

A car doesn't fit the technical description of a Farady cage as evidenced by the hand held muppets on the road who are still receiving their electro-magnetic content from Book Face etc...

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jwk on 12/06/2019(UTC), A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC)
MrBrightside  
#18 Posted : 12 June 2019 15:13:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
MrBrightside

So the world isn't flat and held up by four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle and was created on a Sunday around 9am? 

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A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC), johnmurray on 15/06/2019(UTC)
jwk  
#19 Posted : 12 June 2019 15:22:14(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
jwk

Originally Posted by: MrBrightside Go to Quoted Post

So the world isn't flat and held up by four elephants, which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle and was created on a Sunday around 9am? 

Like I already said, its not been created yet,

John

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A Kurdziel on 12/06/2019(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#20 Posted : 12 June 2019 15:30:04(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

Keep taking the tablets

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jwk on 13/06/2019(UTC)
Hsquared14  
#21 Posted : 12 June 2019 15:32:57(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Hsquared14

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post

A car doesn't fit the technical description of a Farady cage as evidenced by the hand held muppets on the road who are still receiving their electro-magnetic content from Book Face etc...

Noooo really?  That can't be true can it?  I always thought a car was a Faraday cage and that was why you wouldn't die if your car was hit by lightning!!  OMG now I think I need the foil lined baseball cap and the little green frog pills!!!!

Roundtuit  
#22 Posted : 12 June 2019 20:51:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

#19 is a conspiracy denial because #9 the same little bird said "by the time you read"

Still haven't found the pills - better ask someone at work for one of theirs ;-) does an orange one count?

stevedm  
#23 Posted : 13 June 2019 05:55:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

Having given the red pill to numerous people as I can precribe now!  The chicken tastes the same, I would go with the fish...but there is an underlying mental health issue here and instead of dismissing the persons claims with the available reseach some of which isn't that solid .... if they are in a safety critical role then perhaps now's the time for a referral to OH?  Not just for this but perhaps part of a routine checkup?.. 

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A Kurdziel on 13/06/2019(UTC)
johnmurray  
#24 Posted : 15 June 2019 07:13:05(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
johnmurray

There is no "beam" to the satellite from the device, and no beam from the device to the satellite. The device calculates its location by reference to the signal received from multiple satellites. The power levels at the surface, from the combined fleets of satellites, is in the level of a few microvolts.

Originally Posted by: Benz3ne Go to Quoted Post

Further to the good response above by CptBeaky, it should be noted that GPS signals surround us all every day, and are essentially a beam from the device to a satellite and back to device. This is, in simple terms, no different to how a digital TV signal is transmitted. Perhaps ask whether he watches TV at home, or has access to the internet, which would require the same type of signal as a SatNav. This is also prevalent in most mobile phones which beam GPS signals for location settings, which the majority of people don't turn off. Ergo, goes back to your point about being in the vicinity of these signals all day, every day, whether we like it or not.

I also listen to a lot of technology podcasts and there's been plenty of discussion about whether 5G networks will be harmful to health. The short answer is no, as they are non-ionising.

johnmurray  
#25 Posted : 15 June 2019 07:25:03(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
johnmurray

Public Health England have all the data needed on radiation exposure from devices....but having been irradiated for over 50 years by radiation from radio transmitters at frequencies from a few megahertz to 10 gigahertz, and at powers from a few milliwatts to several hundred watts, and still being here, I can safely assume the risks are minimal. The public though, have a different viewpoint. Most dislike cellphone towers, because of the "risk", so campaign against cellphone towers being situated...anywhere...(and then they dislike their mobile not working because of lack of signal!).....telling them that the leakage from their microwave oven is much higher than the signal from a cell tower (and that their mobile has a stronger signal to them than the tower) is dismissed as lies.....

People are weird!

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A Kurdziel on 17/06/2019(UTC), jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
Ian A-H  
#26 Posted : 15 June 2019 10:17:30(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Ian  A-H

To answer your MD's question: Nuts.

ttxela  
#27 Posted : 17 June 2019 10:05:24(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
ttxela

Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post

He has been with us a few months and I had joked to someone that he would turn up in a tin foil hat one day. They then pointed out the baseball cap he wears is lined with foil. So that is how he gets to work. Tried to show him a picture on my phone the other day, he took two steps forward looked and then two steps back really quickly. I have also just found out I am lumbered with managing him.

I suspect you are all correct I will not change his mind; we will have to see if we can work around this phobia. Can you actually get rid of someone because they are nuts? Not sure how many people would still be here at the end of that process. Including myself as the same person that employed him, employed me. HR just gave me a dirty look when I asked if we could test for this in future.

He sounds brilliant, thank god we are not all uniform conforming wage slaves. I've worked with a few eccentrics over the years and they are becoming less and less common.

Providing he's not endangering anyone (by not using a GPS?) then I'd just enjoy it.

Craig Jones  
#28 Posted : 17 June 2019 10:58:04(UTC)
Rank: New forum user
Craig Jones

Reading this post I haven't laughed so much in ages. Have recently been through a similar situation where a member of the public indicated WiFi signals were scrambling their brain during a concert.

