Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some examples of questions about the latest FCC Telecommunications Act RSI receives and our responses to those questions:

OSHA Training      OSHA Rules      FCC      Meters and Monitors      Environmental      International      Miscellaneous


OSHA Training

Federal run OSHA states make it a cumbersome to find the answer to this question. You must fully understand several sections of the OSHA requirements and then refer back to the pertinent section to arrive at your answer. Also you must understand that RF could be call: EME/RFE/RFR/non-ionizing and several other labels but they all mean the same thing! The answer is Annual non-ionizing radiation training is required but the below will give you specific as to how to get this answer. 1910.268 (c) highlights training requirements and c (1) states harmful physical substance. In 1910.1020 requires right of access to relevant exposure records if an employee is subjected to a toxic substance or harmful physical agent in the course of employment. 1910.1020(e)(2)(i)(A)(1) requires a record which measures or monitors the amount of a toxic substance or harmful physical agent to which the employee is or has been exposed (this would be the RSI hazard assessment). 1910.1020(g)(1) states: Upon an employee’s first entering into employment, and at least annually thereafter, each employer shall inform current employees covered by this section. 1910.132 (d) require a workplace hazard assessment to determine if hazards are present, or likely to be present, and select the appropriate type of PPE. OET 65 page 9 list the two tiers of exposure which are the controlled and uncontrolled. The FCC states on Page 12 “all transmitting facilities and devices regulated by this Commission that are the subject of an FCC decision or action are expected to comply with the appropriate RF radiation exposure guidelines.”

1910.1020 (g) (1) mandates providing the information to the employees yearly. Even if the site is in compliance, ongoing and yearly sampling is required to prove exposure levels and compliance. 1910.1020(e)(2)(i)(A)(1) This is the same requirement as noise or other particulates. Yearly sampling is needed as changes could have occurred that you are aware of or not aware of. Such things as shields/guards being removed, detuning, leaks, dye changes, line speed variations, new equipment, grounding, element changes, ambient condition changes, voltage changes, peak loads, other process changes all of which could affect spurious radiation and therefore must be reviewed at least annually or when a known change has been made.

Many state run OSHA states have specific requirements and make it easy to see RF training is required annually. For Example: MN states it in their Right to know section. Since most companies work in multiple states industry best management practices dictate the yearly requirement. Also many major carriers require yearly training. Not all OSHA States make it easy to understand that annual RF training is required but luckily RSI industry experts are able knowledgeable and can interpret the OSHA standards for you. Realize annual training is a minimum, but may not be enough, as training is to be provided as often as necessary to provide a safe workplace. The FCC recently issued a consent decree with a major carrier and a requirement of the compliance plan is yearly training. This reiterates that Annual training is required.

Most of the RF suits are not designed nor rated to work at AM frequencies and may in fact increase the potential hazard substantially.

According to the OSHA standard 1910.132, the employer must perform and document a workplace assessment to determine if PPE is required, if so the type of PPE. The employer must then train the employees regarding the use, limitations, maintenance, and storage of the equipment, how to don/doff the equipment. The employer must also train on how to inspect the garment prior to each use and ensure that this is accomplished. The employees must demonstrate a full understanding of the required training.

With the RF suit not only would the assessment have to include actual reading in the area of concern but also weigh these and the frequencies against the suit manufactures published data. Additionally if the suit is being worn on a tower the employer must ensure that it has been tested with the use of other PPE required.

There is also an OSHA interpretation letter stating the RF suit is a “fully encapsulating” suit which requires additional training and in use monitoring.

1910.268(p)(3) Protective measures. When an employee works in an area where the electromagnetic radiation exceeds the radiation protection guide, the employer shall institute measures that insure that the employee’s exposure is not greater than that permitted by the radiation guide. Such measures shall include, but not be limited to those of an administrative or engineering nature or those involving personal protective equipment.

1910.268(e)

Tools and personal protective equipment -- Generally. Personal protective equipment, protective devices and special tools needed for the work of employees shall be provided and the employer shall ensure that they are used by employees. Before each day’s use the employer shall ensure that these personal protective devices, tools, and equipment are carefully inspected by a competent person to ascertain that they are in good condition.

NCDOL RFR standard and other states also requires it sometimes.

Hawaii

(d) Wherever the use of personal protective equipment is deemed appropriate or necessitated by exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents, employers shall provide this equipment and it shall be used and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.

(e) All employers shall measure, monitor, and record employee exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents. The measurement shall determine if any employee may be exposed to concentrations of the toxic materials or harmful physical agents at or above the permissible exposure limit. The determination shall be made each time there is a change in production, process, or control measures which could result in an increase in concentrations of these materials or agents. A written record of the determination shall be made and shall contain at least:

Minnesota Training and information requirements for harmful physical agents

Step 1. Identify all physical agents
Ionizing/non-ionizing radiation:
- identity of sources;
- exposure limits;
- health effects of exposure;
- emergency procedures;
- safety procedures and control measures;
- personal protective equipment.


NCDOL13 NCAC 07F .0606 NON-IONIZING RADIATION

(C) If the transmitter power level can not be reduced or eliminated, an employer may permit its employees to access areas where the occupational/controlled MPE values stated in 47 CFR 1.1310 are exceeded if it implements engineering or administrative controls that comply with the FCC’s regulations concerning such exposure, including limiting the duration of the exposure and utilizing monitoring equipment, RF protective clothing and other related PPE; or NCDOL Training

(g)RF Training.

(1) All employees exposed in excess of the general population/uncontrolled MPE limits stated in 47 CFR 1.1310 shall receive RF hazard awareness training by or under the supervision of a qualified person in the following areas:
(A)MPE Limits for occupational/controlled exposure;
(B)Recognition of RF exposure sources in communication tower work;
(C)Proper use and interpretation of RF exposure;
(D)Work procedures to avoid excessive RF exposure;
(E)Proper use of RF protective clothing and other related PPE;
(F)Symptoms and health issues related to RF exposure; and,
(G)RF exposure first-aid procedure

Federal Employee Programs Training Requirements The following training requirements have been excerpted from Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations Part 1960. Note that in addition to these requirements, Part 1910, relating to general industry, also contains applicable training standards.

Financial Management 1960.7(c)(1)

(c) Appropriate resources for an agency’s occupational safety and health program shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) Sufficient personnel to implement and administer the program at all levels, including necessary administrative costs such as training, travel, and personal protective equipment.

Qualifications of Safety and Health Inspectors and Agency Inspectors 1960.25(a)

(a) Executive Order 12196 requires that each agency utilize as inspectors “personnel with equipment and competence to recognize hazards.” Inspections shall be conducted by inspectors qualified to recognize and evaluate hazards of the working environment and to suggest general abatement procedures. Safety and health specialists as defined in 29 CFR 1960.2(s), with experience and/or up-to-date training in occupational safety and health hazard recognition and evaluation are considered as meeting the qualifications of safety and health inspectors. For those working environments where there are less complex hazards, such safety and health specializations as cited above may not be required, but inspectors in such environments shall have sufficient documented training and/or experience in the safety and health hazards of the workplace involved to recognize and evaluate those particular hazards and to suggest general abatement procedures. All inspection personnel must be provided the equipment necessary to conduct a thorough inspection of the workplace involved.

Safety and Health Services 1960.34(e)(1)

(e) Safety and health services. The General Services Administration (GSA) will operate and maintain for user agencies the following services:

(1) Listings in the “Federal Supply Schedule” of safety and health services and equipment which are approved for use by agencies when needed. Examples of such services are: Workplace inspections, training, industrial hygiene surveys, asbestos bulk sampling, and mobile health testing. Examples of such equipment are: Personal protective equipment and apparel, safety devices, and environmental monitoring equipment.

Agency Responsibilities 1960.39(b)

(b) Agencies shall provide all committee members appropriate training as required by subpart H of this part.

Training of Top Management 1960.54

Each agency shall provide top management officials with orientation and other learning experiences which will enable them to manage the occupational safety and health programs of their agencies. Such orientation should include coverage of section 19 of the Act, Executive Order 12196, the requirements of this part, and the agency safety and health program.

Training of Supervisors 1960.55(a) and (b)

(a) Each agency shall provide occupational safety and health training for supervisory employees that includes: supervisory responsibility for providing and maintaining safe and healthful working conditions for employees; the agency occupational safety and health program; section 19 of the Act; Executive Order 12196; this part; occupational safety and health standards applicable to the assigned workplaces; agency procedures for reporting hazards; agency procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of reprisal; and agency procedures for the abatement of hazards, as well as other appropriate rules and regulations.

Training of Safety and Health Specialists 1960.56(a) and (b)

(b) This supervisory training should include introductory and specialized courses and materials which will enable supervisors to recognize and eliminate, or reduce, occupational safety and health hazards in their working units. Such training shall also include the development of requisite skills in managing the agency’s safety and health program within the work unit, including the training and motivation of subordinates toward assuring safe and healthful work practices.

Training of Safety and Health Inspectors 1960.57

(a) Each agency shall provide occupational safety and health training for safety and health specialists through courses, laboratory experiences, field study, and other formal learning experiences to prepare them to perform the necessary technical monitoring, consulting, testing, inspecting, designing, and other tasks related to program development and implementation, as well as hazard recognition, evaluation and control, equipment and facility design, standards, analysis of accident, injury, and illness data, and other related tasks.

Training of Collateral Duty Safety and Health Personnel and Committee Members 1926.58

(b) Each agency shall implement career development programs for their occupational safety and health specialists to enable the staff to meet present and future program needs of the agency.

Each agency shall provide training for safety and health inspectors with respect to appropriate standards, and the use of appropriate equipment and testing procedures necessary to identify and evaluate hazards and suggest general abatement procedures during or following their assigned inspections, as well as preparation of reports and other documentation to support the inspection findings.

Within six months after October 1, 1980, or on appointment of an employee to a collateral duty position or to a committee, each agency shall provide training for collateral duty safety and health personnel and all members of certified occupational safety and health committees commensurate with the scope of their assigned responsibilities. Such training shall include: the agency occupational safety and health program; section 19 of the Act; Executive Order 12196; this part; agency procedures for the reporting, evaluation and abatement of hazards; agency procedures for reporting and investigating allegations of reprisal; the recognition of hazardous conditions and environments; identification and use of occupational safety and health standards, and other appropriate rules and regulations.

Training of Employees and Employee Representatives 1960.59(a) and (b)

(a) Each agency shall provide appropriate safety and health training for employees including specialized job safety and health training appropriate to the work performed by the employee, for example: Clerical, printing, welding, crane operation, chemical analysis, and computer operations. Such training also shall inform employees of the agency occupational safety and health program, with emphasis on their rights and responsibilities.

(b) Occupational safety and health training for employees of the agency who are representatives of employee groups, such as labor organizations which are recognized by the agency, shall include both introductory and specialized courses and materials that will enable such groups to function appropriately in ensuring safe and healthful working conditions and practices in the workplace and enable them to effectively assist in conducting workplace safety and health inspections. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to alter training provisions provided by law, Executive Order, or collective bargaining arrangements.

Training Assistance 1960.60(a) through (d)

(a) Agency heads may seek training assistance from the Secretary of Labor, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and other appropriate sources.

(b) After the effective date of Executive Order 12196, the Secretary shall, upon request and with reimbursement, conduct orientation for Designated Agency Safety and Health Officials and/or their designees which will enable them to manage the occupational safety and health programs of their agencies. Such orientation shall include coverage of section 19 of the Act, Executive Order 12196, and the requirements of this part.

(c) Upon request and with reimbursement, the Department of Labor shall provide each agency with training materials to assist in fulfilling the training needs of this subpart, including resident and field training courses designed to meet selected training needs of agency safety and health specialists, safety and health inspectors, and collateral duty safety and health personnel. These materials and courses in no way reduce each agency’s responsibility to provide whatever specialized training is required by the unique characteristics of its work.

(d) In cooperation with the Office of Personnel Management, the Secretary will develop guidelines and/or provide materials for the safety and health training programs for high-level managers, supervisors, members of committees, and employee representatives.

Role of the Secretary 1960.85(b)

(b) The Secretary shall provide leadership and guidance and make available equipment, supplies, and staff services to the Field Federal Safety and Health Councils to assist them in carrying out their responsibilities. The Secretary shall also provide consultative and technical services to field councils. These services shall involve aid in any phase of developing and planning programs; and in sponsoring, conducting, or supporting safety and health training courses.

Objectives of Field Councils 1960.87(d)

(d) To promote coordination, cooperation, and sharing of resources and expertise to aid agencies with inadequate or limited resources. These objectives can be accomplished in a variety of ways. For example, field councils could organize and conduct training programs for employee representatives, collateral duty and professional safety and health personnel, coordinate or promote programs for inspections, or, on request conduct inspections and evaluations of the agencies' safety and health programs.

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha2254.pdf

In certain cities across the United States, increasingly common sites are the well recognized yet seldom noticed electric transmission line towers that traverse the cityscapes with not-so-recognized additions. These additions are the ubiquitous cellular phone or PCS phone base station antennas. Due to the fact that many municipalities have set a moratorium on the construction of new cellular/PCS tower sites, many telecommunications companies are looking to preexisting tall structures to mount their much-in-demand base antennas in order to provide ever-expanding coverage for their cellular or PCS phone customers.

Since the transmission towers are already there, the carrier’s cost of erecting a cellular tower can be saved and those monies allocated for new site acquisitions. This also allows the utility to glean a significant amount of revenue from the telecommunications carriers for joint pole use.

With the benefits of leasing transmission tower space comes a degree of responsibility on the part of the utility company. The addition of emitters of radiofrequency energy to an already potentially hazardous environment creates an additional problem when it comes to electrical worker safety.

If a lineperson comes into close proximity to the cellular or PCS antennas, and lingers in front of the antennas for too long a time, RF overexposure can occur. Some symptoms of RF overexposure (based on thermal, or heating effects) include confusion or vertigo, nausea and headache among others. Should a lineperson suffer any of these symptoms in an already hazardous work environment, such as changing out insulators or working on transformers or shield wires, the RF overexposure could lead to a lapse in judgment and impact the worker's safety.

RF exposure can be reduced significantly with an increase in distance from the antennas. RF power density quickly dissipates to a safe level at a certain distance from the antenna. This is similar to the wakes coming off a boat’s propeller. The rapid churning of the water near the propeller is synonymous with the near field or danger area of an antenna, where the homogenous waves that form the wakes in the water is synonymous with the far field of the antenna, where the power density is lowered substantially and poses little if any heating effect. Unfortunately, there is no one set distance one can apply to antennas, as the gain and watts into antennas of different types vary greatly. Even two panel antennas that look exactly alike can have significantly different power levels. The only way to determine minimum safe distances from antennas is through the use of a maximum permissible exposure evaluation. The MPE is derived from an algebraic equation. Again, however, minimum safe distances are not “across the board” like the 10 foot stand-off distance for energized power lines. The distances can vary greatly depending on the power to the antenna.

After performing an MPE study on the antennas or having performed an actual field strength measurement, the information should be used to create a safety program for line personnel. Properly drafted safety plans should include lock out/tag out procedures if needed as well as any other applicable subjects, i.e., minimum safe distances, accident notification protocol. Classroom and/or hands-on RF safety awareness training that provide the trainee with the necessary information for working around RF energy sources should accompany the plan. The program should probably include the use of RF emissions Personal Protection Monitors (PPM, photo 3.) that warn the wearer when RF emissions exceed the federal limits through a combination of beeps and LCD displays. The RF PPM requires a higher level of training so that workers do not get a false sense of security and rely too heavily on their use.

For utilities that have their own communications system, such as microwave or land-mobile communications, an MPE evaluation is mandated by the FCC. Though the MPE may indicate there is no harmful RF emanating from the antenna and impacting work or public areas, this information must be discerned and the resulting document kept on file with the FCC transmitter license.

Wireless Internet providers still must meet FCC and OSHA requirements, and they also have workers doing the installs so they need all types of required OSHA safety training (from Hazcom, small tools to RF). Many sites they are installing equipment at, already have other high power RF units on the air. The Hard line phone groups are installing T1 and Standard phone lines for wireless, cell, paging, two way radio and broadcasters their workers enter these sites daily.

General safety training, fall protection, Hazcom, etc., Also they may need assessments but it’s doubtful that they would think so. Assessments would be for places where they may be providing services such as a hotel with BDA’s or leaky coax, WiFi hotspots etc.

RSI conducts specific training and RSI has trainers who “Know RF Telecommunication Sites” from the top of the tower to the inside of the equipment and the studio.

The most rewarding classes for students are the ones which they can relate to, because the trainer uses examples, pictures and scenarios that come from the students own work environment. RSI has trainers who “Know RF Telecommunication Sites” from the top of the tower to the inside of the equipment and the studio. RSI’S 10 and 30 hour classes are different than a standard run-of-the-mill OSHA 10 hour Construction class. OSHA requires specific training on the hazards that the employees many find at their job site, anyway. RSI just combines this standard OSHA requirement with the 10 hour outreach training in one class! Even if you have a 10 card the RSI is going to help you do your job safer.

Many Companies and OSHA programs are now requiring Specific 10 hour training also SEE FAQ: #27

NATE/OSHA partnering companies must have their crews and supervisory directors meet specific levels of training. All onsite tower personnel must receive OSHA 10-hour or equivalent training. The focus of that training must be specifically tower safety. Supervisory personnel for tower crews must obtain OSHA 30-hour training or its equivalent. Again the training is to be specific to the factors facing tower workers.

Also Training FAQ No. 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 28, 38

And Worker's Right to Know: No. 7, 14, 20, 24, 29, 32, 33, 37, 40, 45, 47, 49

OSHA requires training for any employee exposed to work place hazards. OSHA determined that RFR or non-ionizing radiation is a physical hazard as long ago as 1972. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued new rigorous regulations pertaining to exposure to RF became final in Sept 1, 2000. The FCC is now doing site inspections and enforcement of these rules, all RF Heating units are also controlled by the FCC, they are FCC Type accepted or approved. The new FCC standards are as much as fifty times more stringent than the old OSHA guidelines.

This means that employers with employees who may be exposed to RF above the uncontrolled levels must train those employees in hazard recognition, and hazard avoidance. This training is required in order to provide a safe work environment for your workers as well as yourself.

Specifically, is it the sole responsibility of the facility to screen for pacemakers? What is the role and therefore the liability of the referring physician, primary care physician and others involved in the patients management? Have any of the cases of serious injury or death resulted in the filing of a malpractice suit - have damages been awarded, have cases settled out of court?

As to the questions pertaining to the legal liability (I presume you are not interested in my response to the ethical or moral liability), that is not an area in which I have, nor claim, any expertise. I therefore contacted a (plaintiff’s) medical malpractice attorney (Craig Frischman, Esq. of Kapetan Myers Rosen Louik & Raizman, P.C., Pittsburgh, PA) here in Pittsburgh today and presented this question to him. He felt that a generic answer to such a generic question would be that in all likelihood, the referring and/or primary care physicians would typically NOT be held liable for an adverse outcome of scanning a patient that was subsequently found to have an implanted pacemaker, unless they had knowledge of the hazard and failed to act. The radiologist and the hospital/site, on the other hand, would certainly be prime candidates for him to pursue, as it is their responsibility to ensure that only patients on whom this test can be performed with a reasonable level of safety be permitted into the environment of the MR imager. The referring and/or primary care physicians are relying on the radiologist/MR site to know how the test is performed - and on whom it may be safely applied.

When I asked him regarding the MR nursing staff and/or MR technologists, he responded that their responsibility would depend upon their role in permitting the patient to come within the environment of the magnet. If those persons within the facility having responsibility to obtain a patient’s history were professionals in the field for whom it could have been demonstrated that they should have reasonably been expected to be aware of the problems of placing a pacemaker patient into an MR scanner, they could certainly be exposed as well. This is especially true if they failed to obtain adequate historical information related to the hazard of a particular patient being exposed to the magnet. It is nonetheless obvious that liability in this case is very fact dependent.

