RF Safety: Make it a Priority

03/14/2017 - Blog

Radio Frequency Safety should ALWAYS be a main priority.

Along with the tremendous expansion of wireless communication equipment on rooftops across the country, there is increasing awareness among building owners, tenants, and local zoning authorities for the need to accurately evaluate the cumulative radiofrequency (RF) emissions for these locations relative to the FCC’s regulatory limits. It is extremely important for wireless carriers, facility maintenance personnel, and construction teams to fully understand RF Safety and how to properly navigate yourself while working around active wireless antennas. This is not only important for worker safety, but also for company liability and overall compliance with FCC regulations.

If your maintenance personnel is working on a project that involves activity near active rooftop antennas, it is crucial to devise a plan early in the game for RF Safety reporting (modeling, monitoring, RF-Signage audits) and overall RF Safety Training for on-site personnel. It is generally not advisable to rely solely on the hazard labels placed on equipment by the carriers at installation – it is often incomplete due to the addition of equipment from multiple carriers, each typically responsible only for their own equipment.

EBI recommends that each company or institutions with buildings hosting these antennas create a Radiofrequency Emissions Safety Policy/Standard Operating Procedures document that consists of the following elements:

  • Creation of an overall approach to the management of RF exposures for the site through the use of an RF Safety and Compliance Policy.
  • Identifying and categorizing RF exposure potentials. This is addressed through review of wireless carrier's Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) studies, and independent on-site RF measurements and modeling as required to supplement wireless lessees' MPE analyses.
  • Training maintenance staff on the health issues of RF exposures and managing those exposures by understanding RF warning signs and RF protective measures.

Standard Operating Procedures should also be created to guide the activities of maintenance personnel through existing mechanisms such as a Lock/Tag Out program.

EBI Consulting has advised hundreds of building owners on the proper training and protection for their maintenance personnel. If you would like to see how we can help you, please contact us at [email protected] or visit our Environmental Health and Safety page for more information.


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