Course Number: 10005
Length: 2 Days
RF Safety Training
RF Safety Training is a 2-day technical training covers all aspects of electromagnetic, RF and Microwave Safety.
This course is ideal for RF techs, installers, engineers, analysts, and anyone else who is interested in the biological effects of RF energy, Ionizing versus non-ionizing EME, FCC’s Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) standards, OSHA and industry RF Compliance.
The FCC has developed limits for human exposure, known as Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) limits, in consultation with numerous other federal agencies.
Radio frequency (RF) is a measurement representing the oscillation rate of electromagnetic radiation spectrum, or electromagnetic radio waves, from frequencies ranging from 300 GHz to as low as 9 kHz.
The scientific evidence indicates radio frequency (RF) exposures that are at or below current U.S. safety limits do not cause health problems.
Nevertheless, RF safety is a serious matter. In fact, as recently as 2019, the FCC updated its regulations regarding RF safety given the concern of consumers over the safety of cellphone RF.
Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (that is, radiating) through space at the speed of light. Taken together, all forms of electromagnetic energy are referred to as the electromagnetic spectrum.
Biological effects that result from heating of tissue by RF energy are often referred to as “thermal” effects. Adhering to RF safety regulations are essential because it has been known for many years that exposure to very high levels of RF radiation can be harmful due to the ability of RF energy to rapidly heat biological tissue. This is the principle by which microwave ovens cook food.
Tissue damage in humans could occur during exposure to high RF levels because of the body’s inability to cope with or dissipate the excessive heat that could be generated. Two areas of the body, the eyes and the testes, are particularly vulnerable to RF heating because of the relative lack of available blood flow to dissipate the excessive heat load.
Generally, wireless products emit the most RF energy when you are using them to talk to someone. The closer the device is to you, the more energy you will absorb.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends these RF safety tips to reduce RF exposure:
- Reduce the amount of time spent using your mobile device.
- Use speaker mode, headphones, or ear buds to place more distance between your head and the mobile device.
- Avoid making calls when the signal is weak as this causes cell phones to boost RF transmission power
- Consider texting rather than talking – but don’t text while you are driving.
Because of the widespread presence of RF radiation in the workplace, OSHA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) now offer similar guidance regarding safety and health related to RF exposure, but there are no specific regulations.
RF Safety Training Course by Tonex
Naturally occurring radio waves are emitted by lightning and astronomical objects. Radio waves are generated artificially by transmitters and received by radio receivers, using antennas.
Radio waves are very widely used in modern technology for fixed and mobile radio communication, broadcasting, radar and radio navigation systems, communications satellites, wireless computer networks and many other applications.
The downside of radio frequencies is RF radiation. Radio frequency electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is the transfer of energy by radio waves. RF EMR lies in the frequency range between 3 kilohertz (kHz) to 300 gigahertz (GHz). RF EMR is non-ionizing radiation, meaning that it has insufficient energy to break chemical bonds or remove electrons (ionization).
Artificial sources of RF EMR are mainly used for telecommunications purposes. Radio and television broadcasting, mobile phones, wireless networks such as Wi-Fi, cordless phones, police and fire department radios, point-to-point links and satellite communications all produce RF EMR.
Other sources of RF fields include microwave ovens, radar, industrial heaters and sealers, and various medical applications.
Exposure to sufficiently high levels of RF EMR can heat biological tissue and potentially cause tissue damage.
Several organizations, such as the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE), and the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) have issued recommendations for human exposure to RF electromagnetic fields.
For most workers, radio frequency radiation isn’t something to be overly concerned about. Low levels of RF radiation aren’t considered hazardous, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training (also known as CPWR).
However, RF radiation levels produced by telecommunications equipment, sensors, radio, TV cellular antennas, etc. can pose a considerable health risk for workers according to the CPWR.