As to the question regarding whether or not there have been any cases of serious injury or death which resulted in the filing of a malpractice suit, etc., there most certainly have been. Although I am not able to discuss the specifics of cases in which I have been asked to become involved, I would be comfortable stating that quite a few of which I am aware have settled out of court. The majority of the ones of which I am aware have been "gagged" or kept as silent as can be - for rather obvious reasons - relatively successfully avoiding potentially damaging publicity.

Finally, even when the adverse event has made it into what may sometimes be national news (e.g., literally published in the New York Times), financial/legal outcomes to such cases are often not readily publicly accessible.

E. Kanal

With the passing of the OSHA Personal Protection Equipment Law, (PPE), employees must be protected from hazards and have available the use of the right type of Personal Protection Equipment. RF Energy is now classified as a physical hazard; RF Personal Protection monitors are included in this definition.

The “Personal Protection Equipment” standard stipulates that employees have access to and use personal safety equipment supplied by the employer. This includes hearing and eye protection, respirators for hot work, and if in an area with the potential for exposure to electromagnetic energy, RF monitoring equipment. It is the primary responsibility of the employer to provide training to the workers on the use of the equipment. RF monitors require training in their use to the same degree (competent and qualified) as is required for any other personal protection equipment (PPE). For example, it is not enough to simply give a novice tower climber a harness. Climbers must have adequate training in how to use the harness, thus giving themselves confidence in their own training and qualifications.

If a company purchases RF monitors or suits, even before the first use of the equipment at the job site, the employees must be trained and show that they are competent and qualified in their use. This training must be updated as required. It is the employer or their designated person's responsibility to routinely inspect the work area in order to monitor and abate possible or existing hazardous conditions in the work area. It is the responsibility of business owners to know all the factors that affect their employees in their business. This includes the safety regulations of various government agencies.

OSHA GENERAL STIPULATIONS: SUMMARIZED

All employees must use Personal Protection Equipment devices that are relevant to the specific task they are involved in. Before initial use of said equipment, the employee must be trained in the use of the equipment, and demonstrate that they are competent and qualified in the use of the equipment. The training must be updated as required.

Survey it: FCC statement: Some licensees have determined, by calculations or by other means that they comply with the limits for the general public and have then assumed that they are fully compliant with our exposure limits or otherwise categorically excluded from further action. In these cases, licensees have often not considered their responsibilities to ensure compliance for workers who many have access to areas in close proximity to antenna sites.

With respect to fixed transmitters, we (FCC) have found in implementing our RF exposure guidelines over the past several years that in some cases licensees have failed to take note of the fact that they are responsible for compliance with both the controlled limits as well as the general population/uncontrolled limits.

Because RF energy is now recognized as a physical hazard, you must consider worker’s and the public’s exposure when planning operation at communications sites, or for that matter, any location where RF energy may be present.

An MPE maybe enough to meet FCC requirements in the far field but in the near filed on the tower, it does not meet the requirements. The FCC requires occupational and general public testing and modeling is not effective in the near field. When someone is on the tower, there are a number of factors involved that the MPE does not calculate. The FCC ran a test case on this in HI and found that the MPE produced results within the limits but when the FCC took actual readings the actual level was above the limits. Information on recent citations can be found on the FCC webpage. OSHA does not accept modeling for any type of known hazard in an occupational work space. RF along with noise, heat and cold stress, hand arm vibrations, laser, ionizing radiation, microwave, and ultraviolet radiation are all physical hazards. OSHA will only accept real world actual testing.

Therefore to meet FCC and OSHA standards actual hazard assessments must take place. If it is found that the MPE is over the limits outlined in the government standards, action must be taken. This may include equipment changes, an environmental assessment, and/or a safety plan. Companies, contractors, government, shops, and sites are all included in having to comply. A general safety plan must be formulated, and employees must be trained. Also, if employees are exposed to RF radiation at any time as part of their employment, they must know the potential hazards associated with RF as part of the OSHA “Right to Know” concept.

At the National Association of Tower Erectors annual conference in San Diego, 1997, the voting membership voted that, as a part of an OSHA acceptable tower climber program, “All certified tower climbers must receive RF safety training”.

OSHA CFR 1910.268 (c) states in part: “Where training is required, it shall consist of on-the-job training or classroom-type training or a combination of both. The employer shall certify the employees have been trained by preparing a certification record which includes the identity of the person trained, the signature of the employer or the person that conducted the training, and the date the training was completed.” With the new RF MPE standards safety training is now required.

Contractors must be responsible for worker safety as outlined in OSHA regulations. Contractors whose workers may be exposed to RF radiation as a part of their employment should prepare a written safety plan that outlines the steps needed to guard against exposure to RF radiation. This plan should account for both routine and non-routine operations. RSI can prepare a written safety plan for your company.

You should also implement a written RF safety plan with record keeping to ensure that non-essential personnel do not enter controlled areas. Anyone, including all employees, entering a controlled area must follow the established procedures to ensure their exposure to RF radiation is below the allowable exposure level.

Personal Protection Monitors and equipment should be employed when in RF radiation areas. Employees that use personal protection equipment must be trained in its use, and the training must be updated annually as part of the overall written safety plan as per the OSHA Personal Protection Equipment regulations. ( RSI has the only complete RF training program in the industry.)

Hazard Assessments

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OSHA Rules

Per the state of Alaska:

Radiofrequency and microwave radiation are both forms of energy called electromagnetic radiation. Sunshine contains three other forms of electromagnetic radiation: ultraviolet rays, infrared (heat) waves, and visible light waves.

These forms of energy are transmitted by waves. The distance between wave peaks is the “wavelength”. The number of wave peaks passing a given point in one second is the “frequency”.

Radiofrequency or radiowaves have a range of frequencies and wavelengths. Very High Frequency (VHF) radiowaves are used for TV and FM radio. Medium Frequency (MF) radiowaves are used for AM radio. Radiofrequency is used in heat sealers and glue driers.

Microwaves are actually just radiowaves of higher frequencies. Microwaves are used for radar and satellite communications, for telephone and TV transmissions, for microwave ovens, and for diathermy in medical clinics.

Electromagnetic radiation can interact with objects (or people) in three different ways. The energy waves can pass through an object without being changed, like light through a window. It can be reflected, like light off a mirror, or it can be absorbed and cause the object to heat up, like a sidewalk in the sun.

The health hazards of electromagnetic radiation are related only to the absorption of energy. The effects of absorbed energy depend on many different factors such as its wavelength and frequency, its intensity and duration. Different materials also absorb energy differently.

Health Hazards
When microwaves or radiowaves are absorbed by body tissues, localized or spot heating can occur. The increased temperature can damage tissues, especially those with poor temperature control such as the lens of the eye.

Cataracts, clouding of the lens of the eye, may occur at the very high energy levels encountered close to radiating radar antennas. Heat damage to tissues is caused by high levels of exposure for short periods of time.

The health effects of low levels of exposure to radiowaves or microwaves for long periods of time are much harder to find and to prove. Some scientific studies show health effects from long-term, lowlevel exposure, other studies do not.

The following list includes health effects which some researchers suspect may be related to excessive radiofrequency/microwave exposure:
- Psychological changes, e.g., insomnia, irritability, mood swings,depression
- Headaches
- Nervous system abnormalities
- Hormonal changes
- Miscarriages and birth defects
- Male Infertility
- Altered immunity
- Leukemia
Of course, many of these health effects are relatively common, and most people having these problems have NOT had excessive exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation.

Safety and Health Precautions
Employers who have people working around devices which produce radiofrequency/microwave radiation need to be sure that those devices are properly shielded to prevent leakage of radiation. Safety information regarding proper use and shielding of those devices can usually be obtained from owner/operators manuals, manufacturers, and the Alaska Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Section.

Radiofrequency sealers and heaters have been among the major sources of employee exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation. When these machines are used, employees should use mechanical or electrical devices that allow them to stay as far away form the source of radiation as possible. Whenever possible, these sealers should be turned off when not being used. Maintenance and adjustment of this type of equipment should be performed only by trained technicians and only when the machines are turned off.

Warnings should be posted to keep everyone away from the source of radiation except for those workers who are absolutely essential to performing the job.

People who are regularly exposed to significant levels of radiofrequency/microwave radiation should have preemployment and annual physical exams. The doctors should pay careful attention to the eyes to look for cataracts, to the nervous system for any abnormalities to the blood, to detect any early evidence of leukemia, and to the reproductive system to detect any abnormalities. Information concerning the frequency and intensity of the radiation exposures and duration of exposures should be provided to the physician.

In work areas where there is known or suspected to be significant amounts of radiofrequency/microwave radiation present, specialists should measure the amounts of radiation present. If excessive radiofrequency/microwave radiation is detected, modifications in the workplace should be made to reduce radiation exposure of workers. Afterwards, additional measurements should be made to determine if the radiation exposure has been reduced.

Permissible Exposure Limits
The State of Alaska’s permissible exposure limit is specified in Article I of Subchapter 4, Occupational Health and Environmental Control Code [04.0106(a)], Alaska Occupational Safety and Health Standards. For normal environmental conditions and for incident electromagnetic energy of frequencies from 10 MHz to 100 GHz, the radiation protection guide is 10 mW/cm (milliwatts per square centimeter) as averaged over any possible six-minute period.

Further information can be obtained from the Alaska Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Section.

Microwave Cooking Ovens
Microwave ovens used for heating food, when used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, do not expose personnel to microwave radiation.

Microwave ovens do not need to be included in an employer’s Hazard Communication program.

1910.1020 requires it. it is RSI’s hope that you are within guidelines and no problems are found. If this is the case, then the report would be used to provide a baseline and to document compliance. However if issues are found, then a program can be formulated to become compliant based upon the report. Documentation is required and must be provided in employees as electromagnetic energy radiation is a physical agent.

Because 1910.1020(c)(13) notes EMR as a physical agent: “Toxic substance or harmful physical agent” means any chemical substance, biological agent (bacteria, virus, fungus, etc.), or physical stress (noise, heat, cold, vibration, repetitive motion, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, hypo - or hyperbaric pressure, etc.)

The OSHA inspector may have been called out on another concern or may have not fully reviewed each and every possible infraction. This doesn’t mean that the next agent wouldn’t find you in violation. This is the same as for noise sampling. If OSHA actually comes out and does a noise study this is a big problem as you should have already had a study for this and any other hygiene issues including Electromagnetic Energy Radiation.

Yes OSHA states “a written hazard communication program” 1910.1200(e)(1)

Employers shall develop, implement, and maintain at each workplace, a written hazard communication program which at least describes how the criteria specified in paragraphs (f), (g), and (h) of this section for labels and other forms of warning, safety data sheets, and employee information and training will be met, and which also includes the following:

1910.1200(e)(1)(i)
A list of the hazardous chemicals known to be present using a product identifier that is referenced on the appropriate safety data sheet (the list may be compiled for the workplace as a whole or for individual work areas); and,

1910.1200(e)(1)(ii)
The methods the employer will use to inform employees of the hazards of non-routine tasks (for example, the cleaning of reactor vessels), and the hazards associated with chemicals contained in unlabeled pipes in their work areas.

YES! You are responsible for the temps training. Any employer utilizing temporary employees must be aware that no matter what its contract states as to the temporary employee provider responsibility to conduct OSHA safety and health training, the host employer will still be responsible for ensuring that its temporary employees have been properly trained and aware of all safety and health hazards at the worksite. This is especially true if the host employer is supervising the temporary employees, Also, under the OSHA multi-employer citation policy, the host employer will not likely be considered the controlling employer and may be cited for safety and health violations created by the temporary employees. This is a complex issue and employees utilizing a temporary employee provider should look closely at the contract with the provider to And possibly seek legal guidance. Best management practices would established approved training providers which you use for both your company and the temp agency.

News Release: OSHA launches initiative to protect temporary workers

You need to make the changes to get the site into compliance because by having the hazard assessment you know there is an issue and are admitting guilt if you don’t correct it.

Most of the RF suits are not designed nor rated to work at AM frequencies and may in fact increase the potential hazard substantially.

According to the OSHA standard 1910.132, the employer must perform and document a workplace assessment to determine if PPE is required, if so the type of PPE. The employer must then train the employees regarding the use, limitations, maintenance, and storage of the equipment, how to don/doff the equipment. The employer must also train on how to inspect the garment prior to each use and ensure that this is accomplished. The employees must demonstrate a full understanding of the required training.

With the RF suit not only would the assessment have to include actual reading in the area of concern but also weigh these and the frequencies against the suit manufactures published data. Additionally if the suit is being worn on a tower the employer must ensure that it has been tested with the use of other PPE required.

There is also an OSHA interpretation letter stating the RF suit is a “fully encapsulating” suit which requires additional training and in use monitoring.

Signage alone DOES NOT equal compliance and is not sufficient enough to achieve that compliance. In fact anyone working on sites with a caution or warning signs must be trained per OSHA. And any competent person who has been trained will ask for the site measurements in % of MPE before they enter that site.

OSHA and FCC require safe work practice procedures at RF site in fact Robert A. Curtis, Director, US DOL/OSHA Health Response Team states:

Element 4: Implementation of controls to reduce RF exposures to levels in compliance with applicable guidelines (e.g., ANSI, ICNIRP), including the establishment of safe work practice procedures.

Reliance on averaging is normally not recommended when establishing basic control strategies because it obligates the employer to conduct “measurement” of employee activity to ensure the averaging is applicable, such as timing an employee’s access inside an area which can not be occupied for 6 minutes without exceeding the allowable time-weighted exposure. Where possible, controls should be establish under the assumption that standards are not time-weighted, i.e., assume the standards are ceiling limits which are not to be exceeded.

Measurements are necessary during the development of work practices to ensure the practices are effective in preventing excessive exposures. Detailed measurements are required if exposures are approaching guideline limits as discussed above.

Appropriate work practices must be followed during the repair and maintenance of RF equipment. Occasionally, cabinet panels must be removed by service personnel to allow access for maintenance. Failure to replace a panel properly may result in excessive RF leakage. RF screening measurements can be used to determine which panels can be removed during operation (assuming other hazards, such as electrical shock, are controlled), and to ensure the shielding is reinstalled properly.

To develop work practices to minimize exposures; to obtain information to be used in training workers regarding their potential hazards and how they are controlled; to identify “RF Hazard” zones and other areas requiring signs and training: to determine the need for medical surveillance; as an alternative or enhancement of Lockout/Tagout procedures; to evaluate the effectiveness of RF personal protective equipment; and as a periodic audit of the effectiveness of the RF Protection Program. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiofrequencyradiation/elem_com.html

Yes, General Duty Clause, requires employers to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards.”

see http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/samplinganalysis/index.html

Sampling and Analysis

OSHA Standards

Sampling and analysis hazards are addressed in specific standards for the general industry. This page highlights OSHA standards and standard interpretations (official letters of interpretation of the standards) related to sampling and analysis.

Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, often referred to as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”. Section 5(a)(2) requires employers to “comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act”.

Note: Twenty-four states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

Nonionizing radiation. - 1910.97

Regulations (Standards - 29 CFR) - Table of Contents

• Part Number: 1910
• Part Title: Occupational Safety and Health Standards
• Subpart: G
• Subpart Title: Occupational Health and Environment Control
• Standard Number: 1910.97
• Title: Nonionizing radiation.
1910.97(a)

“Electromagnetic radiation” - 1910.97(a)(1)

“Definitions applicable to this paragraph.” 1910.97(a)(1)(i)

The term “electromagnetic radiation” is restricted to that portion of the spectrum commonly defined as the radio frequency region, which for the purpose of this specification shall include the microwave frequency region.

1910.97(a)(1)(ii)

“Partial body irradiation.” Pertains to the case in which part of the body is exposed to the incident electromagnetic energy.



1910.97(a)(1)(iii) “Radiation protection guide.” Radiation level which should not be exceeded without careful consideration of the reasons for doing so.

1910.97(a)(1)(iv)

The word “symbol” as used in this specification refers to the overall design, shape, and coloring of the rf radiation sign shown in figure G-11.

..1910.97(a)(1)(v)

1910.97(a)(1)(v)

“Whole body irradiation.” Pertains to the case in which the entire body is exposed to the incident electromagnetic energy or in which the cross section of the body is smaller than the cross section of the incident radiation beam.

1910.97(a)(2)

“Radiation protection guide.”

1910.97(a)(2)(i) RSI Note: The newer FCC RF rules 47 CFR 1.1307 replace the older OSHA radiation protection guide listed in (a)(2)(i) and some state have their own standards. For normal environmental conditions and for incident electromagnetic energy of frequencies from 10 MHz to 100 GHz, the radiation protection guide is 10 mW/cm.(2) (milliwatt per square centimeter) as averaged over any possible 0.1-hour period. This means the following:

Power density: 10 mW./cm.(2) for periods of 0.1-hour or more.
Energy density: 1 mW.-hr./cm.(2) (milliwatt hour per square centimeter) during any 0.1-hour period.

This guide applies whether the radiation is continuous or intermittent.

1910.97(a)(2)(ii)

These formulated recommendations pertain to both whole body irradiation and partial body irradiation. Partial body irradiation must be included since it has been shown that some parts of the human body (e.g., eyes, testicles) may be harmed if exposed to incident radiation levels significantly in excess of the recommended levels.

1910.97(a)(3)

“Warning symbol.”

1910.97(a)(3)(i)

The warning symbol for radio frequency radiation hazards shall consist of a red isosceles triangle above an inverted black isosceles triangle, separated and outlined by an aluminum color border. The words “Warning - Radio-Frequency Radiation Hazard” shall appear in the upper triangle. See figure G-11.

..1910.97(a)(3)(ii)

1910.97(a)(3)(ii)

American National Standard Safety Color Code for Marking Physical Hazards and the Identification of Certain Equipment, Z53.1-1953 which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6, shall be used for color specification. All lettering and the border shall be of aluminum color.

1910.97(a)(3)(iii)

The inclusion and choice of warning information or precautionary instructions is at the discretion of the user. If such information is included it shall appear in the lower triangle of the warning symbol.

1910.97(a)(4)

“Scope.” This section applies to all radiations originating from radio stations, radar equipment, and other possible sources of electromagnetic radiation such as used for communication, radio navigation, and industrial and scientific purposes. This section does not apply to the deliberate exposure of patients by, or under the direction of, practitioners of the healing arts.

[61 FR 9227, March 7, 1996]

Nonionizing radiation. - 1910.97

1910.97(a)

“Electromagnetic radiation” - 1910.97(a)(1)

“Definitions applicable to this paragraph.” 1910.97(a)(1)(i)

The term “electromagnetic radiation” is restricted to that portion of the spectrum commonly defined as the radio frequency region, which for the purpose of this specification shall include the microwave frequency region.

1910.97(a)(1)(ii)

“Partial body irradiation.” Pertains to the case in which part of the body is exposed to the incident electromagnetic energy.

1910.97(a)(1)(iii)

“Radiation protection guide.” Radiation level which should not be exceeded without careful consideration of the reasons for doing so. 1910.97(a)(1)(iv)

The word “symbol” as used in this specification refers to the overall design, shape, and coloring of the rf radiation sign shown in figure G-11.

..1910.97(a)(1)(v)

1910.97(a)(1)(v)

“Whole body irradiation.” Pertains to the case in which the entire body is exposed to the incident electromagnetic energy or in which the cross section of the body is smaller than the cross section of the incident radiation beam.

1910.97(a)(2)



“Radiation protection guide.” 1910.97(a)(2)(i) RSI Note: The newer FCC RF rules 47 CFR 1.1307 replace the older OSHA radiation protection guide listed in (a)(2)(i) and some state have their own standards.