IT manager suggested we do some EMF measurements, I suggested not. Cue the time travelling cyborg from the future about to kill me for this!  

chris42  
#29 Posted : 17 June 2019 11:28:16(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Rhetorical question

Of course, after taking the red pill at the end of the complete saga, we all know what happens to the Hero / Heroine and the overloads don’t we.

Yep, pretty much the same as real life!

Just to round this off, today he is at one of our sites carrying out – wait for it… Portable Appliance Testing.

You just couldn’t make this up

Chris

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CptBeaky on 17/06/2019(UTC), ttxela on 20/06/2019(UTC), jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#30 Posted : 19 June 2019 20:32:43(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

If Ricky Gervais can lift a career writing about an office your recent posts based on the amount of coffee expressed nasally toward a computer screen indicates you are possibly missing a career path

Hasnt helped revisiting Scary Movie 3 and the tin-foil hats

boblewis  
#31 Posted : 19 June 2019 22:41:24(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
boblewis

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

If they are genuinely a conspiracy believer there is NOTHING that can convince them that the low energy radio signals are not a threat to their health. Anything that you produce that is evidence disproving their “theories” is obviously part of the conspiracy. They will believe that they know better than any number of experts: gut instinct trumps knowledge/facts every time. The problem is that their theories are not open to actual challenge, just as it is not possible to “prove” that the whole world was not created in its entirety (including our memories of it) last Thursday.

Such people can function in our society most of the time but every so often they come up against our world and our rules. At some point you have to decide whether to keep them or ask them to leave. Remember nobody has the right to be wrong and impose their views on everybody else.

There was me thinking it was last Friday

Dave5705  
#32 Posted : 20 June 2019 05:33:59(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Dave5705

Originally Posted by: chris42 Go to Quoted Post
Can you actually get rid of someone because they are nuts?

No, but you can get them a job in politics. They tend to do very well. Donald and Boris are doing anyway.

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jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
biker1  
#33 Posted : 20 June 2019 08:59:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
biker1

I have often wondered, in my bored moments, what effect if any there is to us all being bathed in radiation all the time, as opposed to centuries ago when the only radiation came from the sun. TV, radio, mobiles, satnavs and so on all contribute to this soup of radiation around us. In the case of mobiles, the main concern I think comes from the signals being close to the microwave region, and some studies have detected a slight warming effect on the brain (as Jasper Carrott once said, mobiles should ping after three minutes to tell you that your ear wax is cooked). The opposition to more mobile transmitter masts is somewhat misplaced, as the more of them there are, the less power they, and your mobiles, have to put out. There is serious concern in many quarters about 5G, but nothing seems to have been done about this. We are assured by health authorities that mobiles pose little risk, but unfortunately history demonstrates that scientific opinion often changes. We used to clean our paint brushes in Benzene, for instance, until it was shown to be a carcinogen, so I am a little less than completely assured by public health advice.

Having said this, I use a mobile, satnav etc, but for limited lengths of time, as it strikes me that if you used a mobile for many hours a day, some effect will transpire, so the precautionary principle applies.

As to the earth being flat, presumably he doesn't believe that man has landed on the moon either. Each to his own.

CptBeaky  
#34 Posted : 20 June 2019 09:53:06(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
CptBeaky

Whilst I can see your point Biker1, the issue isn't just that we have no evidence that phones cause a problem, we also know of no method in which they would cause a problem. The slight warming you speak of is well within normal variations the brain would go through on any particular day anyway.

To go off on a slight tangent. It is similar to most "woo" science being pedalled today. We don't dismiss chakras etc. solely due to a lack of evidence. We also dimisss them because there isn't even a known way for them to do what is claimed. It is the same when we dismiss MMS, there is no known way a bleach can distinguish between healthy and cancerous cells.

As I said before, I love conspiracies because they can teach us a lot about what we do know. We know the world isn't flat, because we can do x,y, and z to prove the earth is an oblate spheroid. We know the towers weren't subject to demolition, because we can se in the footage that the were not free falling at all (debris is falling faster than the towers). We know we went to the moon, because we have rocks etc.

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jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
stevedm  
#35 Posted : 20 June 2019 10:44:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

Don't know if this adds insult to injury but it is World Wifi day today!  :)

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CptBeaky on 20/06/2019(UTC)
Ian Bell2  
#36 Posted : 20 June 2019 11:11:37(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Ian Bell2

Then there is homeopathy - the more you dilute something the more effective it becomes.

This idea goes against against just about every prinicipal of chemical science.

By this principle CoSHH assessments would conclude water etc is very hazardous, concentrated acids etc are harmless.

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jwk on 21/06/2019(UTC)
stevedm  
#37 Posted : 20 June 2019 11:14:29(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
stevedm

@Chris - I have in the past come across some psychiatric illness from the industrial processes that the individual is exposed too...extremely rare and down to individual susceptibility and it took me ages to find it!  but worth a look as it can be missed...It wouldn't be appropriate for a public form...just have a look to see if the person is involved in heavy organic solvent use, paints/laquers or tyre remoulding...?  If yes then you really need to get OH referral in this...is my very strong recommendation.  

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chris42 on 20/06/2019(UTC)
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