Upon completion of the RF safety training course, the attendees will learn about:
- RF Theory of Operation
- RF Site Safety and the Law
- Type of RF Radiation
- Introduction to Antennas and RF sources
- Analyzing Maximum Permissible Exposure – MPE
- How to begin Hazard assessment
- Available Personal Protective Equipment – PPE
- RF Safety Models
RF Theory of RF Operations
- Radiofrequency Energy
- Radiofrequency and Microwave
- Radiation Standards
- Health Effects
- Hazard Locations and Solutions
- Evaluating RF and Microwave Exposure
- RF and Microwave Safety Programs
- Electromagnetic Fields
- RF fields and their application
- Cell Phones
- Wireless Devices and Health Concerns
- Cellular and PCS sites
- Human Exposure from Vehicle Mounted Antennas
- Cellular Telephone Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)
- RF Biological Hazard Issues
- Public Exposure (“Uncontrolled”)
- Occupational Exposure (“Controlled”)
- Tonex 10 RF Safety Rules
- RF Exposure Surveys Perform on-site survey characterize area with multiple RF sources
- Measurement equipment and probes Microwave to 28 or 38 GHz
- Low Band Land Mobile to 30 MHz
- AM Broadcast around 1.0 MHz
- Exposure as Percentage of MPE Exposure as Percentage of MPE
- How to read Site-Specific RF Compliance Guidelines
- Tips on Using Personal Safety Monitors
- Tips on using RF Protective Suits
RF Safety Regulations and Standards
- Notice of Proposed Rulemaking dated June 6, 2003, proposing amendments to FCC rules governing Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields, 47 CFR parts 1, 2, and 95.
- FCC’s Office of Engineering Technology (OET) Bulletin 65, Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields.
- FCC’s Docket File ET93-62, information on FCC Rules
- FCC RF Exposure Regulations First Memorandum Opinion
- FCC RF Exposure Regulations Second Memorandum Order and Opinion 97-303
- NEPA, FCC and OSHA RF Compliance
- The 1997 FCC Regulation, IEEE C95.1-2005/ANSI C95.1-1992
- FCC RF/NEPA Rules
- FCC RF Environmental Rules
- OSHA RF Compliance
- FCC RF Exposure Regulations overview
- FCC Frequently Asked RF Exposure
- Observe RF Exposure Guidelines The Electromagnetic Spectrum Non-Ionizing and Ionizing Radiation
- Cumulative and Non-Cumulative Radiation
- Effects FCC Rules and FCC OET Bulletin 65 FCC Rules and FCC OET Bulletin 65
- Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)
- Non-Ionizing Radiation Survey
- PCS, cellular, SMR, paging, Part 15, WiFi, in-building
- RF Compliance Documentation
- Electromagnetic shielding
- EME site audits, evaluations and reports
- Site specific safety guidelines
- Software modeling and analysis
- Field survey and RF measurement
- Safety policy evaluation and development
- Complete exposure mitigation
- RF Radiation (RFR) Safety
- Non-Ionizing Radiation
RF Field Measurements for Antenna
- Instrument Overview
- Detector Designs
- Effects and Definitions
- Standards Overview
- Antenna Designs and Calculations
- Performing Surveys
- Documenting a Survey
- Units of Measure
- Shaped Frequency Response Probes versus
- Traditional Flat Frequency Response Probes
- Measurement Uncertainty and
- Correction Factors
- Analog versus Digital Meters
- Connecting and Zeroing the Probe
- Checking Probe Functionality
- Beginning to Make Measurements
- Identifying High Level Areas First
- Spatial Averaging Techniques
- Using the Maximum Hold Feature
- Impact of the Human Body on
- Field Measurements
Labs and Workshops
- RF Safety Calculation Labs and Workshops
RF Safety Protection
At times, protection from RF radiation may be called for. Telecommunications workers and others required to be in the vicinity of RF antennas need to be especially careful. Recommended safety measures include:
- Protective Clothing — RF protective clothing should be considered as a method of choice only when other engineering and administrative controls cannot be used to reduce exposure or are otherwise impractical. Such a situation would arise when an antenna cannot be turned off or is utilized under intermittent operation that cannot be locally controlled. If these conditions exist, a full RF protective suit should be used, including an integrated hood, overshoes, socks, and gloves.