For normal environmental conditions and for incident electromagnetic energy of frequencies from 10 MHz to 100 GHz, the radiation protection guide is 10 mW/cm.(2) (milliwatt per square centimeter) as averaged over any possible 0.1-hour period. This means the following:

Power density: 10 mW./cm.(2) for periods of 0.1-hour or more.
Energy density: 1 mW.-hr./cm.(2) (milliwatt hour per square centimeter) during any 0.1-hour period.

This guide applies whether the radiation is continuous or intermittent.

1910.97(a)(2)(ii)

These formulated recommendations pertain to both whole body irradiation and partial body irradiation. Partial body irradiation must be included since it has been shown that some parts of the human body (e.g., eyes, testicles) may be harmed if exposed to incident radiation levels significantly in excess of the recommended levels.

1910.97(a)(3)

“Warning symbol.”

1910.97(a)(3)(i)

The warning symbol for radio frequency radiation hazards shall consist of a red isosceles triangle above an inverted black isosceles triangle, separated and outlined by an aluminum color border. The words “Warning - Radio-Frequency Radiation Hazard” shall appear in the upper triangle. See figure G-11.

..1910.97(a)(3)(ii)

1910.97(a)(3)(ii)

American National Standard Safety Color Code for Marking Physical Hazards and the Identification of Certain Equipment, Z53.1-1953 which is incorporated by reference as specified in Sec. 1910.6, shall be used for color specification. All lettering and the border shall be of aluminum color.

1910.97(a)(3)(iii)

The inclusion and choice of warning information or precautionary instructions is at the discretion of the user. If such information is included it shall appear in the lower triangle of the warning symbol.

1910.97(a)(4)

“Scope.” This section applies to all radiations originating from radio stations, radar equipment, and other possible sources of electromagnetic radiation such as used for communication, radio navigation, and industrial and scientific purposes. This section does not apply to the deliberate exposure of patients by, or under the direction of, practitioners of the healing arts.

Elements of a Comprehensive RF Protection Program: Role of RF Measurements

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiofrequencyradiation/elem_com.html Robert A. Curtis, Director
US DOL/OSHA Health Response Team

ABSTRACT OSHA recognizes that its most effective activities, including inspections, are those which encourage employers to implement their own comprehensive safety and health program. For work sites involving potentially hazardous radio frequency radiation, OSHA compliance officers should evaluate the RF protection component of the overall program. This presentation outlines the elements of a comprehensive RF Protection Program. These include the implementation of appropriate protective policies based on the potential for excessive RF exposures. Therefore, RF exposure assessments, often requiring direct measurement, are performed to evaluate the effectiveness of RF controls; to ensure proper maintenance of RF radiating equipment; to develop work practices to minimize exposures; to obtain information to be used in training workers regarding their potential hazards and how they are controlled; to identify “RF Hazard” zones and other areas requiring signs and training:

Element 2: RF hazard identification and periodic surveillance by a competent person who can effectively assess RF exposures.

Screening measurements are normally sufficient to identify potentially hazardous RF areas which will require some control strategy, such as to determine where a fence should be located. More complex measurements are necessary if the employer intends to allow exposures to employees approaching RF standards. For example, detailed measurements are necessary if whole-body and/or time-weighted averaging of exposures is necessary to bring exposures into compliance.

RF fields can induce currents in nearby conducting objects, such as a metal barrier or fence used to restrict access to RF hazard areas. These must be evaluated to ensure they do not constitute RF shock and burn hazards. Although detail measurements can be made, the “measurement” of startling/annoying RI spark discharge can usually be made by a quick touch.

OSHA

Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act, often referred to as the General Duty Clause, requires employers to “furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees”. Section 5(a)(2) requires employers to “comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act”.

Note: Twenty-four states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have OSHA-approved State Plans and have adopted their own standards and enforcement policies. For the most part, these States adopt standards that are identical to Federal OSHA. However, some States have adopted different standards applicable to this topic or may have different enforcement policies.

Yes your are required to comply per the FCC, and in fact the FCC states that measures ensure compliance. see FCC 96-326 RF Safety Requirements

6. The Commission has always allowed multiple transmitter sites, i.e., antenna farms, to pool their resources and have only one study done for the entire site. This is very common at sites that have multiple entities such as TV, FM, paging, cellular, etc. In most circumstances, rather than each licensee hiring a separate consultant and submitting a study showing their compliance with the guidelines, one consulting radio technician or radio engineer can be hired by the group of licensees. The consultant surveys the entire site for compliance and gives his recommendations and findings to each of the licensees at the site.

The licensees can then use the findings to show their compliance with the guidelines. In this way the cost of compliance is minimized as no one licensee has to pay the entire consulting fee, rather just a portion of it. The Commission has determined cost of performing an environmental evaluation is minimal for 87 percent of the businesses required to determine compliance.

Other Compliance Requirements

As was true for the previous rules, there are no specific compliance requirements, as such. Under the Commission’s NEPA rules, applicants and licensees are required to submit an Environmental Assessment (EA) if they do not comply with our RF exposure guidelines (47 CFR  1.1311). An EA is a detailed accounting of the consequences created by a specific action that may have a significant environmental impact, in this case a Commission authorization of a transmitter or facility that exceeds the RF guidelines. An EA would be evaluated by the Commission to determine whether the authorization should be granted in view of the environmental impact. In reality, this leads to a de facto compliance requirement, since most applicants and licensees undertake…measures to ensure compliance before submitting an application in order to avoid the preparation of a costly and time-consuming EA. For this reason EAs are rarely filed with the Commission. This has not changed from the existing rules.

Coverage under the “Act”

Under the “Act”, an employer is defined as any “person engaged in a business affecting commerce who has employees, but does not include the United States, or any state, or political subdivision of a state”.

The following are not covered under the “Act”:

Self-employed persons
Farms at which only immediate members of the farm employer’s family are employed
Working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes
Even when another federal agency is authorized to regulate safety and health working conditions in a particular industry, if it does not do so in specific areas, then OSHA standards apply.

Under the “Act” federal agency heads are responsible for providing safe and healthful working condition for their employees. The “Act” requires agencies to comply with standards consistent with those OSHA issues for the private sector.

Federal agency heads are required to operate comprehensive occupational safety and health programs, provide training to employees, and conduct self-audits to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs, and ensure compliance with OSHA. OSHA also conducts comprehensive evaluations of these programs.

OSHA’s federal sector authority is different from that in the private sector in that OSHA cannot impose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with OSHA standards. Instead, compliance issues not resolved at local levels are raised to higher levels until resolved.

State and Local Governments

OSHA provisions do not apply to state and local governments in their role as employers. The Act does provide that any state desiring to gain OSHA approval for its private sector occupational safety and health programs must provide a program for its state and local government workers that is at least as effective as its program for private employees. State plans may also cover the public sector employees.

Standards

It is the responsibility of OSHA to promulgate legally enforceable standards. It is the responsibility of employers to be familiar with applicable standards and to ensure that employees have and use personal protective equipment (PPE) when required.

Employees must comply with all rules and regulations, which are applicable to their own actions and conducts.

Where OSHA has not promulgated specific standards, employers are responsible for following the Act’s general duty clause.

The general duty clause states that each employer “shall furnish... a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to their employees.”

Record Keeping and Reporting

Employers of 11 or more employees must maintain records of occupational injuries and illnesses as they occur (OSHA 300 log or equivalent). These logs must be maintained for a minimum of 5 years at the establishment and must be made available for OSHA.

If an on the job accident occurs that results in the death of an employee or the hospitalization of three or more employees, the accident must be reported in detail to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours. There are specific OSHA standards, which have additional record keeping requirements.

Survey it: FCC statement: Some licensees have determined, by calculations or by other means that they comply with the limits for the general public and have then assumed that they are fully compliant with our exposure limits or otherwise categorically excluded from further action. In these cases, RF equipment users have often not considered their responsibilities to ensure compliance for workers who many have access to areas in close proximity to RF equipment.

With respect to fixed RF equipment, we (the FCC) have found in implementing our RF exposure guidelines over the past several years that in some users have failed to take note of the fact that they are responsible for compliance with both the controlled limits as well as the general population/uncontrolled limits. ( the General population applies until worker receive training.

Because RF energy is now recognized as a physical hazard,(See OSHA CFR 1910.97) you must consider worker’s and the public’s exposure when planning operation at any location using RF equipment sites, or for that matter, any location where RF energy may be present.

Therefore to meet FCC and OSHA standards actual hazard assessments must take place. If it is found that the RF is over the limits outlined in the government standards, action must be taken. This may include equipment changes, an environmental assessment, and/or a safety plan. Companies, contractors, government, shops, and sites are all included in having to comply. A general safety plan must be formulated, and employees must be trained. Also, if employees are exposed to RF radiation at any time as part of their employment, they must know the potential hazards associated with RF as part of the OSHA “Right to Know” concept.

If over the levels a safety plan and training is needed

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has jurisdiction over Federal regulations dealing with worker safety and health. In its comments, OSHA generally endorses our proposal to update our RF exposure guidelines by adopting the new ANSI/IEEE guidelines. OSHA also requires RF users to implement a written RF exposure protection program which appropriately addresses traditional safety and health program elements including training, medical monitoring, protective procedures and engineering controls, signs, hazard assessments, employee involvement, and designated responsibilities for program implementation. It notes that the exposure limits in the ANSI/IEEE guidelines may be useful in determining when specific elements of an RF safety program should be implemented. OSHA finds it unacceptable that employees may be subjected to a higher level of risk than the general public simply because they “are aware of the potential for exposure as a concomitant of employment.” Rather, OSHA proposes that we adopt the uncontrolled environment criteria as an “action limit” which determines when an RF protection program will be required. That is, under OSHA's persons who are exposed in excess of the limits specified for uncontrolled environments would be protected by a program designed to mitigate any potential increase in risk. see FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONFCC 96-326 Washington, D.C. 20554 In the Matter of ) ) Guidelines for Evaluating the Environmental ) ET Docket No. 93-62 Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation ) ) REPORT AND ORDER

I am a government entity or testing center what regulations do I need to follow?

The most recent regulation is FCC 47 CFR 1.1310. This is the regulation most government entities are following and the one NTIA has said it will use. Under the consensus standards the government uses the most current standards adopted by a federal agency. One difference, the government entities (NTIA) are also using the ANSI standard for induced and contact current.

RSI conducts specific training and RSI has trainers who “Know RF Telecommunication Sites” from the top of the tower to the inside of the equipment and the studio.

The most rewarding classes for students are the ones which they can relate to, because the trainer uses examples, pictures and scenarios that come from the students own work environment. RSI has trainers who “Know RF Telecommunication Sites” from the top of the tower to the inside of the equipment and the studio. RSI’S 10 and 30 hour classes are different than a standard run-of-the-mill OSHA 10 hour Construction class. OSHA requires specific training on the hazards that the employees many find at their job site, anyway. RSI just combines this standard OSHA requirement with the 10 hour outreach training in one class! Even if you have a 10 card the RSI is going to help you do your job safer.

Many Companies and OSHA programs are now requiring Specific 10 hour training also SEE FAQ: #27

NATE/OSHA partnering companies must have their crews and supervisory directors meet specific levels of training. All onsite tower personnel must receive OSHA 10-hour or equivalent training. The focus of that training must be specifically tower safety. Supervisory personnel for tower crews must obtain OSHA 30-hour training or its equivalent. Again the training is to be specific to the factors facing tower workers.

Also Training FAQ No. 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 28, 38

And Worker's Right to Know: No. 7, 14, 20, 24, 29, 32, 33, 37, 40, 45, 47, 49

OSHA 29 CFR 1926.20(b)

Accident prevention responsibilities.

1926.20(b)(1)

It shall be the responsibility of the employer to initiate and maintain such programs as may be necessary to comply with this part.

1926.20(b)(2)

Such programs shall provide for frequent and regular inspections of the job sites, materials, and equipment to be made by competent persons designated by the employers.

Additionally1926.21(b)(2)

The employer shall instruct each employee in the recognition and avoidance of unsafe conditions and the regulations applicable to his work environment to control or eliminate any hazards or other exposure to illness or injury.

In addition to the federal standards the states of California, Hawaii, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and Washington have specific regulations.

You can not blatantly ignore the OSHA safety standards and its required procedures.

A poster child case in Arizona (Aug. 2006), shows the importance of this when the president of the company was convicted of negligent homicide. The tragic result of treating safety laws as optional can harm employees. He failed to provide proper onsite safety testing equipment and training. The company was fined $1.7 million for the death of two workers in a confined space where the company ignored OSHA’S requirements to always do onsite testing to protect worker. OSHA stated that “they treated safety as optional”. The attorney for the president argued that he was not on the job site and did not commit any act to cause the workers deaths. Those arguments however did not prevent him from being convicted of negligent homicide in violating this basic safety standard.

This case should certainly give any company officials pause when they consider not doing onsite testing, and providing lockout tagout, training and equipment to their employees.

This can be applied to Com sites with RF levels above the safe levels and where no onsite testing has been done and not having a good lockout program as required by OSHA under CFR 1910.147, (modeling will not meet this OSHA long standing requirement).

SEE Aug. 2006 CA Worker Comp Alert page 7.

The most recent regulation is FCC 47 CFR 1.1310. This is the regulation most government entities are following and the one NTIA has said it will use. Under the consensus standards the government uses the most current standards adopted by a federal agency. One difference, the government entities (NTIA) are also using the ANSI standard for induced and contact current.

Working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes Even when another federal agency is authorized to regulate safety and health working conditions in a particular industry, if it does not do so in specific areas, then OSHA standards apply.

Under the “Act” federal agency heads are responsible for providing safe and healthful working condition for their employees. The “Act” requires agencies to comply with standards consistent with those OSHA issues for the private sector.

Federal agency heads are required to operate comprehensive occupational safety and health programs, provide training to employees, and conduct self-audits to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs, and ensure compliance with OSHA. OSHA also conducts comprehensive evaluations of these programs.

OSHA's federal sector authority is different from that in the private sector in that OSHA cannot impose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with OSHA standards. Instead, compliance issues not resolved at local levels are raised to higher levels until resolved.

State and Local Governments

OSHA provisions do not apply to state and local governments in their role as employers. The Act does provide that any state desiring to gain OSHA approval for its private sector occupational safety and health programs must provide a program for its state and local government workers that is at least as effective as its program for private employees. State plans may also cover the public sector employees.

Also The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires all agencies of the Federal Government to evaluate the effects of their actions on the quality of the human environment.

On towers with detuning wires and broadcast towers, what are the hazards, and why is the Safety Climb Cable Hot on some towers?

RSI investigates many RF burns from these types of sites. These sites have a strong potential to induce electrical current in nearby conductive, or metal objects that may lead to RF burns.

NOTE: The tower could also be a mile or more from your site. Explosion of flammable vapors may also occur in fields of high RF.

RF burns from the safety climb cables and guy wires from high power FM, TV, paging and two-way radio is also a big issue (RSI has found the safety climb cable burned into and laying on the ground). Physical elements, that when combined in a certain manner, may induce a spark sufficient enough to ignite flammable gasses. Contact currents cannot be predicted at all times under certain conditions high currents are possible with low MPE'S reading.

The FCC law says under 47 C.F.R. § 73.49 - Transmission System Fencing Requirements. Antenna towers having radio frequency potential at the base (series fed, detuned, folded unipole, and insulated base antennas,) must be enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures. However, individual tower fences need not be installed if the towers are contained within a protective property Fence. The site must be built to prevent RF burn to all personnel including climbers who may be work by detuning wires.

NOTE: THE FCC IS NOW HANDING OUT LARGE FINES FOR NOT MEETING THIS CFR REQUIREMENT

OSHA Standards 1926.550, Any conductive (metal) object in close proximity of high power RF fields can exhibit the potential for a strong shock or burn.

1926.550(a)(15)(vii): States, Prior to work near transmitter towers where an electrical charge can be induced in the equipment or materials being handled, the transmitter shall be de-energized or tests shall be made to determine if electrical charge is induced on the crane or cables. (an RF MPE survey would not test for induced or contact current for safety you need to also check for hot spots). 1926.550(a)(15)(vii)(c) Combustible and flammable materials shall be removed from the immediate area of these prior to operations. See Hazard Assessments

The purpose is to prove employees a right of access to relevant exposure

1910.1020 c (5) (I) Requires: Workplace monitoring or measuring of harmful physical agent relevant to interpretation of the results obtained

1910.1020 c 8 Exposure or exposed means that an employee is subjected to harmful physical agent in the course of employment through any route of entry (contact or absorption), and includes past exposure and potential exposure Whenever an employee requests access, the employer shall provide data

RF contact current is the current induced onto the body when contact is made with a hot metallic object that is in the vicinity of high-level emitters.

Induced current is the current that is induced into the entire body when an individual is standing in a field created by high power operations.

Any conductive (metal) object in close proximity of high power RF fields can exhibit the potential for a strong shock or burn. If you have a crane, or for that matter any object that could be induced with a charge, you must do testing on it in order to verify that there is not a buildup of current that could pose a shock or burn hazard. per OSHA 1926.550(a)(15)(vii) The FCC rule imposed no limits on induced current or contact current (But the Fencing Requirements is a must). OSHA, however, adopted the ANSI/IEEE C95.1 standard for human exposure to RF which allows only100 milliamps (mA) of induced current in working environments and it must be tested.

Testing for RF current requires a High Level of INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE TRAINING and RF understanding. Workers and the public have the both the need and the Right to Know about RF hazards (Some States list it under their OSHA Hazcom Program). Compliance is now mandated by both OSHA and FCC/NTIA.

The New North Carolina fall standard is now law as of Jan. 3, 2005: We received a copy the week of Jan 10.

RSI CORP must follow all sub parts.

13 NCAC 07F.0601

States that the standards applies even during the inspection of communication towers (unlike CFR 1926 sub part M under with inspections are exempt from the sub part).

This means that all work above 6 feet requires at least two employees including at least one competent person.

Any RSI work on rooftops, electrical transmission tower, church steeples, or water towers will require you to build this cost into the bid.

The Client also needs to know that they must hire inspectors that follow this standard (they must follow it with their own employees also) or they are in violation of the law under the NC Standard to. Ground level surveys do not require this, or rooftops with 42 inch or higher guard rails (we don't know if they have them until we go to most sites).

The good part is that all sites in NC are required to have a hazard assessment analysis before any work.

There is also a record keeping part, 13 NCAC 07F.068 states that non-ionizing radiation exposure records related to each analysis are to be use as part of the required training. (g) (2) States that: employees shall have access to and understands the specific site information related to RF energy and RF fields present at each individual site. The employer shall certify that employee has been trained by preparing a certification record. The certification record shall be prepared at the completion of the required training. The most current certification record shall be kept available for review by OSHA.

As of September 2000 tower sites that are collocated must perform an on-site assessment for existing licenses, new license and license renewal. FCC clarified this requirement on the FCC 351A and B Broadcast licenses which requires the power be shut down to safe occupational exposure limits at any time work is being preformed (Instructions - 4/30/03 for FCC form 303-S) April 30 2003 for applicants, licensees, and tower owners. An on-site assessment at telecommunication sites will detect the ambient levels of electromagnetic energy (radiofrequency radiation). There are two parts to meeting FCC requirements. The first part, the more stringent general population or public exposure limits apply in situations in which the general public may be exposed, or in which persons that are exposed as a consequence of their employment may not be fully aware of the potential for exposure or cannot exercise control over their exposure.[1] The second is occupational.

The occupational exposure limits apply in situations in which persons are exposed as a consequence of their employment provided those persons are fully aware of the potential for exposure and can exercise control over their exposure.[2]

The limits of occupational exposure also apply in situations where an individual is transient through a location where the occupational limits apply, provided that he or she is made aware of the potential for exposure. The FCC 351A and B Broadcast forms requires the power be shut down to safe occupational exposure limits at any time work is being performed.

