Prior to the 1996 establishment of EMC Directives in Europe, the prime objective of commercial regulations was to protect nearby radio and television receivers. The EU EMC Directive also addressed susceptibility.
You can imagine the havoc noisy environments wreaked on electronic equipment operating before immunity to RF, ESD, and power disturbances became a mandatory requirement.
Early on in my consulting days, I was called in to investigate just such a situation at a nuclear power plant, of all places. A nuclear plant is not where you would want to experience interference problems! About once a month, a sensor would trigger an alarm indicating a radiation leak.