- An RF Field Monitor — These devices can alert workers to potential exposures over the MPE limits by sounding an alarm, flashing lights, or vibrating when the exposure level is exceeded. These monitors are only useful, however, if workers are trained on how to use them and they are used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, monitors should be worn outside of protective clothing.
- Keep a Safe Distance — Distance is important because the power density decreases the farther away from the source, both horizontally and vertically. Therefore, exposure drops the greater the distance or the higher up the antenna is from you.
- Power Down or Move an Antenna — If workers cannot maintain a safe distance because of the location of the work, the employer should contact the antenna owner.
Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation
Electromagnetic radiation consists of waves of electric and magnetic energy moving together (i.e., radiating) through space at the speed of light. Taken together, all forms of electromagnetic energy are referred to as the electromagnetic “spectrum.”
Radio waves and microwaves emitted by transmitting antennas are one form of electromagnetic energy. They are collectively referred to as “radiofrequency” or “RF” energy or radiation. Note that the term “radiation” does not mean “radioactive.” Often, the terms “electromagnetic field” or “radiofrequency field” may be used to indicate the presence of electromagnetic or RF energy.
The RF waves emanating from an antenna are generated by the movement of electrical charges in the antenna. Electromagnetic waves can be characterized by a wavelength and a frequency.
The wavelength is the distance covered by one complete cycle of the electromagnetic wave, while the frequency is the number of electromagnetic waves passing a given point in one second. The frequency of an RF signal is usually expressed in terms of a unit called the “hertz” (abbreviated “Hz”). One Hz equals one cycle per second. One megahertz (“MHz”) equals one million cycles per second.
Different forms of electromagnetic energy are categorized by their wavelengths and frequencies. The RF part of the electromagnetic spectrum is generally defined as that part of the spectrum where electromagnetic waves have frequencies in the range of about 3 kilohertz (3 kHz) to 300 gigahertz (300 GHz). Microwaves are a specific category of radio waves that can be loosely defined as radiofrequency energy at frequencies ranging from about 1 GHz upward.
“Ionization” is a process by which electrons are stripped from atoms and molecules. This process can produce molecular changes that can lead to damage in biological tissue, including effects on DNA, the genetic material of living organisms. This process requires interaction with high levels of electromagnetic energy.
Those types of electromagnetic radiation with enough energy to ionize biological material include X-radiation and gamma radiation. Therefore, X-rays and gamma rays are examples of ionizing radiation.
The energy levels associated with RF and microwave radiation, on the other hand, are not great enough to cause the ionization of atoms and molecules, and RF energy is, therefore, is a type of non-ionizing radiation.
Other types of non-ionizing radiation include visible and infrared light. Often the term “radiation” is used, colloquially, to imply that ionizing radiation (radioactivity), such as that associated with nuclear power plants, is present.
Ionizing radiation should not be confused with the lower-energy, non-ionizing radiation with respect to possible biological effects, since the mechanisms of action are quite different.
RF Safety Training covers RF theory of operations, regulations and RF standards, types of radiation and field effect, Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE) at RF sites, RF safety signs, hazard assessment, Lock out – Tag out procedures and Personal Protective equipment.
RF Safety training is for anyone who may encounter RF fields or RF exposure, and is required training for employees and sub-contractors in the telecommunications industry.
Attendees attending this class will receive a completion certificate and card complying with OSHA reporting requirements in 29 CFR1910.268.
Some Interesting FCC Links on RF Safety
- RF Safety FAQ’s
- OET – Bulletins On-line
- Wireless Devices and Health Concerns
- Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Fields: Guidelines For Cellular and PCS Sites
RF Safety Training