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[1] 47 C.F.R. § 1.1310, Note 2 to Table 1.

[2] 47 C.F.R. § 1.1310, Note 1 to Table 1.

3 Id. at 13520-21; 47 C.F.R. § 1.1307(b)(3).

Any company operating heat induction units, heat sealers, RF dryers, hospitals, MRI machines, RF steel tempering, RF soldering or welding.

An RF hazard assessment at an industrial site is similar in some respects to a telecommunications site but very different in other aspects. Equipment is one of the major concerns. RF meters and probes for telecom sites usually have a frequency range from about 300 KHZ to over 50 GHZ, however at industrial sites some equipment runs at below 1KHZ so the equipment is very different. RSI has the only EFA3 (Wandel & Goltermann) in the U.S. at the time of this writing. This unit reads electric and magnetic fields down to 5 Hz. The assessment techniques are similar to those at a telecom site but the procedures are different with each site and type and manufacture of RF equipment. This is due to the widely varied uses of this equipment, the frequency ranges, and the power levels. Example: A steel soldering unit may run 7.5K W at 27 MHZ while a unit for heating pie may run 3 MW at 290 Hz.

RSI has personnel who have dealt with these types of units for over 20 years and has on staff accredited technicians for these types of units.

OSHA requires training for any employee exposed to work place hazards. OSHA determined that RFR or non-ionizing radiation is a physical hazard as long ago as 1972. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued new rigorous regulations pertaining to exposure to RF became final in Sept 1, 2000. The FCC is now doing site inspections and enforcement of these rules, all RF Heating units are also controlled by the FCC, they are FCC Type accepted or approved. The new FCC standards are as much as fifty times more stringent than the old OSHA guidelines.

This means that employers with employees who may be exposed to RF above the uncontrolled levels must train those employees in hazard recognition, and hazard avoidance. This training is required in order to provide a safe work environment for your workers as well as yourself.

Energy-Control Procedure (paragraph (c)(4)(i)). With limited exception, employers must document the procedures used to isolate from its energy source, and render inoperative, equipment prior to servicing, maintenance, or repair by employees. RSI note: RF safety (RF burns, shocks and heating), capacitors, power supplies, and AC/DC power could be hazardous, no RF safety plan is complete without an energy control procedure. These procedures are necessary when activation, start up, or release of stored energy from the energy source is possible, and such release could cause injury to the employees.

Paragraph (c)(4)(ii) states that the required documentation must clearly and specifically outline the scope, purpose, authorization, rules, and techniques employees are to use to control hazardous energy, and the means to enforce compliance. The document must include at least the following elements: A specific statement regarding the use of the procedure; detailed procedural steps for shutting down, isolating, blocking, and securing machines or equipment to control hazardous energy, and for placing, removing, and transferring lockout or tagout devices, including the responsibility for doing so; and requirements for testing a machine or equipment to determine and verify the effectiveness of lockout or tagout devices, as well as other energy-control measures. The employer uses the information in this document as the basis for informing and training employees about the purpose and function of the energy-control procedures, and the safe application, use, and removal of energy controls. In addition, this information enables employers to effectively identify operations and processes in the workplace that require energy-control procedures.

Periodic Inspection (c)(6)(ii). Under paragraph (c)(6)(i), employers are to conduct inspections of energy-control procedures at least annually. An authorized employee (other than an authorized employee using the energy-control procedure that is the subject of the inspection) is to conduct the inspection and correct any deviations or inadequacies identified. For procedures involving either lockout or tagout, the inspection must include a review, between the inspector and each authorized employee, of that employer’s responsibilities under the procedure; for procedures using tagout systems, the review also involves affected employees, and includes an assessment of the employees’ knowledge of the training elements required for these systems. Paragraph (c)(6)(ii) requires employers to certify the inspection by documenting the date of the inspection, and identifying the machine or equipment and the employee who performed the inspection. RSI can conduct inspections and certify the documentation, see. Hazard Assessments

Training and Communication (c)(7)(iv). Paragraph(c)(7)(i) specifies thatemployers must establish a training program that enables employees to understand the purpose and function of the energy-control procedures, and provides them with the knowledge and skills necessary for the safe application, use, and removal of energy controls. According to paragraph(c)(7)(ii), employers are to ensure that: Authorized employees recognize the applicable hazardous-energy sources, the type and magnitude of the energy available in the workplace, and the methods and means necessary for energy isolation and control; affected employees obtain instruction in the purpose and use of the energy-control procedure; and other employees who work, or may work, near operations using the energy-control procedure receive training about the procedure, as well as the prohibition regarding attempts to restart or reactivate machines or equipment having locks or tags to control energy release. RSI can provide you with these training means, see Safety Training

When the employer uses a tagout system, thetraining program must inform employees that: Tags are warning labels affixed to energy-isolating devices, and therefore do not provide the physical restraint on those devices that locks do; they are not to remove tags attached to an energy-isolating devices unless permitted to do so by the authorized employee responsible for the tag, and they are never to bypass, ignore, or in any manner defeat the tagout system; tags must be legible and understandable by authorized and affected employees, as well as other employees who work, or may work, near operations using the energy-control procedure; the materials used for tags, including the means of attaching them, must withstand the environmental conditions encountered in the workplace; tag evoke a false sense of security, and employees must understand that tags are only part of the overall energy-control program; and they must attach tags securely to energy-isolating devices to prevent removal of the tags during use. Note: tag alone do not replace the use of locks. Tags are required as part of the lockout program when locks are used.

Paragraph (c)(7)(iii) states that employers must retrain authorized and affected employees when a change occurs in: Their job assignments, the machines, equipment, or processes such that a new hazard is present; and the energy-control procedures. Employers also must provide retaining when they have reason to believe, or periodic inspection required under paragraph(c)(6) indicates, that deviations and inadequacies exist in an employee’s knowledge or use of energy-control procedures. The retraining must reestablish employee proficiency and, if necessary, introduce new or revised energy-control procedures.

Under paragraph (c)(7)(iv), employers are to certify that employees completed the required training, and that this training is up-to-date. The certification is to contain each employee’s name and the training date.

RSI can certify that your employees are trained.

Training employees to recognize hazardous-energy sources and to understand the purpose and function of the energy-control procedures, and providing them with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement safe application,use, and removal of energy controls, enables them to prevent serious accidents by using appropriate control procedures in a safe manner to isolate these hazards. In addition, written certification of the training assures the employer that employees receive the training specified by the Standard, at the required frequencies.

Notification of Employees (paragraph (c)(9)). This provision requires the employer to notify affected employees prior to applying, and after removing, a lockout or tagout device from a machine or equipment. Such notification informs employees of the impending interruption of the normal production operation, and serves as a reminder of the restrictions imposed on them by the energy-control program. In addition, this requirement ensures that employees do not attempt to reactivate a machine or piece of equipment after an authorized employee isolates its energy source and renders it inoperative. Notifying employees after removing an energy-control device alerts them that the machines and equipment are no longer safe for servicing, maintenance, and repair.(1)

Outside Personnel (Contractors, etc.) (paragraph (f)(2)(i)). When the onsite employer uses an offsite employer (e.g., a contractor) to perform the activities covered by the scope and application of the Standard, the two employers must inform each other regarding their respective lockout or tagout procedures. This provision ensures that onsite employers know about the unique energy-control procedures used by an offsite employer; this knowledge prevents any misunderstanding regarding the implementation of lockout or tagout procedures, including the use of lockout or tagout devices for a particular application.

Disclosure of Inspection and Training Certification Records (paragraphs(c)(6)(ii) and (c)(7)). The inspection records provide employers with assurance that employees can safely and effectively service, maintain, and repair machines and equipment covered by the Standard. These records also provide the most efficient means for an OSHA compliance officer to determine that an employer is complying with the Standard, and that the machines and equipment are safe for servicing, maintenance, and repair. The training records provide the most efficient means for an OSHA compliance officer to determine whether an employer has performed the required training at the necessary and appropriate frequencies. RSI can provide you with these training records.

Mathematical calculation, information on E and H fields and predicting RF compliance will be addressed in the training. Participation of attendees usually dictates how in-depth the training gets. This is not a dry class. Not only will this training address mathematical calculations, on-site hazard assessments and what equipment can be used to make acceptable ascertainment of compliance for FCC, but OSHA as well. You will have fun too. Issues of site restriction (fencing) and signage requirements, induced-contact current problems, backup batteries along with other site hazards will be discussed (i.e. chemicals, fuel-oil spills, biohazards, spiders, snakes, gators, birds etc.). We will also address new and pending FCC/OSHA requirements and how to handle FCC/OSHA inspections. It will address the new requirements in the FCC 303-S forms. The instructors are authorized OSHA outreach trainers that have 25 plus years experience in telecommunications industry. This course counts for continuing education points with the SBE. see: Safety Training

Yes, all employers must post the federal or a state OSHA poster to provide their employees with information on their safety and health rights. You may order a printed copy from the OSHA Publications Office at (800) 321-OSHA or download and print one from this website: http://www.osha.gov/pls/publications/pubindex.list#3165

About 1.3 million employers with 11 or more employees-20 percent of the establishments OSHA covers-must keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses. Workplaces in low-hazard industries such as retail, service, finance, insurance, and real estate are exempt from recordkeeping requirements.

For more information on recordkeeping:
http://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/index.html

OSHA penalties range from $0 to $70,000, depending upon how likely the violation is to result in serious harm to workers. Other-than-serious violations often carry no penalties but may result in penalties of up to $7,000. Serious violations may have penalties up to $7,000. Repeat and willful violations may have penalties as high as $70,000. Penalties may be discounted if an employer has a small number of employees, has demonstrated good faith, or has few or no previous violations.

a) Any employer who willfully or repeatedly violates the requirements of section 5 of this Act, any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 6 of this Act, or regulations prescribed pursuant to this Act, may be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $70,000 for each violation, but not less than $5,000 for each willful violation. 29 USC 666. Maximum allowed criminal fines under this subsection have been increased by the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, 18 USC § 3551 et seq., see Historical and Statutory Notes, infra.

(b) Any employer who has received a citation for a serious violation of the requirements of section 5 of this Act, of any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 6 of this Act, or of any regulations prescribed pursuant to this Act, shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to $7,000 for each such violation.

(c) Any employer who has received a citation for a violation of the requirements of section 5 of this Act, of any standard, rule, or order promulgated pursuant to section 6 of this Act, or of regulations prescribed pursuant to this Act, and such violation is specifically determined not to be of a serious nature, may be assessed a civil penalty of up to $7,000 for each violation.

(g) Whoever knowingly makes any false statement, representation, or certification in any application, record, report, plan, or other document filed or required to be maintained pursuant to this Act shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not more than $10,000, or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or by both.

Top priority are reports of imminent dangers -accidents about to happen; second are fatalities or accidents serious enough to send three or more workers to the hospital. Third are employee complaints. Referrals from other government agencies are fourth. Fifth are targeted inspections - such as the Site Specific Targeting Program, which focuses on employers that report high injury and illness rates, and special emphasis programs that zero in on hazardous work such as trenching or equipment such as mechanical power presses. Follow-up inspections are the final priority.

Specifically, is it the sole responsibility of the facility to screen for pacemakers? What is the role and therefore the liability of the referring physician, primary care physician and others involved in the patients management? Have any of the cases of serious injury or death resulted in the filing of a malpractice suit - have damages been awarded, have cases settled out of court?

As to the questions pertaining to the legal liability (I presume you are not interested in my response to the ethical or moral liability), that is not an area in which I have, nor claim, any expertise. I therefore contacted a (plaintiff’s) medical malpractice attorney (Craig Frischman, Esq. of Kapetan Myers Rosen Louik & Raizman, P.C., Pittsburgh, PA) here in Pittsburgh today and presented this question to him. He felt that a generic answer to such a generic question would be that in all likelihood, the referring and/or primary care physicians would typically NOT be held liable for an adverse outcome of scanning a patient that was subsequently found to have an implanted pacemaker, unless they had knowledge of the hazard and failed to act. The radiologist and the hospital/site, on the other hand, would certainly be prime candidates for him to pursue, as it is their responsibility to ensure that only patients on whom this test can be performed with a reasonable level of safety be permitted into the environment of the MR imager. The referring and/or primary care physicians are relying on the radiologist/MR site to know how the test is performed - and on whom it may be safely applied.

When I asked him regarding the MR nursing staff and/or MR technologists, he responded that their responsibility would depend upon their role in permitting the patient to come within the environment of the magnet. If those persons within the facility having responsibility to obtain a patient’s history were professionals in the field for whom it could have been demonstrated that they should have reasonably been expected to be aware of the problems of placing a pacemaker patient into an MR scanner, they could certainly be exposed as well. This is especially true if they failed to obtain adequate historical information related to the hazard of a particular patient being exposed to the magnet. It is nonetheless obvious that liability in this case is very fact dependent.

As to the question regarding whether or not there have been any cases of serious injury or death which resulted in the filing of a malpractice suit, etc., there most certainly have been. Although I am not able to discuss the specifics of cases in which I have been asked to become involved, I would be comfortable stating that quite a few of which I am aware have settled out of court. The majority of the ones of which I am aware have been "gagged" or kept as silent as can be - for rather obvious reasons - relatively successfully avoiding potentially damaging publicity.

Finally, even when the adverse event has made it into what may sometimes be national news (e.g., literally published in the New York Times), financial/legal outcomes to such cases are often not readily publicly accessible.

E. Kanal

Yes, extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation includes alternating current (AC) fields and other electromagnetic, non-ionizing radiation from 1 Hz to 300 Hz. ELF radiation at 60 Hz are produced by power lines, electrical wiring, and electrical equipment. Current research has focused on potential health effects of magnetic fields because some epidemiological studies have suggested increased cancer risk associated with estimates of magnetic field exposure. Exposure to EMFs depends on the strength of the ELF at the source, the distance from the source, and the duration of exposure. The (ACGIH) has established occupational exposure guidelines for ELF radiation.

This year marks the start of a four-year cycle for the filing of applications for renewal of licenses for radio and television stations throughout the country. When a station’s application is completed, the licensee is required to make certain statements about the station’s RFR compliance with the Commission's environmental regulations.

Stations should not wait until their renewal application is about to be filed before performing an RF radiation evaluation.

Hazard Assessments
Since the last filing of a license renewal application the FCC/OSHA RF safety laws have changed, as well as other changes that may have occurred at or near a station’s transmitter site. The FCC may have approved a power increase; the antennas of other broadcast and nonbroadcast stations may now be located near the station’s antenna structure; the station may have expanded its studio or parking lot closer to the transmitter; or housing may now surround the transmitter site. Depending upon the circumstances, a station might need to modify its facilities to increase the distance of its antenna from the ground, to reduce power, or to make other changes necessary to limit RF radiation exposure. Also training is required by both OSHA and FCC to work on any broadcast site.

RF Safety Training
Accordingly, it is prudent to discover any problems now and work on a solution to resolve any problems, the FCC is doing enforcment now.

If so your site may be audited. NATE/OSHA partners will be involved in the process of conducting safety audits to document that safety practices are being implemented according to the partnering agreement. Those audits are to be submitted to the NATE office on a quarterly basis for 10% of the projects being conducted by partnership companies. The audits must be conducted by a competent person on your job site. The President or CEO of your company then attests through their signature that the audits are a representative sampling of the audits performed by their company and are true and correct to the best of their knowledge.

The NATE/OSHA Partnership will also recognize participants as being among the safest companies in the industry.

The Partnership Inspection Checklist defines the best work practices that must be met by NATE members participating in this program, and establishes precisely what OSHA will investigate on the jobsite of a participating NATE member company. Ten percent of the companies participating in the NATE/OSHA Partnership will receive OSHA focused inspections each year to ensure that the established practices are being utilitzed.

NATE/OSHA partnering companies must have their crews and supervisory directors meet specific levels of training. All onsite tower personnel must receive OSHA 10-hour or equivalent training. The focus of that training must be specifically tower safety. Supervisory personnel for tower crews must obtain OSHA 30-hour training or its equivalent. Again the training is to be specific to the factors facing tower workers.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONFCC 96-326 Washington, D.C. 20554 In the Matter of ) ) Guidelines for Evaluating the Environmental ) ET Docket No. 93-62 Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation ) ) REPORT AND ORDER

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has jurisdiction over Federal regulations dealing with worker safety and health. In its comments, OSHA generally endorses our proposal to update our RF exposure guidelines by adopting the new ANSI/IEEE guidelines. OSHA also urges us to require applicants to implement a written RF exposure protection program which appropriately addresses traditional safety and health program elements including training, medical monitoring, protective procedures and engineering controls, signs, hazard assessments, employee involvement, and designated responsibilities for program implementation. It notes that the exposure limits in the ANSI/IEEE guidelines may be useful in determining when specific elements of an RF safety program should be implemented. However, OSHA objects to the two categories of exposure environments contained in the new ANSI/IEEE standard, finding it unacceptable that employees may be subjected to a higher level of risk than the general public simply because they “are aware of the potential for exposure as a concomitant of employment.” Rather, OSHA proposes that we adopt the uncontrolled environment criteria as an “action limit” which determines when an RF protection program will be required. That is, under OSHA’s proposal, persons who are exposed in excess of the limits specified for uncontrolled environments would be protected by a program designed to mitigate any potential increase in risk.

RSI Corp has developed a new online RF Safety Plan. This customizable solution helps organizations achieve OSHA compliance by formulating a company specific plan that can be saved or printed. This plan will act as the base of a RF program. OSHA requires a comprehensive RF program, to include training and this easy to formulate customized document will provide you with the requirements necessary to achieve the complete program. Once you input your information, the plan will tell you exactly what you need to achieve a successful RF safety program. For more information see: Online Safety Plan

As a condition of licensing, nearly all licensed broadcasters should have been compliant with the new RF Safety rules by Sept. 1, 2000. The rules have become more stringent. One fact has remained constant: Broadcasters must take action to ensure that people are not exposed to radio frequency radiation (RFR) in excess of the FCC limits. OSHA (on both state and federal levels) has become more actively involved in the industry. The new NATE/OSHA partnership agreement mandates that 10% of the sites that NATE (tower workers) members in this program work at, have inspections. These inspection reports can go to OSHA for review. Broadcasters should be aware of these new requirements and that their sites may be under inspection at any time.

Now, OSHA/FCC compliance requires broadcasters to create a written health-and-safety policy to identify potentially unsafe work areas that may expose workers to RFR levels above the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) level, and to develop safe working practices for anyone who needs access to those areas. OSHA considers the written health-and-safety policy the cornerstone of compliance (this is a must). The overall purpose of the written document is to adopt clear, concise programs (not just policies) on how the site will be administered, the use of PPE, installation of signage, and the steps which will be taken to ensure worker safety (training and enforcement of the rules required).

It must include practical/real-world considerations for each site, including the training of workers and to adhere completely to the program. Safety Training

John Henshaw, head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was the key note speaker at NATE in Feb and told the group that he would be signing a letter stating that Equipment Owners and Site Owners/ Managers would need to SERIOUSLY CONSIDER contracting with companies that have “real safety programs”. RSI has made these statements for years, Under multi-employer workplace law you are the responsible party. Your group might be the Creating, Exposing, Correcting or Controlling employer or you could full multiple roles under OSHA. Now this OSHA letter makes you the responsible party "IT Puts ALL Licensees and Site owners on notice". In an April 18, 2003 letter, Henshaw said industry cooperation is needed to address "a serious problem in the communications tower industry" that has claimed more than 150 lives over the past decade. “I ask that you seriously consider contracting only with tower erection companies that have excellent safety and health records and that you require in your contracts the following: (1) the erector comply with all OSHA requirements, and (2) all contracts with subcontractors contain the same provision,” Henshaw stated. “In addition, these contracts should contain strong language regarding the importance of good safety and health programs, employee training and education.”

Also on March 10, 2003, the FCC announced that it has revised its rules to strengthen the requirements for the submission of truthful statements to the Commission. As amended, section 1.17 of the Commission's Rules prohibits written and oral statements of fact that are intentionally incorrect or misleading and written statements of fact that are made without a reasonable basis for believing that the statement is correct and not misleading. In requiring that submitters of written statements in fact-based adjudications and investigations have a reasonable basis to believe that what they say is correct and not misleading, the Commission is imposing on the submitters a duty of due diligence, including the duty to take appropriate affirmative steps to determine the truthfulness of what is being submitted. The new rule is a clearer, more comprehensive, and more focused articulation of the standards for truthful statements than the old rule. The Commission also said that the new rule will enhance the effectiveness of its enforcement efforts. The FCC has re-committed itself to enforcement of its rules. Jerry Ulcek, one of the writers of OET 65, is currently leading an effort within the FCC's Enforcement Bureau to develop inspection standards and educate enforcement personnel with respect to non-ionizing-radiation topics. The FCC is currently doing many reviews and has completed some new enforcement actions and this is just the start.

In most multiple-licensee situations (antenna farms), there are no effective power-down agreements. When transmitting antennas are co-located, it is now required to have agreements with the other licensees regarding times or windows in which licensees and site owners can ask the others to reduce power so that maintenance operations can be performed safely. In densely-located broadcast sites, the RF energy from one station's facilities can be at or above the MPE limits at a neighboring site. You may not be able to have someone safely climb a tower or work on your antenna without the cooperation of the another licensees. Most of the time the tower climbers who are told, " put on this RF Suit and do the work", “Just get it done, regardless of safety.” Too often, the cost of a delay associated with reducing power is considered ($$$), and the safety of the workers goes without regard. This situation must be eliminated through proper multi-user safety programs, outlining and defining the responsibilities of all parties.

No. You may be exempt from the record keeping provisions, in some States, if you have less than 10 employees, however, you are not exempt from OSHA. 29 CFR 1904.17 does have wording for exemption from record keeping for organizations with less than ten employees, however, everyone MUST provide a safe work place for their employees.

QUALIFIED PERSON - a qualified person is one who, by possession of recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, experience, has successfully demonstrated their ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter, the work or the project.

COMPETENT PERSON - one who is capable of identifying existing and potential hazards and has authorization to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate them.

DESIGNATED PERSON - competent and qualified person selected to perform a task involving employees in the work place.

AUTHORIZED PERSON - a person meeting the qualifications and is competent by the regulatory standards to work and/or direct work in the work area containing possible or real hazards to an employee.

Safety Training

https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/entryfaq.html

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/Const_Res_Man/1926m_interps.html

OSHA has interpreted its general PPE standard, as well as specific standards, to require employers to provide and to pay for personal protective equipment required by the company for the worker to do his or her job safely and in compliance with OSHA standards. Where equipment is very personal in nature and is usable by workers off the job, the matter of payment may be left to labor-management negotiations. Examples of PPE that would not normally be used away from the worksite include, but are not limited to: welding gloves, wire mesh gloves, respirators, hard hats, specialty glasses and goggles (e.g., designed for laser or ultraviolet radiation protection or RF monitors), specialty foot protection (such as metatarsal shoes and linemen's shoes with built in gaffs), face shields and rubber gloves, blankets, cover-ups and hot sticks and other live-line tools used by power generation workers. Examples of PPE that is personal in nature and often used away from the worksite include non-specialty safety glasses, safety shoes, and cold-weather outer wear of the type worn by construction workers. However, shoes or outerwear subject to contamination by carcinogens or other toxic or hazardous substances which cannot be safely worn off-site must be paid for by the employer. Failure of the employer to pay for PPE that is not personal and not used away from the job is a violation and shall be cited.

In certain RF environments, it may be inconvenient to power down or otherwise limit the amount of RF from the antennas. It may then be necessary to use additional RF protection devices such as RF suits or RF protective clothing. If these suits are employed, the worker may experience an increase in fatigue and overheating due to the weight and characteristics of the suit. If these suits were to be used the personnel using the suits would require extensive training.
Safety Training
Personal Protection Equipment

Survey it: FCC statement: Some licensees have determined, by calculations or by other means that they comply with the limits for the general public and have then assumed that they are fully compliant with our exposure limits or otherwise categorically excluded from further action. In these cases, licensees have often not considered their responsibilities to ensure compliance for workers who many have access to areas in close proximity to antenna sites.

With respect to fixed transmitters, we (FCC) have found in implementing our RF exposure guidelines over the past several years that in some cases licensees have failed to take note of the fact that they are responsible for compliance with both the controlled limits as well as the general population/uncontrolled limits.

Because RF energy is now recognized as a physical hazard, you must consider worker’s and the public’s exposure when planning operation at communications sites, or for that matter, any location where RF energy may be present.

An MPE maybe enough to meet FCC requirements in the far field but in the near filed on the tower, it does not meet the requirements. The FCC requires occupational and general public testing and modeling is not effective in the near field. When someone is on the tower, there are a number of factors involved that the MPE does not calculate. The FCC ran a test case on this in HI and found that the MPE produced results within the limits but when the FCC took actual readings the actual level was above the limits. Information on recent citations can be found on the FCC webpage. OSHA does not accept modeling for any type of known hazard in an occupational work space. RF along with noise, heat and cold stress, hand arm vibrations, laser, ionizing radiation, microwave, and ultraviolet radiation are all physical hazards. OSHA will only accept real world actual testing.

Therefore to meet FCC and OSHA standards actual hazard assessments must take place. If it is found that the MPE is over the limits outlined in the government standards, action must be taken. This may include equipment changes, an environmental assessment, and/or a safety plan. Companies, contractors, government, shops, and sites are all included in having to comply. A general safety plan must be formulated, and employees must be trained. Also, if employees are exposed to RF radiation at any time as part of their employment, they must know the potential hazards associated with RF as part of the OSHA “Right to Know” concept.

The FCC states that “a site owner can determine whether a licensee will be able to erect a fence to limit public access in areas where the uncontrolled RF exposure limits may be exceeded. For sites where there are multiple licensees, the site owner may be able to encourage the licensees to cooperate to find a common solution to problems caused by multiple transmitters.” In addition, the site must meet all OSHA regulations, and the site owner must provide a safe environment for workers and the general public.

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OSHA Head Getting Serious About Site Safety

May 01, 2003 @ 2:11 EDT

John Henshaw was the key note speaker at NATE in Feb. and told the group that he would be signing a letter stating that Equipment Owners and Site Owners/Managers would need to SERIOUSLY CONSIDER contracting with companies that have “real safety programs”. RSI has made these statements for years. Under multi-employer workplace law you are the responsible party. Your group might be the Creating, Exposing, Correcting or Controlling employer or you could fill multiple roles under OSHA and therefore be the responsible party. It puts ALL Licensees and Site owners on notice.

WASHINGTON-John Henshaw, head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has urged major U.S. mobile phone operators and tower owners to hire only those construction firms that have proven safety records and that follow federal guidelines.

In an April 18 letter obtained by RCR Wireless News, Henshaw said industry cooperation is needed to address “a serious problem in the communications tower industry” that has claimed more than 150 lives over the past decade.

“I ask that you seriously consider contracting only with tower erection companies that have excellent safety and health records and that you require in your contracts the following: (1) the erector comply with all OSHA requirements, and (2) all contracts with subcontractors contain the same provision,” Henshaw stated. “In addition, these contracts should contain strong language regarding the importance of good safety and health programs, employee training and education, and fall prevention and fall arrest systems.”

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Also under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) if the site is required to have an FCC tower registration number it must not jeopardize or threaten any one or any species (RF safety is now part of 47 CFR 1.1307-1.1319) and the owner of the site must certifies that the facilities do not cause exposure in excess of the limits specified in the CFR and 2.1093 (Signage also applies here). Note: Failure to comply with Tower Registration is the most cited rule in the telecommunications industry leading to up to $100,000’s of dollars in finds to site owners last year.Additionally, the site owner or other entity could be issued citations under multi-employer workplace CPL 2-0.124.

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The FCC has been issuing fines

Jun 28, 2002 @ 5:08 EDT

The FCC has been issuing fines at an astonishing rate to AM Broadcast tower owners that do not meet 47 CFR §73.49 et al concerning the requirements for fencing around AM towers.

47 CFR §73.49... “Antenna towers having radio frequency potential at the base (series fed, folded unipole, and insulated base antennas) must be enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures. Ready access must be provided to each antenna tower base for meter reading and maintenance purposes at all times. However, individual tower fences need not be installed if the towers are contained within a protective property fence”.

Make sure you know the requirements for your tower. We have RF induced contact current/induced current warning signs available for your AM or FM broadcast site.

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Safety Training

At the National Association of Tower Erectors annual conference in San Diego, 1997, the voting membership voted that, as a part of an OSHA acceptable tower climber program, “All certified tower climbers must receive RF safety training”.

OSHA CFR 1910.268 (c) states in part: “Where training is required, it shall consist of on-the-job training or classroom-type training or a combination of both. The employer shall certify the employees have been trained by preparing a certification record which includes the identity of the person trained, the signature of the employer or the person that conducted the training, and the date the training was completed.” With the new RF MPE standards safety training is now required.

Contractors must be responsible for worker safety as outlined in OSHA regulations. Contractors whose workers may be exposed to RF radiation as a part of their employment should prepare a written safety plan that outlines the steps needed to guard against exposure to RF radiation. This plan should account for both routine and non-routine operations. RSI can prepare a written safety plan for your company.

You should also implement a written RF safety plan with record keeping to ensure that non-essential personnel do not enter controlled areas. Anyone, including all employees, entering a controlled area must follow the established procedures to ensure their exposure to RF radiation is below the allowable exposure level.

Personal Protection Monitors and equipment should be employed when in RF radiation areas. Employees that use personal protection equipment must be trained in its use, and the training must be updated annually as part of the overall written safety plan as per the OSHA Personal Protection Equipment regulations. ( RSI has the only complete RF training program in the industry.)

Hazard Assessments

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FCC

You need to make the changes to get the site into compliance because by having the hazard assessment you know there is an issue and are admitting guilt if you don’t correct it.

Every RF source counts and for compliance just doing calculations for your antennas at a Co-located site will not provide you with the real RF exposure levels. To meet FCC/OSHA compliance and overall safety, the RF for all antennas must be considered, (even nearby facilities and towers may affect your site). Measurements have the advantage of incorporating the effects of all the RF sources and providing you with the real MPE RF exposure level for your site.

Signage alone DOES NOT equal compliance and is not sufficient enough to achieve that compliance. In fact anyone working on sites with a caution or warning signs must be trained per OSHA. And any competent person who has been trained will ask for the site measurements in % of MPE before they enter that site.

Yes and they also must not cause major interference problems [for HF and Ham operators]. BPL systems can operate from 3 MHz to 70 MHz on some new of the newer systems. Some technology notches ranges like the ham bands. Systems have been known to run up to 5000 watts per mile. Power Line workers and home owners will all ask about the safety of BPL so surveys should be done to show compliance.

Now Direct TV is partnered with Current Technologies to use BPL for home TV BPL in now a bigger issue.

OSHA and FCC require safe work practice procedures at RF site in fact Robert A. Curtis, Director, US DOL/OSHA Health Response Team states:

Element 4: Implementation of controls to reduce RF exposures to levels in compliance with applicable guidelines (e.g., ANSI, ICNIRP), including the establishment of safe work practice procedures.

Reliance on averaging is normally not recommended when establishing basic control strategies because it obligates the employer to conduct “measurement” of employee activity to ensure the averaging is applicable, such as timing an employee’s access inside an area which can not be occupied for 6 minutes without exceeding the allowable time-weighted exposure. Where possible, controls should be establish under the assumption that standards are not time-weighted, i.e., assume the standards are ceiling limits which are not to be exceeded.

Measurements are necessary during the development of work practices to ensure the practices are effective in preventing excessive exposures. Detailed measurements are required if exposures are approaching guideline limits as discussed above.

Appropriate work practices must be followed during the repair and maintenance of RF equipment. Occasionally, cabinet panels must be removed by service personnel to allow access for maintenance. Failure to replace a panel properly may result in excessive RF leakage. RF screening measurements can be used to determine which panels can be removed during operation (assuming other hazards, such as electrical shock, are controlled), and to ensure the shielding is reinstalled properly.

To develop work practices to minimize exposures; to obtain information to be used in training workers regarding their potential hazards and how they are controlled; to identify “RF Hazard” zones and other areas requiring signs and training: to determine the need for medical surveillance; as an alternative or enhancement of Lockout/Tagout procedures; to evaluate the effectiveness of RF personal protective equipment; and as a periodic audit of the effectiveness of the RF Protection Program. http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/radiofrequencyradiation/elem_com.html

Yes your are required to comply per the FCC, and in fact the FCC states that measures ensure compliance. see FCC 96-326 RF Safety Requirements

6. The Commission has always allowed multiple transmitter sites, i.e., antenna farms, to pool their resources and have only one study done for the entire site. This is very common at sites that have multiple entities such as TV, FM, paging, cellular, etc. In most circumstances, rather than each licensee hiring a separate consultant and submitting a study showing their compliance with the guidelines, one consulting radio technician or radio engineer can be hired by the group of licensees. The consultant surveys the entire site for compliance and gives his recommendations and findings to each of the licensees at the site.

The licensees can then use the findings to show their compliance with the guidelines. In this way the cost of compliance is minimized as no one licensee has to pay the entire consulting fee, rather just a portion of it. The Commission has determined cost of performing an environmental evaluation is minimal for 87 percent of the businesses required to determine compliance.

Other Compliance Requirements

As was true for the previous rules, there are no specific compliance requirements, as such. Under the Commission’s NEPA rules, applicants and licensees are required to submit an Environmental Assessment (EA) if they do not comply with our RF exposure guidelines (47 CFR  1.1311). An EA is a detailed accounting of the consequences created by a specific action that may have a significant environmental impact, in this case a Commission authorization of a transmitter or facility that exceeds the RF guidelines. An EA would be evaluated by the Commission to determine whether the authorization should be granted in view of the environmental impact. In reality, this leads to a de facto compliance requirement, since most applicants and licensees undertake…measures to ensure compliance before submitting an application in order to avoid the preparation of a costly and time-consuming EA. For this reason EAs are rarely filed with the Commission. This has not changed from the existing rules.

The FCC states very clearly in OET 65 that both E & H fields must be determined if equipment below 300MHz is in use at the site, and if in the near field you should measure to ensure the actual MPE levels.

- All electromagnetic emissions have an Electric and Magnetic component (E & H)

- The energy (power) of these components are measured in their intensity that passes through a unit area

- For RF safety the Power Density must be checked the value understood by the worker (MPE is mW/cm2)

In certain cities across the United States, increasingly common sites are the well recognized yet seldom noticed electric transmission line towers that traverse the cityscapes with not-so-recognized additions. These additions are the ubiquitous cellular phone or PCS phone base station antennas. Due to the fact that many municipalities have set a moratorium on the construction of new cellular/PCS tower sites, many telecommunications companies are looking to preexisting tall structures to mount their much-in-demand base antennas in order to provide ever-expanding coverage for their cellular or PCS phone customers.

Since the transmission towers are already there, the carrier’s cost of erecting a cellular tower can be saved and those monies allocated for new site acquisitions. This also allows the utility to glean a significant amount of revenue from the telecommunications carriers for joint pole use.

With the benefits of leasing transmission tower space comes a degree of responsibility on the part of the utility company. The addition of emitters of radiofrequency energy to an already potentially hazardous environment creates an additional problem when it comes to electrical worker safety.

If a lineperson comes into close proximity to the cellular or PCS antennas, and lingers in front of the antennas for too long a time, RF overexposure can occur. Some symptoms of RF overexposure (based on thermal, or heating effects) include confusion or vertigo, nausea and headache among others. Should a lineperson suffer any of these symptoms in an already hazardous work environment, such as changing out insulators or working on transformers or shield wires, the RF overexposure could lead to a lapse in judgment and impact the worker's safety.

RF exposure can be reduced significantly with an increase in distance from the antennas. RF power density quickly dissipates to a safe level at a certain distance from the antenna. This is similar to the wakes coming off a boat’s propeller. The rapid churning of the water near the propeller is synonymous with the near field or danger area of an antenna, where the homogenous waves that form the wakes in the water is synonymous with the far field of the antenna, where the power density is lowered substantially and poses little if any heating effect. Unfortunately, there is no one set distance one can apply to antennas, as the gain and watts into antennas of different types vary greatly. Even two panel antennas that look exactly alike can have significantly different power levels. The only way to determine minimum safe distances from antennas is through the use of a maximum permissible exposure evaluation. The MPE is derived from an algebraic equation. Again, however, minimum safe distances are not “across the board” like the 10 foot stand-off distance for energized power lines. The distances can vary greatly depending on the power to the antenna.

After performing an MPE study on the antennas or having performed an actual field strength measurement, the information should be used to create a safety program for line personnel. Properly drafted safety plans should include lock out/tag out procedures if needed as well as any other applicable subjects, i.e., minimum safe distances, accident notification protocol. Classroom and/or hands-on RF safety awareness training that provide the trainee with the necessary information for working around RF energy sources should accompany the plan. The program should probably include the use of RF emissions Personal Protection Monitors (PPM, photo 3.) that warn the wearer when RF emissions exceed the federal limits through a combination of beeps and LCD displays. The RF PPM requires a higher level of training so that workers do not get a false sense of security and rely too heavily on their use.

For utilities that have their own communications system, such as microwave or land-mobile communications, an MPE evaluation is mandated by the FCC. Though the MPE may indicate there is no harmful RF emanating from the antenna and impacting work or public areas, this information must be discerned and the resulting document kept on file with the FCC transmitter license.

Yes: A BDA is used to get cell phone (or other two way radio services) coverage inside of buildings and they are subject to all the FCC and EA rules.

They can cause harmful interference. If this is the case, the RF MPE could be over the General public level also. All equipment must meet the MPE standard. The only way to know if a BDA is in compliance is to measure inside the building. The FCC is starting to do field enforcement actions on these systems.

See
http://www.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/2003/DOC-266448A1.html

The law says under 47 C.F.R. § 73.49 – Transmission System Fencing Requirements. Antenna towers having radio frequency potential at the base (series fed, detuned, folded unipole, and insulated base antennas,) must be enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures. However, individual tower fences need not be installed if the towers are contained within a protective property Fence.

A wood fence is ok if it is built strong and high enough. Court cases show that six foot is a good height. As long as you cannot easily pull the boards off the fence it should be ok. Also you must make sure that people and kids can not go under the fence. Induce and contact current safety is the main issue.

On towers with detuning wires and broadcast towers, what are the hazards, and why is the Safety Climb Cable Hot on some towers?

RSI investigates many RF burns from these types of sites. These sites have a strong potential to induce electrical current in nearby conductive, or metal objects that may lead to RF burns.

NOTE: The tower could also be a mile or more from your site. Explosion of flammable vapors may also occur in fields of high RF.

RF burns from the safety climb cables and guy wires from high power FM, TV, paging and two-way radio is also a big issue (RSI has found the safety climb cable burned into and laying on the ground). Physical elements, that when combined in a certain manner, may induce a spark sufficient enough to ignite flammable gasses. Contact currents cannot be predicted at all times under certain conditions high currents are possible with low MPE'S reading.

The FCC law says under 47 C.F.R. § 73.49 - Transmission System Fencing Requirements. Antenna towers having radio frequency potential at the base (series fed, detuned, folded unipole, and insulated base antennas,) must be enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures. However, individual tower fences need not be installed if the towers are contained within a protective property Fence. The site must be built to prevent RF burn to all personnel including climbers who may be work by detuning wires.

NOTE: THE FCC IS NOW HANDING OUT LARGE FINES FOR NOT MEETING THIS CFR REQUIREMENT

OSHA Standards 1926.550, Any conductive (metal) object in close proximity of high power RF fields can exhibit the potential for a strong shock or burn.

1926.550(a)(15)(vii): States, Prior to work near transmitter towers where an electrical charge can be induced in the equipment or materials being handled, the transmitter shall be de-energized or tests shall be made to determine if electrical charge is induced on the crane or cables. (an RF MPE survey would not test for induced or contact current for safety you need to also check for hot spots). 1926.550(a)(15)(vii)(c) Combustible and flammable materials shall be removed from the immediate area of these prior to operations. See Hazard Assessments

The purpose is to prove employees a right of access to relevant exposure

1910.1020 c (5) (I) Requires: Workplace monitoring or measuring of harmful physical agent relevant to interpretation of the results obtained

1910.1020 c 8 Exposure or exposed means that an employee is subjected to harmful physical agent in the course of employment through any route of entry (contact or absorption), and includes past exposure and potential exposure Whenever an employee requests access, the employer shall provide data

RF contact current is the current induced onto the body when contact is made with a hot metallic object that is in the vicinity of high-level emitters.

Induced current is the current that is induced into the entire body when an individual is standing in a field created by high power operations.

Any conductive (metal) object in close proximity of high power RF fields can exhibit the potential for a strong shock or burn. If you have a crane, or for that matter any object that could be induced with a charge, you must do testing on it in order to verify that there is not a buildup of current that could pose a shock or burn hazard. per OSHA 1926.550(a)(15)(vii) The FCC rule imposed no limits on induced current or contact current (But the Fencing Requirements is a must). OSHA, however, adopted the ANSI/IEEE C95.1 standard for human exposure to RF which allows only100 milliamps (mA) of induced current in working environments and it must be tested.

Testing for RF current requires a High Level of INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE TRAINING and RF understanding. Workers and the public have the both the need and the Right to Know about RF hazards (Some States list it under their OSHA Hazcom Program). Compliance is now mandated by both OSHA and FCC/NTIA.

No. Phrases such as, “neither this Agreement nor the inspection will cover inspection of, or analysis for, compliance with the laws, rules, regulations or policies of the FCC or of any other federal, state or local governmental authority relating to environmental matters, including, but not limited to, RF exposure”, are stated in most ABIP agreements.

The inspection is conducted in the same manner and uses the same procedures as the Standard FCC Enforcement Bureau’s full station inspection. The inspection generally covers review of the public information files, station license, the emergency alert system, and daily and monthly transmitter logs. Verification of proper transmitter power, tower lighting, and tower sign postings may also be a part of the inspection.

As of September 2000 tower sites that are collocated must perform an on-site assessment for existing licenses, new license and license renewal. FCC clarified this requirement on the FCC 351A and B Broadcast licenses which requires the power be shut down to safe occupational exposure limits at any time work is being preformed (Instructions - 4/30/03 for FCC form 303-S) April 30 2003 for applicants, licensees, and tower owners. An on-site assessment at telecommunication sites will detect the ambient levels of electromagnetic energy (radiofrequency radiation). There are two parts to meeting FCC requirements. The first part, the more stringent general population or public exposure limits apply in situations in which the general public may be exposed, or in which persons that are exposed as a consequence of their employment may not be fully aware of the potential for exposure or cannot exercise control over their exposure.[1] The second is occupational.

The occupational exposure limits apply in situations in which persons are exposed as a consequence of their employment provided those persons are fully aware of the potential for exposure and can exercise control over their exposure.[2]

The limits of occupational exposure also apply in situations where an individual is transient through a location where the occupational limits apply, provided that he or she is made aware of the potential for exposure. The FCC 351A and B Broadcast forms requires the power be shut down to safe occupational exposure limits at any time work is being performed.

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[1] 47 C.F.R. § 1.1310, Note 2 to Table 1.

[2] 47 C.F.R. § 1.1310, Note 1 to Table 1.

3 Id. at 13520-21; 47 C.F.R. § 1.1307(b)(3).

The FCC States that Obtaining different contribution levels at different points in time is expected at sites (multi-user site RFR violations at Mt. Wilson) that include daily changes in the RF environment based on what main or auxiliary transmitters are operating at any given time at variable power levels. It is precisely this type of publicly accessible, complex, multi-user site that warrants licensee cooperation to ensure the public is protected from exposure to RFR levels above the MPE limit.

All of the (Mt. Wilson Licensees) were also required to submit sworn statements describing their plans to ensure that the fences surrounding the area are shut and that the gates are locked. Each of the four Mt. Wilson Licensees exceeded the five percent limit, therefore each share in the responsibility to bring the area into compliance102 and make the non-compliant area inaccessible to the public.

http://www.fcc.gov/eb/Orders/2004/FCC-04-281A1.html

Anywhere there is RF equipment being used, like the processing and cooking of foods, heat sealers, vinyl welders, high frequency welders, induction heaters, flow solder machines, communications transmitters, radar transmitters, 802.11 wireless, ion implant equipment, microwave drying equipment, sputtering equipment and glue curing.

When considering the contributions to field strength or power density from other RF sources, care should be taken to ensure that such variables such as reflection and re-radiation are considered. In cases involving very complex sites predictions of RF fields may not be possible, and a measurement survey may be necessary.

Bulletin 65 specifically states that at a multi-user site, such as an antenna farm, actual measurements of the RF field may be necessary to determine whether there is a potential for human exposure in excess of the MPE limits specified by the FCC. We therefore find that the calculations made by Telemundo in December 2003 do not disprove measurements made by the field agents in July 2002. Where public safety is at issue, we prefer actual measurements to calculations at multi-user antenna sites. (FCC 04-281)

Additionally, some states such as NC require that;
Employers shall ensure that each affected employee who works in an electromagnetic energy environment with potential RF exposure in excess of the general population/uncontrolled MPE limits stated in 47 CFR 1.1310 has access to and understands the specific site information related to the RF energy and RF fields present at each individual site.

(d) RF Safety Program. When employees are exposed to RF fields in excess of the general population/uncontrolled MPE limits established in 47 CFR 1.1310 as a consequence of their employment, the employer shall develop, implement, and maintain a written safety and health program with site specific procedures and elements based on the electromagnetic radiation hazards present, in accordance with 13 NCAC 07F .0609(g).

It is the unique intention of Section 1.1310 that the contribution of one station alone may not violate the rule, while that station, when joined by the RF contribution of other stations whose total RFR contributions exceed the MPE limits, may find itself in violation. Consequently, we require licensees to work together to ensure compliance. As each of the Mt. Wilson Licensees contributed over 5% of the total RFR exceeding the MPE limits, each of the licensees is equally responsible for bringing the area into compliance, according to Section 1.1307 of our Rules. Because the Mt. Wilson Licensees failed to bring the area into compliance, each is liable for an individual $10,000 forfeiture, because of its contribution, pursuant to Section 1.1307(b), to the violation of Section 1.1310 of our Rules. By allocating the full forfeiture amount to each of the Mt. Wilson Licensees, we again remind all licensees at multi-user sites that they may be responsible for the full amount of a public safety forfeiture if they do not comply with Sections 1.1307 and 1.1310 of our Rules. (FCC 04-281)

Further, the FCC’s rules require that if the MPE limits are exceeded in an accessible area due to the emissions of any transmitters, that actions necessary to bring the area into compliance “are the shared responsibility of all licensees whose transmitters produce, at the area in question, power density levels that exceed 5% of the power density exposure limit applicable to their particular transmitter.”
(FCC 04-281)

It is the unique intention of Section 1.1310 that the contribution of one station alone may not violate the rule, while that station, when joined by the RF contribution of other stations whose total RFR contributions exceed the MPE limits, may find itself in violation.
(FCC 04-281)

The amount of exposure and time is dependent on FCC’s MPE standard and the amount of documented training the personal has had. With training, one can work unabated in the (YELLOW ZONE) up to the FCC's control limits (WARNING RED ZONE). Above the control limits, time averaging can be used only after full on-site assessments of the levels of exposure and an effort to reduce or avoid exposure by administrative or engineering work practices. Be aware, since Sept 2000 that each site user must also meet requirements with respect to “on-tower” or other exposure by workers at the site (including RF exposure on one tower caused by sources on another tower or towers). These requirements include, but are not limited to the reduction or cessation of transmitter power when persons have access to the site, tower, or antenna. Such procedures must be coordinated among all tower users. From FCC Form 303

From FCC viewpoint, licensees and applicants are generally responsible for compliance with both the occupational/controlled exposure limits and the general population/uncontrolled exposure limits in Table 1 as they apply to transmitters under their jurisdiction. Licensees and applicants should be aware that the occupational/controlled exposures limits apply especially in situations were workers may have access to areas in very close proximity to antennas where access to the general public may be restricted.

The Commission’s RF guidelines incorporate two tiers of exposure limits, one for the general public (“general population/uncontrolled” exposure) and another, less restrictive, tier of limits for workers (“occupational/controlled” exposures). The occupational exposure limits are set well below the threshold considered by experts to be potentially harmful, but are higher than those for the general population. The difference in the acceptable exposure levels is based on the premise that workers are aware of their exposure and have the knowledge and means to effectively control their exposure and also on the greater potential for continuous exposure on the part of the public.

The occupational/controlled limits in our rules apply “in situations in which persons are exposed as a consequence of their employment provided those persons are fully aware of the potential for exposure and can exercise control over their exposure.” The limits for occupational/controlled exposure also apply “in situations when an individual is transient through a location where occupational/controlled limits apply provided he or she is made aware of the potential for exposure.”

The phrase exercise control means that an exposed individual is allowed to reduce or avoid exposure by administrative or engineering work practices, such as use of personal protective equipment or time averaging of exposure.

From the OSHA viewpoint of compliance, OSHA expects all employers to perform hazard assessments of the workplace to determine ALL hazards present, not just RF exposure hazards. In fact, if the company or contractor plans to use any type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the hazard assessment is mandated, per 29CFR 1910.132. In several other sections of the CFR (ex. CFR 1926.28) the regulation requires employers to require “the wearing of appropriate PPE” in hazardous areas. Further more employees who are required to wear such PPE shall be trained on the hazards and use of said PPE. The employer shall verify that affected employees have received and understand the required training through written certification. Where training is required, it shall consist of on-the-job training or classroom-type training or a combination of both. 29CFR 1910.268(c)

https://www.fcc.gov/help/antenna-structure-registration-asr-help

Any company operating heat induction units, heat sealers, RF dryers, hospitals, MRI machines, RF steel tempering, RF soldering or welding.

An RF hazard assessment at an industrial site is similar in some respects to a telecommunications site but very different in other aspects. Equipment is one of the major concerns. RF meters and probes for telecom sites usually have a frequency range from about 300 KHZ to over 50 GHZ, however at industrial sites some equipment runs at below 1KHZ so the equipment is very different. RSI has the only EFA3 (Wandel & Goltermann) in the U.S. at the time of this writing. This unit reads electric and magnetic fields down to 5 Hz. The assessment techniques are similar to those at a telecom site but the procedures are different with each site and type and manufacture of RF equipment. This is due to the widely varied uses of this equipment, the frequency ranges, and the power levels. Example: A steel soldering unit may run 7.5K W at 27 MHZ while a unit for heating pie may run 3 MW at 290 Hz.

RSI has personnel who have dealt with these types of units for over 20 years and has on staff accredited technicians for these types of units.

Both FCC Form 600’s (Application for Mobile Radio Service Authorization) and FCC Form 854 (Application for Antenna Structure Registration) contain question 28, which asks whether the licensee's proposed action may have a significant environmental effect requiring an EA. If the licensee indicates "NO" to this question, no environmental documentation is required to be filed with the Commission. However, the licensee should maintain all pertinent records and be ready to provide documentation supporting its determination that an EA was not required for the site, in the event that such information is requested by the Bureau pursuant to section 1.1307(d).

If, after consulting the NEPA rules, a licensee determines that its proposed construction does fall under one of the listed categories in section 1.1307(a) or (b), the licensee is required to notify that fact to the Bureau. The licensee must answer “YES” to question 28 on either FCC Forms 600 or 854, and attach an EA to the form filing. Once this question is answered “YES”, the filing is treated as a “major environmental action.”

Wrong! per the FCC: “Some licensees have determined, by calculations or by other means, that they comply with the limits for the general public and have then assumed that they are fully compliant with our (FCC) exposure limits or otherwise categorically excluded from further action ( See FCC 03-137) . In these cases, licensees have often not considered their responsibilities to ensure compliance for workers who may have access to areas in closer proximity to antenna sites. With respect to fixed transmitters, we have found in implementing our RF exposure guidelines over the past several years that in some cases licensees have failed to take note of the fact that they are responsible for compliance with both the occupational/controlled limits as well as the general population/uncontrolled limits. To make it easier for our licensees and grantees to interpret their responsibilities, we propose to explain in a note to Section 1.1310 of our rules that “fully aware” means that an exposed individual has received written and verbal information concerning the potential for RF exposure and has received training regarding appropriate work practices relating to controlling or mitigating his or her exposure (RSI Note: OSHA also states this per CFR 1910.1020) ...for instance, appropriate signage. We propose to specify that “exercise control” means that an exposed individual is able to reduce or avoid exposure by administrative or engineering work practices, such as use of PPE or time-averaging of exposure”.

Also the FCC states: For purposes of developing training programs for employees, we (FCC) note that several resources are becoming available to provide guidance on appropriate RF safety programs. These resources include services provided by commercial vendors.

http://wireless.fcc.gov/antenna/documentation/sitingEnvironmental.html

Mathematical calculation, information on E and H fields and predicting RF compliance will be addressed in the training. Participation of attendees usually dictates how in-depth the training gets. This is not a dry class. Not only will this training address mathematical calculations, on-site hazard assessments and what equipment can be used to make acceptable ascertainment of compliance for FCC, but OSHA as well. You will have fun too. Issues of site restriction (fencing) and signage requirements, induced-contact current problems, backup batteries along with other site hazards will be discussed (i.e. chemicals, fuel-oil spills, biohazards, spiders, snakes, gators, birds etc.). We will also address new and pending FCC/OSHA requirements and how to handle FCC/OSHA inspections. It will address the new requirements in the FCC 303-S forms. The instructors are authorized OSHA outreach trainers that have 25 plus years experience in telecommunications industry. This course counts for continuing education points with the SBE. see: Safety Training

Specifically, is it the sole responsibility of the facility to screen for pacemakers? What is the role and therefore the liability of the referring physician, primary care physician and others involved in the patients management? Have any of the cases of serious injury or death resulted in the filing of a malpractice suit - have damages been awarded, have cases settled out of court?

As to the questions pertaining to the legal liability (I presume you are not interested in my response to the ethical or moral liability), that is not an area in which I have, nor claim, any expertise. I therefore contacted a (plaintiff’s) medical malpractice attorney (Craig Frischman, Esq. of Kapetan Myers Rosen Louik & Raizman, P.C., Pittsburgh, PA) here in Pittsburgh today and presented this question to him. He felt that a generic answer to such a generic question would be that in all likelihood, the referring and/or primary care physicians would typically NOT be held liable for an adverse outcome of scanning a patient that was subsequently found to have an implanted pacemaker, unless they had knowledge of the hazard and failed to act. The radiologist and the hospital/site, on the other hand, would certainly be prime candidates for him to pursue, as it is their responsibility to ensure that only patients on whom this test can be performed with a reasonable level of safety be permitted into the environment of the MR imager. The referring and/or primary care physicians are relying on the radiologist/MR site to know how the test is performed - and on whom it may be safely applied.

When I asked him regarding the MR nursing staff and/or MR technologists, he responded that their responsibility would depend upon their role in permitting the patient to come within the environment of the magnet. If those persons within the facility having responsibility to obtain a patient’s history were professionals in the field for whom it could have been demonstrated that they should have reasonably been expected to be aware of the problems of placing a pacemaker patient into an MR scanner, they could certainly be exposed as well. This is especially true if they failed to obtain adequate historical information related to the hazard of a particular patient being exposed to the magnet. It is nonetheless obvious that liability in this case is very fact dependent.

As to the question regarding whether or not there have been any cases of serious injury or death which resulted in the filing of a malpractice suit, etc., there most certainly have been. Although I am not able to discuss the specifics of cases in which I have been asked to become involved, I would be comfortable stating that quite a few of which I am aware have settled out of court. The majority of the ones of which I am aware have been "gagged" or kept as silent as can be - for rather obvious reasons - relatively successfully avoiding potentially damaging publicity.

Finally, even when the adverse event has made it into what may sometimes be national news (e.g., literally published in the New York Times), financial/legal outcomes to such cases are often not readily publicly accessible.

E. Kanal

Yes. The EA should be comprehensive in its analysis by discussing the reasons why a particular category is effected as well as the reasons why other categories are not effected by the proposed action. The substantial portion of the analysis, of course, should address the categories which are effected by the proposed construction. http://wireless.fcc.gov/siting/npafaq.html

The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate the effects of RF emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. The Commission’s RF emissions rules are designed to protect public health by limiting the maximum amount of RF emissions to which a licensee’s facilities, in combination with other sources of RF emissions, may cause workers and the general public to be exposed.

ALSO: Section 1.1307(a)(3) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §1.1307(a)(3), requires applicants, licensees, and tower owners (Applicants) to consider the impact of proposed facilities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. s. 1531 et seq. Applicants must determine whether any proposed facilities may affect listed, threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats, or are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any proposed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats. Applicants are also required to notify the FCC and file an environmental assessment if any of these conditions exist. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) provides information that Applicants may find useful regarding compliance with the ESA.

Both FCC Form 601 (Application for Mobile Radio Service Authorization) and FCC Form 854 (Application for Antenna Structure Registration) contain question 28, which asks whether the licensee’s proposed action may have a significant environmental effect requiring an EA. If the licensee indicates “NO” to this question, no environmental documentation is required to be filed with the Commission. However, the licensee should maintain all pertinent records and be ready to provide documentation supporting its determination that an EA was not required for the site, in the event that such information is requested by the Bureau pursuant to section 1.1307(d).

If, after consulting the NEPA rules, a licensee determines that its proposed construction does fall under one of the listed categories in section 1.1307(a) or (b), the licensee is required to notify that fact to the Bureau. The licensee must answer “YES’ to question 28 on any of the FCC Forms, and attach an EA to the form filing. Once this question is answered “YES”, the filing is treated as a “major environmental action”.

Call RSI at 888-830-5648 if you have any questions!

Yes. You should always contact any and all state and local government offices with responsibility over the effected area, as some of these offices share jurisdiction over the area with a federal agency. In addition, some states have environmental laws and regulations which may be more stringent than federal standards, and you must comply with all relevant laws in addition to the Commission’s NEPA rules.

Yes, extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation includes alternating current (AC) fields and other electromagnetic, non-ionizing radiation from 1 Hz to 300 Hz. ELF radiation at 60 Hz are produced by power lines, electrical wiring, and electrical equipment. Current research has focused on potential health effects of magnetic fields because some epidemiological studies have suggested increased cancer risk associated with estimates of magnetic field exposure. Exposure to EMFs depends on the strength of the ELF at the source, the distance from the source, and the duration of exposure. The (ACGIH) has established occupational exposure guidelines for ELF radiation.

This year marks the start of a four-year cycle for the filing of applications for renewal of licenses for radio and television stations throughout the country. When a station’s application is completed, the licensee is required to make certain statements about the station’s RFR compliance with the Commission's environmental regulations.

Stations should not wait until their renewal application is about to be filed before performing an RF radiation evaluation.

Hazard Assessments
Since the last filing of a license renewal application the FCC/OSHA RF safety laws have changed, as well as other changes that may have occurred at or near a station’s transmitter site. The FCC may have approved a power increase; the antennas of other broadcast and nonbroadcast stations may now be located near the station’s antenna structure; the station may have expanded its studio or parking lot closer to the transmitter; or housing may now surround the transmitter site. Depending upon the circumstances, a station might need to modify its facilities to increase the distance of its antenna from the ground, to reduce power, or to make other changes necessary to limit RF radiation exposure. Also training is required by both OSHA and FCC to work on any broadcast site.

RF Safety Training
Accordingly, it is prudent to discover any problems now and work on a solution to resolve any problems, the FCC is doing enforcment now.

There are several ways that the FCC may learn about a possible violation of the Communications Act and the FCC’s rules.

Complaints In most cases, a violation comes to the attention of the FCC through complaints filed by another licensee, a competitor, consumer, or some other interested party. Complaints can be “formal” or “informal”. Formal complaints must contain certain information required by the FCC’s rules and may be subject to a filing fee. Informal complaints may be filed in letter format and generally must identify the name of the party alleged to have violated the rule, location where the company or licensee operates, the specific rule alleged to have been violated, and must describe the specific circumstances surrounding the alleged violation. Because the Communications Act imposes a time limit or “statute of limitation” by which the Commission may take certain enforcement actions (i.e., assess forfeitures) against specific violations, complaints should be filed as soon as possible following the alleged violation.

FCC-Initiated Inspections and Investigations The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, primarily through its agents located in 25 different places through the U.S., often conducts inspections of FCC-licensed facilities. Rule violations are often uncovered during these inspections. The Enforcement Bureau also may conduct self-initiated investigations under certain circumstances.

Complaints of violations of the Commission’s RF Safety rules that involve an immediate threat to the safety of a member of the public or an occupational worker should be referred to the Communications and Crisis Management Center (CCMC) at: (202) 418-1122 Hours (24/7).

reprint from FCC web site

http://www.fcc.gov/eb/sed/rfse.html

As a condition of licensing, nearly all licensed broadcasters should have been compliant with the new RF Safety rules by Sept. 1, 2000. The rules have become more stringent. One fact has remained constant: Broadcasters must take action to ensure that people are not exposed to radio frequency radiation (RFR) in excess of the FCC limits. OSHA (on both state and federal levels) has become more actively involved in the industry. The new NATE/OSHA partnership agreement mandates that 10% of the sites that NATE (tower workers) members in this program work at, have inspections. These inspection reports can go to OSHA for review. Broadcasters should be aware of these new requirements and that their sites may be under inspection at any time.

Now, OSHA/FCC compliance requires broadcasters to create a written health-and-safety policy to identify potentially unsafe work areas that may expose workers to RFR levels above the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) level, and to develop safe working practices for anyone who needs access to those areas. OSHA considers the written health-and-safety policy the cornerstone of compliance (this is a must). The overall purpose of the written document is to adopt clear, concise programs (not just policies) on how the site will be administered, the use of PPE, installation of signage, and the steps which will be taken to ensure worker safety (training and enforcement of the rules required).

It must include practical/real-world considerations for each site, including the training of workers and to adhere completely to the program. Safety Training

John Henshaw, head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration was the key note speaker at NATE in Feb and told the group that he would be signing a letter stating that Equipment Owners and Site Owners/ Managers would need to SERIOUSLY CONSIDER contracting with companies that have “real safety programs”. RSI has made these statements for years, Under multi-employer workplace law you are the responsible party. Your group might be the Creating, Exposing, Correcting or Controlling employer or you could full multiple roles under OSHA. Now this OSHA letter makes you the responsible party "IT Puts ALL Licensees and Site owners on notice". In an April 18, 2003 letter, Henshaw said industry cooperation is needed to address "a serious problem in the communications tower industry" that has claimed more than 150 lives over the past decade. “I ask that you seriously consider contracting only with tower erection companies that have excellent safety and health records and that you require in your contracts the following: (1) the erector comply with all OSHA requirements, and (2) all contracts with subcontractors contain the same provision,” Henshaw stated. “In addition, these contracts should contain strong language regarding the importance of good safety and health programs, employee training and education.”

Also on March 10, 2003, the FCC announced that it has revised its rules to strengthen the requirements for the submission of truthful statements to the Commission. As amended, section 1.17 of the Commission's Rules prohibits written and oral statements of fact that are intentionally incorrect or misleading and written statements of fact that are made without a reasonable basis for believing that the statement is correct and not misleading. In requiring that submitters of written statements in fact-based adjudications and investigations have a reasonable basis to believe that what they say is correct and not misleading, the Commission is imposing on the submitters a duty of due diligence, including the duty to take appropriate affirmative steps to determine the truthfulness of what is being submitted. The new rule is a clearer, more comprehensive, and more focused articulation of the standards for truthful statements than the old rule. The Commission also said that the new rule will enhance the effectiveness of its enforcement efforts. The FCC has re-committed itself to enforcement of its rules. Jerry Ulcek, one of the writers of OET 65, is currently leading an effort within the FCC's Enforcement Bureau to develop inspection standards and educate enforcement personnel with respect to non-ionizing-radiation topics. The FCC is currently doing many reviews and has completed some new enforcement actions and this is just the start.

In most multiple-licensee situations (antenna farms), there are no effective power-down agreements. When transmitting antennas are co-located, it is now required to have agreements with the other licensees regarding times or windows in which licensees and site owners can ask the others to reduce power so that maintenance operations can be performed safely. In densely-located broadcast sites, the RF energy from one station's facilities can be at or above the MPE limits at a neighboring site. You may not be able to have someone safely climb a tower or work on your antenna without the cooperation of the another licensees. Most of the time the tower climbers who are told, " put on this RF Suit and do the work", “Just get it done, regardless of safety.” Too often, the cost of a delay associated with reducing power is considered ($$$), and the safety of the workers goes without regard. This situation must be eliminated through proper multi-user safety programs, outlining and defining the responsibilities of all parties.

Wrong. The licensee is responsible for knowing the rules and those include the FCC’s right to inspect. Because the employer is responsible for the acts of the employee, it is up to the licensee-employer to inform its staff as to its responsibilities concerning the operation of the radio station.

Both licensees and non-licensees must allow an FCC Agent to inspect their radio equipment. Along with the privilege of possessing a license come responsibilities such as knowing the applicable rules, including allowing the station to be inspected. Licensees should be aware of the Commission’s right to inspect. Equally important, FCC Agents are allowed to inspect the radio equipment of non-licensees.

Section 303(n) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (Act) gives the Federal Communications Commission the authority to inspect all radio installations associated with stations required to be licensed by any Act.

Immediate on-the-spot inspections are generally necessary. In most cases, any delay can result in changed conditions of the transmitting equipment or its operation, adversely affecting the efficacy of the inspections.

For that reason, Agents cannot return at a later time to accommodate the operator, cannot wait for the operator to make any adjustments to the equipment, cannot wait for an attorney or supervisor to arrive or cannot spend time repeating the reasons for the inspection.

In certain RF environments, it may be inconvenient to power down or otherwise limit the amount of RF from the antennas. It may then be necessary to use additional RF protection devices such as RF suits or RF protective clothing. If these suits are employed, the worker may experience an increase in fatigue and overheating due to the weight and characteristics of the suit. If these suits were to be used the personnel using the suits would require extensive training.
Safety Training
Personal Protection Equipment

The FCC states: “All FCC licensees, even those categorically excluded or below radiated power and height criteria, are expected to be in compliance with the FCC’s exposure limits. (RSI note: one must at least know the MPE to meet this definition)... It is the responsibility of all the licensees with co-located transmitters to ensure that individual contributions of each transmitter do not cumulatively exceed the Commission’s limits in an accessible area. Exposure to RF levels below these levels is considered to have no detrimental biological effect by expert standards bodies such the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE) or the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP)”.

Summation: Therefore, at a minimum, the telecommunication company must know their transmitter’s MPE, and if they have workers near or on that tower at any time for servicing the antenna or transmitter, the workers need to have knowledge of the potential hazards under the OSHA “Right to Know” concept, and should have personal protection equipment to guard against exposure to RF. These components should be part of a general or site safety plan.

MPE Evaluation
Catagorical Exclusions

A Maximum Permissible Exposure evaluation is a formula that takes into account several different variables associated with energy emitted from a transmitter and antenna. RSI has created an efficient computer program that can give the correct MPE data in an instant. The data is then printed out as a concise and easy to understand graph with a written explanation of the result of the evaluation. The data is submitted on an easy to understand RSI EME Emissions Inventory™ questionnaire provided by RSI. The RSI EME Emissions Inventory™ is quick and painless.

MPE
Safety Training

At a minimum, all transmitters, MUST HAVE AN MPE ANALYSIS (those at multiple-user sites must understand the 5% responsibility rule, Part 47 on license form). If it is found that the MPE is over the limits outlined in the government standards, action must be taken. This may include equipment changes, an environmental assessment, and/or a safety plan. Companies, contractors, government, shops, and sites are all included in having to comply. If a general safety plan is formulated, employees must be trained. Also, if employees are exposed to RF radiation at any time as part of their employment, they must know the potential hazards associated with RF as part of the OSHA “Right to Know” concept.

The FCC states that “a site owner can determine whether a licensee will be able to erect a fence to limit public access in areas where the uncontrolled RF exposure limits may be exceeded. For sites where there are multiple licensees, the site owner may be able to encourage the licensees to cooperate to find a common solution to problems caused by multiple transmitters.” In addition, the site must meet all OSHA regulations, and the site owner must provide a safe environment for workers and the general public.

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OSHA Head Getting Serious About Site Safety

May 01, 2003 @ 2:11 EDT

John Henshaw was the key note speaker at NATE in Feb. and told the group that he would be signing a letter stating that Equipment Owners and Site Owners/Managers would need to SERIOUSLY CONSIDER contracting with companies that have “real safety programs”. RSI has made these statements for years. Under multi-employer workplace law you are the responsible party. Your group might be the Creating, Exposing, Correcting or Controlling employer or you could fill multiple roles under OSHA and therefore be the responsible party. It puts ALL Licensees and Site owners on notice.

WASHINGTON-John Henshaw, head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has urged major U.S. mobile phone operators and tower owners to hire only those construction firms that have proven safety records and that follow federal guidelines.

In an April 18 letter obtained by RCR Wireless News, Henshaw said industry cooperation is needed to address “a serious problem in the communications tower industry” that has claimed more than 150 lives over the past decade.

“I ask that you seriously consider contracting only with tower erection companies that have excellent safety and health records and that you require in your contracts the following: (1) the erector comply with all OSHA requirements, and (2) all contracts with subcontractors contain the same provision,” Henshaw stated. “In addition, these contracts should contain strong language regarding the importance of good safety and health programs, employee training and education, and fall prevention and fall arrest systems.”

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Also under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) if the site is required to have an FCC tower registration number it must not jeopardize or threaten any one or any species (RF safety is now part of 47 CFR 1.1307-1.1319) and the owner of the site must certifies that the facilities do not cause exposure in excess of the limits specified in the CFR and 2.1093 (Signage also applies here). Note: Failure to comply with Tower Registration is the most cited rule in the telecommunications industry leading to up to $100,000’s of dollars in finds to site owners last year.Additionally, the site owner or other entity could be issued citations under multi-employer workplace CPL 2-0.124.

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The FCC has been issuing fines

Jun 28, 2002 @ 5:08 EDT

The FCC has been issuing fines at an astonishing rate to AM Broadcast tower owners that do not meet 47 CFR §73.49 et al concerning the requirements for fencing around AM towers.

47 CFR §73.49... “Antenna towers having radio frequency potential at the base (series fed, folded unipole, and insulated base antennas) must be enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures. Ready access must be provided to each antenna tower base for meter reading and maintenance purposes at all times. However, individual tower fences need not be installed if the towers are contained within a protective property fence”.

Make sure you know the requirements for your tower. We have RF induced contact current/induced current warning signs available for your AM or FM broadcast site.

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Safety Training

FCC has the right to inspect ALL covered radio equipment at any time... The FCC agents have the authority to inspect all radio equipment; even if you do not have a license, the FCC can still inspect your equipment or site without unnecessary delay.

One of the requirements as a licensee, or non-licensee subject to the Commission’s Rules, is to allow inspection of your radio equipment by FCC personnel. Note (as required whenever the FCC feels there is a need to). Whether you operate an amateur station or any other radio device, your authorization from the Commission comes with the obligation to allow inspection. Even radio stations licensed under a “blanket” rule or approval, are subject to the Commission’s inspection requirement.

Point 1. The FCC stated, “All licensees must comply with the MPE limits given in Section 1.1310 of the rules, there are no exceptions. Categorical exclusions are given to those licensees that under most situations would not cause a compliance problem by themselves. They are still bound by the MPE requirements though. As soon as the licensee co-locates with another, the licensee must take into account existing fields caused by these entities. If there are areas that exceed 100% of the applicable limit then those that are contributing more than 5% of the applicable limit are responsible for compliance. The last licensee to a site is always responsible for making sure that fields they add (even if under 5%) will not cause the site to become non-compliant. ” The only sure way to know if you are within the standards is to conduct an MPE.

Point 2. In the Personal Communications Industry Association (PCIA) RF Workshop of October 23, 1997, PCIA concluded that “Categorical Exclusion ” from performing a “routine environmental evaluation ” does NOT mean the subject antenna will comply with FCC rules on human exposure to RF fields.

PCIA concluded that: “Even if antennas are categorically excluded from environmental evaluations, RF fields in their vicinity can still exceed the MPE limit for worker exposure. Categorical exclusion does not relieve the licensee from an obligation to comply with the MPE limit. In fact, unless the licensee takes appropriate measures to mitigate potentially excessive worker exposure at a categorically excluded antenna, the facility will technically not be in compliance with the FCC human exposure rules. ”

Point 3. In a letter form the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) dated April 8, 1998, in an addendum to the article “EME Design and Operation Considerations for Wireless Antenna Sites ” ......CTIA states:...... “Contrary to the rules of the FCC, OSHA’s regulations apply to all employers with employees who may be exposed to strong RF fields in the course of their work, irrespective of whether the employer is an FCC licensee or not. ”Finally, OSHA has stated that it will apply the revised rules of the FCC in citing employers for violations relative to RF exposure. All wireless operators, site managers and site sub-contractors are encouraged to initiate, if they have not already done so, an RF safety program within their companies to insure compliance with both the FCC and OSHA requirements.

Point 4. The FCC states that the Environmental Policy Act of 1969 does not allow “grand fathering”. If you renewed before October 15, 1997, there is a “cut off ” date of September 1, 2000, at which time all of the FCC's licensees must be in compliance.

Point 5. Furthermore, on applications for radio transmitters the licenses state: “Applicant certifies that grant of this request would not have a significant environmental effect as defined by 47 CFR 1.1307, including compliance for applicable standards for human exposure to radio frequency radiation. ”

The box underneath the above statement on the application form states: “Willful false statements made on this form are punishable by fine and/or imprisonment (U.S.C. Title 18, Sec.1001), and/or revocation of any license or construction permit (U.S.C., Title 47, Sec.503). ”

In summation: OSHA states that there is no “categorical exclusion from OSHA ” for any transmitter that exceeds the FCC MPE limits.

The only way to have liability protection from fines or lawsuits (if you are not in compliance with MPE) is to conduct, at a minimum:
- An MPE analysis
- Have a written safety plan for your sites and shops, and
- Train your workers.

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Meters and Monitors

1910.268(p)(3) Protective measures. When an employee works in an area where the electromagnetic radiation exceeds the radiation protection guide, the employer shall institute measures that insure that the employee’s exposure is not greater than that permitted by the radiation guide. Such measures shall include, but not be limited to those of an administrative or engineering nature or those involving personal protective equipment.

1910.268(e)

Tools and personal protective equipment -- Generally. Personal protective equipment, protective devices and special tools needed for the work of employees shall be provided and the employer shall ensure that they are used by employees. Before each day’s use the employer shall ensure that these personal protective devices, tools, and equipment are carefully inspected by a competent person to ascertain that they are in good condition.

NCDOL RFR standard and other states also requires it sometimes.

Hawaii

(d) Wherever the use of personal protective equipment is deemed appropriate or necessitated by exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents, employers shall provide this equipment and it shall be used and maintained in a sanitary and reliable condition.

(e) All employers shall measure, monitor, and record employee exposure to toxic materials or harmful physical agents. The measurement shall determine if any employee may be exposed to concentrations of the toxic materials or harmful physical agents at or above the permissible exposure limit. The determination shall be made each time there is a change in production, process, or control measures which could result in an increase in concentrations of these materials or agents. A written record of the determination shall be made and shall contain at least:

Minnesota Training and information requirements for harmful physical agents

Step 1. Identify all physical agents
Ionizing/non-ionizing radiation:
- identity of sources;
- exposure limits;
- health effects of exposure;
- emergency procedures;
- safety procedures and control measures;
- personal protective equipment.


NCDOL13 NCAC 07F .0606 NON-IONIZING RADIATION

(C) If the transmitter power level can not be reduced or eliminated, an employer may permit its employees to access areas where the occupational/controlled MPE values stated in 47 CFR 1.1310 are exceeded if it implements engineering or administrative controls that comply with the FCC’s regulations concerning such exposure, including limiting the duration of the exposure and utilizing monitoring equipment, RF protective clothing and other related PPE; or NCDOL Training

(g)RF Training.

(1) All employees exposed in excess of the general population/uncontrolled MPE limits stated in 47 CFR 1.1310 shall receive RF hazard awareness training by or under the supervision of a qualified person in the following areas:
(A)MPE Limits for occupational/controlled exposure;
(B)Recognition of RF exposure sources in communication tower work;
(C)Proper use and interpretation of RF exposure;
(D)Work procedures to avoid excessive RF exposure;
(E)Proper use of RF protective clothing and other related PPE;
(F)Symptoms and health issues related to RF exposure; and,
(G)RF exposure first-aid procedure

The FCC states very clearly in OET 65 that both E & H fields must be determined if equipment below 300MHz is in use at the site, and if in the near field you should measure to ensure the actual MPE levels.

- All electromagnetic emissions have an Electric and Magnetic component (E & H)

- The energy (power) of these components are measured in their intensity that passes through a unit area

- For RF safety the Power Density must be checked the value understood by the worker (MPE is mW/cm2)

The personal protection monitor device is not intended, nor should it be used for direct RF power density measurements. The LED display is provided as a guide to assist in determining which direction to proceed to vacate a hot zone. As with all personal protection monitors, worker training is mandated. Complete familiarization to RF Safety and specific device training is the only way to assure proper operation and safe work practice around sources of RF radiation.

The RadMan is the only personal protection monitor on the market that incorporates both an E (electrical) field and H (magnetic) field sensor. The H (magnetic field) sensor will often alert to hot guy wires or metal objects that are carrying the H field from nearby broadcasters along with E field (electric field) readings (Note: The U.S. RadMan does not work below 3MHz). Also a 100% alarm does not mean that you have six minutes in the area, 100% means it is over the work limit in fact it could be over 1000%!

OSHA has interpreted its general PPE standard, as well as specific standards, to require employers to provide and to pay for personal protective equipment required by the company for the worker to do his or her job safely and in compliance with OSHA standards. Where equipment is very personal in nature and is usable by workers off the job, the matter of payment may be left to labor-management negotiations. Examples of PPE that would not normally be used away from the worksite include, but are not limited to: welding gloves, wire mesh gloves, respirators, hard hats, specialty glasses and goggles (e.g., designed for laser or ultraviolet radiation protection or RF monitors), specialty foot protection (such as metatarsal shoes and linemen's shoes with built in gaffs), face shields and rubber gloves, blankets, cover-ups and hot sticks and other live-line tools used by power generation workers. Examples of PPE that is personal in nature and often used away from the worksite include non-specialty safety glasses, safety shoes, and cold-weather outer wear of the type worn by construction workers. However, shoes or outerwear subject to contamination by carcinogens or other toxic or hazardous substances which cannot be safely worn off-site must be paid for by the employer. Failure of the employer to pay for PPE that is not personal and not used away from the job is a violation and shall be cited.

Personal monitors will be reviewed on an individual basis. If personal monitors are used, the appropriate training will be provided at that time. Even units with limited frequency ranges can be very effective in alerting the user of potential RF sources. If those sources fall within the monitor's frequency range (i.e. a stand-alone cell phone site at 900 MHz using a PPM with a frequency range of 50 MHz to 2 GHz.) then with appropriate training the limited range PPM would be appropriate.

PPM Available from RSI

RF Personal Monitoring Equipment (PPM)
* Are not designed for - nor should it be used to take measurements
* Require proper training of personnel per OSHA, but do not protect you from the hazard, they only provide you with a means of warning
* Provide continuous monitoring in an area or for an individual only (no protection!).
Caution - Wearing an approved personal RF monitor can only provide you with a means of warning yourself of RF field strengths that may be above the standards. RF monitors can be a useful tool, but they may tend to give you a false sense of security. You should never totally rely on an RF monitor, but instead use it in conjunction with your knowledge of RF safety. Many telecommunications sites have a wide range of styles of equipment, from PCS, cellular, and broadcast to high-energy microwave transmitters. The personal monitor that is chosen must be compatible with the environment that you are working in (i.e., the correct frequency range).

Personal Protection Monitors

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Environmental

http://wireless.fcc.gov/antenna/documentation/sitingEnvironmental.html

Yes. The EA should be comprehensive in its analysis by discussing the reasons why a particular category is effected as well as the reasons why other categories are not effected by the proposed action. The substantial portion of the analysis, of course, should address the categories which are effected by the proposed construction. http://wireless.fcc.gov/siting/npafaq.html

The FCC is required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to evaluate the effects of RF emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. The Commission’s RF emissions rules are designed to protect public health by limiting the maximum amount of RF emissions to which a licensee’s facilities, in combination with other sources of RF emissions, may cause workers and the general public to be exposed.

ALSO: Section 1.1307(a)(3) of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §1.1307(a)(3), requires applicants, licensees, and tower owners (Applicants) to consider the impact of proposed facilities under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), 16 U.S.C. s. 1531 et seq. Applicants must determine whether any proposed facilities may affect listed, threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats, or are likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any proposed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitats. Applicants are also required to notify the FCC and file an environmental assessment if any of these conditions exist. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) provides information that Applicants may find useful regarding compliance with the ESA.

Both FCC Form 601 (Application for Mobile Radio Service Authorization) and FCC Form 854 (Application for Antenna Structure Registration) contain question 28, which asks whether the licensee’s proposed action may have a significant environmental effect requiring an EA. If the licensee indicates “NO” to this question, no environmental documentation is required to be filed with the Commission. However, the licensee should maintain all pertinent records and be ready to provide documentation supporting its determination that an EA was not required for the site, in the event that such information is requested by the Bureau pursuant to section 1.1307(d).

If, after consulting the NEPA rules, a licensee determines that its proposed construction does fall under one of the listed categories in section 1.1307(a) or (b), the licensee is required to notify that fact to the Bureau. The licensee must answer “YES’ to question 28 on any of the FCC Forms, and attach an EA to the form filing. Once this question is answered “YES”, the filing is treated as a “major environmental action”.

Call RSI at 888-830-5648 if you have any questions!

Yes. You should always contact any and all state and local government offices with responsibility over the effected area, as some of these offices share jurisdiction over the area with a federal agency. In addition, some states have environmental laws and regulations which may be more stringent than federal standards, and you must comply with all relevant laws in addition to the Commission’s NEPA rules.

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International

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Miscellaneous

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/consult/_2014/safety_code_6-code_securite_6/final_finale-eng.php

All OSHA partnerships are under rigorous review by OSHA at this time. In fact RSI is in the NATE/OSHA partnership, and we were told to just hold on to our 2009 cards and that we should be receiving new ones later.

the NATE-OSHA partnership was replaced by the STAR program effective October 2011.

You need to have a combination of experience, safety training, and RSI’s Train the Trainer™ course.

This statement is from page 12 of the FCC’S OET 56

The FCC considered a large number of comments submitted by industry, government agencies and the public. In particular, the FCC considered comments submitted by the EPA, FDA, NIOSH and OSHA, which have primary responsibility for health and safety in the Federal Government. The guidelines the FCC adopted were based on the recommendations of those agencies, and they have sent letters to the FCC supporting its decision and endorsing the FCC’s guidelines as protective of public health.

In its 1996 Order, the FCC noted that research and analysis relating to RF safety and health is ongoing and changes in recommended exposure limits may occur in the future as knowledge increases in this field. In that regard, the FCC will continue to cooperate with industry and with expert agencies and organizations with responsibilities for health and safety in order to ensure that the FCC’s guidelines continue to be appropriate and scientifically valid.

Alaska, Minnesota, Hawaii, North Carolina, Massachusetts, and Washington all have specific requirements in their state OSHA programs. New Jersey has requirements for industrial applications in their environmental regulations. Michigan and other states are in the process of writing new programs or updating current programs.

The most recent regulation is FCC 47 CFR 1.1310. This is the regulation most government entities are following and the one NTIA has said it will use. Under the consensus standards the government uses the most current standards adopted by a federal agency. One difference, the government entities (NTIA) are also using the ANSI standard for induced and contact current.

Working conditions regulated by other federal agencies under other federal statutes Even when another federal agency is authorized to regulate safety and health working conditions in a particular industry, if it does not do so in specific areas, then OSHA standards apply.

Under the “Act” federal agency heads are responsible for providing safe and healthful working condition for their employees. The “Act” requires agencies to comply with standards consistent with those OSHA issues for the private sector.

Federal agency heads are required to operate comprehensive occupational safety and health programs, provide training to employees, and conduct self-audits to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs, and ensure compliance with OSHA. OSHA also conducts comprehensive evaluations of these programs.

OSHA's federal sector authority is different from that in the private sector in that OSHA cannot impose monetary penalties against another federal agency for failure to comply with OSHA standards. Instead, compliance issues not resolved at local levels are raised to higher levels until resolved.

State and Local Governments

OSHA provisions do not apply to state and local governments in their role as employers. The Act does provide that any state desiring to gain OSHA approval for its private sector occupational safety and health programs must provide a program for its state and local government workers that is at least as effective as its program for private employees. State plans may also cover the public sector employees.

Also The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 requires all agencies of the Federal Government to evaluate the effects of their actions on the quality of the human environment.

No. Phrases such as, “neither this Agreement nor the inspection will cover inspection of, or analysis for, compliance with the laws, rules, regulations or policies of the FCC or of any other federal, state or local governmental authority relating to environmental matters, including, but not limited to, RF exposure”, are stated in most ABIP agreements.

The inspection is conducted in the same manner and uses the same procedures as the Standard FCC Enforcement Bureau’s full station inspection. The inspection generally covers review of the public information files, station license, the emergency alert system, and daily and monthly transmitter logs. Verification of proper transmitter power, tower lighting, and tower sign postings may also be a part of the inspection.

The New North Carolina fall standard is now law as of Jan. 3, 2005: We received a copy the week of Jan 10.

RSI CORP must follow all sub parts.

13 NCAC 07F.0601

States that the standards applies even during the inspection of communication towers (unlike CFR 1926 sub part M under with inspections are exempt from the sub part).

This means that all work above 6 feet requires at least two employees including at least one competent person.

Any RSI work on rooftops, electrical transmission tower, church steeples, or water towers will require you to build this cost into the bid.

The Client also needs to know that they must hire inspectors that follow this standard (they must follow it with their own employees also) or they are in violation of the law under the NC Standard to. Ground level surveys do not require this, or rooftops with 42 inch or higher guard rails (we don't know if they have them until we go to most sites).

The good part is that all sites in NC are required to have a hazard assessment analysis before any work.

There is also a record keeping part, 13 NCAC 07F.068 states that non-ionizing radiation exposure records related to each analysis are to be use as part of the required training. (g) (2) States that: employees shall have access to and understands the specific site information related to RF energy and RF fields present at each individual site. The employer shall certify that employee has been trained by preparing a certification record. The certification record shall be prepared at the completion of the required training. The most current certification record shall be kept available for review by OSHA.

Anywhere there is RF equipment being used, like the processing and cooking of foods, heat sealers, vinyl welders, high frequency welders, induction heaters, flow solder machines, communications transmitters, radar transmitters, 802.11 wireless, ion implant equipment, microwave drying equipment, sputtering equipment and glue curing.

Most all of the Wireless operators and Tower site owner groups and many states are using this outline for installing RFR safety signs. Some older sites still have signs posted under the old 10 mw under OSHA CRF 1910.97 old standard posting the Warning sign at 10mw (Note: This is ten times higher in some cases that the new FCC worker standard and they should be updated). The new FCC standard is down to .2mw for the general population, now there are two standards workers and the General population exposure limits, the following outline and color coding works better to warn workers of the Dangers. Anytime you work above the worker standard there is Danger of RFR. The workers must be “know” before they go into that area of the RFR Danger, they must be warned so the can control the hazard. The time is less than six minutes at that point. Color coding at the site is easy: Blue Signs, you must have permission to be in the area “No Trespassing”, there also could be RF leaks or other signs warning you of higher levels.

OSHA's CRF 1910.145 Specifications for accident prevention signs and tags.

YELLOW IS A CAUTION AREA
(i) Caution signs shall be used only to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices.
NOTE: The Uncontrolled Limit is OSH’s action limit. Note: This area is above the general public standard and you must be trained to work in this area under caution.

WARNING (DANGER) SIGNS ARE RED. (i) There shall be no variation in the type of design of signs posted to warn of specific dangers and radiation hazards. NOTE: Above the Controlled Worker Standard. You can not stay in this area more than six minutes.

RSI Note: See the word doc and the MP3 video clip we did with the FCC/OSHA a few years ago. The site used in this RSI video is the Denver site that the FCC uses for training and follows this outline for signage. It's easy to train people with this outline and makes good since, (Yellow signs are always caution areas and Red signs are Stop signs, Danger areas).

(a) Scope. (1) These specifications apply to the design, application, and use of signs or symbols intended to indicate and, insofar as possible, to define specific hazards of a nature such that failure to designate them may lead to accidental injury to workers or the public, or both, or to property damage. These specifications are intended to cover all safety signs except those designed for streets, highways, railroads, and marine regulations.
(2) All new signs and replacements of old signs shall be in accordance with these specifications.
(c) Classification of signs according to use -- (1) Danger signs (Red). (i) There shall be no variation in the type of design of signs posted to warn of specific dangers and radiation hazards. NOTE: Above the Controlled Worker Standard.
(2) Danger signs(WARNING signs). The colors red, black, and white shall be opaque & glossy.
(ii) All employees shall be instructed that danger signs indicate immediate danger and that special precautions are necessary.(ie safety plans and training)
(2) Caution signs. (i) Caution signs shall be used only to warn against potential hazards or to caution against unsafe practices.
RSI NOTE: The Uncontrolled Limit is OSHA's action limit.
(ii) All employees shall be instructed that caution signs indicate a possible hazard against which proper precaution should be taken.

Blue NOTICE signs should be posted at the point of access to the site such as at the site entrance gate or near the door to the equipment rooms, as under certain circumstances the RF emissions at the site or in the equipment room MAY exceed the uncontrolled/general population exposure limits.

Yellow CAUTION signs should be posted in areas where the RF assessment has determined RF emissions exceed the FCC Uncontrolled/General Population exposure limits. These may include areas such as at the bases of communications towers where if personnel were to climb may find themselves in RF fields that exceed the FCC Uncontrolled/General population limits, but are less than the Controlled/Occupational limits.
Note: OSHA has stated that the uncontrolled criteria is the action limit for which a safety program should be implemented.

Red WARNING signs should be posted in advance of the areas that have been determined to have RF emissions levels that exceed the Controlled/Occupational RF limits or borderline Controlled-Occupational/Above Controlled areas. This would include those areas with high power broadcast or paging or areas within a few feet of most other antennas. Note: Personnel that require access to areas where the RF emissions exceed the controlled limits should have a higher level of training in how to control their exposure and limit excursions into the field to 6 minutes for 100% controlled limits, 3 minutes for 200% controlled limits, and 1 minute for 600% controlled limits. An RF safety plan with training is mandated for these environments.

Red WARNING signs Induced or contact current signs, should be placed at any sites with the potential for induced current, i.e. broadcasting sites or industrial facilities with RF heating equipment “Danger areas” (Note don't use metal signs in these areas, they can burn you!)

FOR SIGNS SEE: Safety Signage

The NTIA (National telecommunications and Information Administration) controls all Federal Government radio systems, like the FCC does all private, broadcasting, state and, local government systems. NTIA as a rule must follow all NEPA and OSHA rules also.

The potential concerns for any implant or device that may be on or in a patient during MR imaging are several. There is the potential consideration of ferromagnetic properties of the device/implant which may result in translational or rotational sorces upon it if placed within the “sphere of influence” of the MR imaging device. Further, there is also the possibility of induced voltages or currents within the implant by the time varying gradient or radiofrequency oscillating magnetic fields of the MR imager during active image acquisition. Potential safety considerations of this are that this may result in either neuromuscular excitation and/or heating of the device or adjacent patient tissues (the latter possibly being of sufficient magnitude to induce local thermal injury, or burn(s), in the patient).

It is possible to test for ferromagnetic properties of some implants, especially if they are sufficiently superficial (such as in this case) that they can be accessed via a powerful hand magnet. If no attractive response is observed, we would cautiously proceed with allowing the patient to slowly enter the environment of the MR imager (although at the same time informing the patient that it is important that they inform us immediately if they notice any feelings of pulling or tugging on the implant - or any unusual sensations at all). It is not possible to absolutely predict what voltages and/or currents might be produced by what implants with what imaging system, imaging protocols, etc. Nevertheless, experience (ours as well as that of others) has demonstrated that there do not seem to be reports of difficulties in this regard that have arisen as a result of scanning patients with metallic (non ferromagnetic) plates in their skulls. In the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, I have scanned numerous patients with such metallic (non-ferromagnetic) plates - with no difficulties - since 1984/1985.

As long as we followed the guidelines described above, I would be willing to scan such a patient in my institution if the implant tested negative for ferromagnetic attractive effects.

E. Kanal
10/27/95

Construction workers need to be aware of the dangers that communications and broadcast towers can create hazards.

As it happens, the local utility, Hawaiian Electric Co., had hired RSI to train its workers on radiofrequency exposure safety. Some of the workers had gleaned from the class knowledge about induction from communications towers. Though thoroughly familiar with the phenomenon of induced current, or induction related to 560 kilovolt, 60 hertz power lines, the phenomenon of induction of energy from nearby broadcast or communications antennas was new to them.

RF Safety Plan RSI Corp has developed an online RF Safety Plan. This customizable solution helps organizations achieve OSHA compliance by formulating a company specific plan that can be saved or printed. This plan will act as the base of a RF program. OSHA requires a comprehensive RF program, to include training and this easy to formulate customized document will provide you with the requirements necessary to achieve the complete program. Once you input your information, the plan will tell you exactly what you need to achieve a successful RF safety program. For more information see: Online Safety Plan

For the RF Safety needs of your organization/site, RSI will work closely with you/your staff to develop a company specific comprehensive RF Health & Safety Plan. RSI will begin the project by reviewing any existing safety policies that are already in place for your organization. Performing hazard assessments for the pre-determined “worst-case” sites will be the next step. RSI will then provide written documentation for the FCC and OSHA outlining how your program was developed. The following issues will be considered during preparation of an RF safety plan:

- Radio frequency radiation (RFR) safety procedures, which will include:
- Procedures for adding new transmitters to a site
- Procedures when working in RF radiation areas
- Proper use of RF personal protection equipment and monitors
- Procedures when monitors are triggered
- Procedures for identification and control of RF hazard areas
- Company RF safety procedures
- OSHA competent person designation
- RF Safety inspection checklist
- Non-routine tasks, which will provide a brief outline of significant issues not addressed elsewhere in the plan
- Provisions for ensuring and notifying subcontractors regarding potential RF hazards and ensuring that they understand and commit to comply with your RF safety plan

RSI can also assist organizations/sites with a site owner letter addressed to all tenants and contractors and execute a mail out as a third party with ongoing follow up as needed.

Site Specific Safety Plans (Customer sites)
RSI can prepare Company Site Specific Safety Plans for your sites. RSI will work with your staff to establish an effective and cost efficient plan to handle site specific needs once data is acquired and a general safety plan has been completed.

General Safety Plan
For the overall safety needs of your organization/site, RSI will work closely with your staff to develop a specific comprehensive comprehensive General Health & Safety Plan. RSI will begin the project by reviewing any safety policies & procedures that are already in place for your organization/site. RSI will then provide written documentation for OSHA outlining how your specific program was developed. The following issues will be considered during preparation of a general safety plan:

- Personal Protective Equipment
- Fall Protection
- Environmental Awareness
- Contractor Accountability
- Hazard Communication
- Equipment & Tool Safety and Inspections
- Job Hazard Assessment & Analysis and Task Planning
- Hazard Recognition & Communication
- Lifting, Handling and Storage of Material
- Incident (near miss)/ Illness/ Accident/ Exposure Reporting
- Respiratory Protection
- Slips, Trips and Fall Protection
- Commitment to Accountability and Responsibility in the Workplace
- Provisions for ensuring and notifying subcontractors regarding potential RF hazards and ensuring that they understand and commit to comply with your RF safety plan

It is important that within the Organizational Structure the following personnel are available, and are involved in the implementation and enforcement of your Safety Program (inclusive of RF Safe Work Areas):

- COMPETENT AND QUALIFIED TRAINER - Certified by a competent & qualified person to be able to adequately train, educate, and monitor an OSHA regulated company safety program.
- DESIGNATED PERSON - Competent and qualified person selected to perform a task involving employees in the work place.
- AUTHORIZED PERSON - A person meeting the qualifications and is competent by the regulatory standards to work. This person can also direct work in a work area containing possible or real hazards to an employee.

RSI is dedicated to the field of RF Radiation Safety Consulting offering complete programs and training. The RSI staff continues to provide the best overall services in the telecommunications industry in this field.

QUALIFIED TRAINER - certified by a competent & qualified person to be able to adequately train, educate, & monitor the company safety program.

Advanced Train-the-Trainer™

The FCC states: “The key trigger with respect to our RF exposure rules is the existence of an accessible area where RF field levels will exceed our MPE limits. ” (FCC 97-303, par 70)

FCC 97-303 also states: “Responsibility is to be shared among those transmitter facilities contributing above the 5% threshold at a non complying area. ” FCC 97-303 (in other words, site MPE data is mandated)

Furthermore, If you are collocated with another transmitter that renews after October 15, 1997 and you contribute more than 5% of the applicable guideline to the area in question, you must also come into compliance with the new guidelines at that time.

...the Commission has concluded that “responsibilities pertaining to RF electromagnetic fields properly belong[] with our licensees and applicants, rather than with site owners. ” If in fact Infinity signed away rights that would have enabled it to meet its obligations under the rules, the Commission certainly would not consider that a mitigating fact in Infinity ’s favor. (FCC 04-281)

But our policy encouraging collaboration does not insulate licensees from enforcement action for violations. In neither the Rules nor the RF Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, does the Commission suggest that anything other than the “traditional enforcement model” be used with respect to a licensee that has willfully and repeatedly violated the Commission’s rules. (FCC 04-281)

MPE

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