Rf safety training & audit

Why RF Safety

What is Radiation ?
  • Radiation: is energy transmitted through space in the form of electromagnetic waves or sub-atomic particles
  • Sources:
    - Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation, Microwaves
    - Infrared, Visible, Ultraviolet Light
    - X-rays and Gamma Rays
Electro Magentic Spectrum Effect of RF Radiation
  • Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Personnel (HERP)
  • Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordance (HERO)
  • Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI)
  • Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Fuel (HERF)
Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Personnel (HERP) RF radiation is invisible and far-reaching. Excessive levels of exposure to RFR (Radio Frequency Radiation) can result in adverse acute (immediate) effects on people such as involuntary muscle contractions (electro stimulation), electrical shocks/burns (from touching metal objects in RFR fields), and excessive heating of tissue (thermal damage). Biological effects that result from heating of tissue by RF energy are often referred to as "thermal" effects. Exposure to very high levels of RF radiation can be harmful due to the ability of RF energy to heat biological tissue. In a healthy human body, the thermo-regulatory system will cope with the absorbed heat until it reaches the point at which it cannot maintain a stable body core temperature. Beyond this point the body may experience hyperthermia (heat exhaustion) and/or irreversible damage to human tissue if the cell temperature reaches about 43 degrees Celsius. There is a higher risk of heat damage for organs that have poor temperature control, such as the lens of the eye and the testes.

Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Ordance (HERO) High-level electromagnetic energy produced by RFR can also induce electric currents or voltages that may cause premature activation of Electro-Explosive Devices (EEDs) and electrical arcs that may ignite flammable materials. RFR energy may enter an ordnance item through a hole or crack in its skin or through firing leads, wires, and so on. In general, electrically initiated ordnance systems are most susceptible during assembly, disassembly, loading, unloading, and handling in RFR electromagnetic fields. The potential dangers to ordnance and fuels are obvious because there could be an explosive chain reaction

Electro Magnetic Interference (EMI) Interference with other electronic equipment

Hazards of Electromagnetic Radiation to Fuel (HERF) Fuel vapors can be ignited by RF induced arcs during fuel handling operations close to high powered radar and radio transmitting antennas.

Examples: Modern communication and radar, transmitters can produce high-intensity Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) environments that are potentially hazardous to

1) Operating and maintenance personnel
2) Associated equipment
3) Ordnance and fuels storage if nearby

The type of biological effect on humans from RFR depends on
  • the strength (Intensity)of the electric field
  • frequency of the electromagnetic wave
  • how well grounded you are planning to eliminate or minimize RFR hazards one should considered RFR protection and prevention measures properly while working in controlled or an uncontrolled environment.
  • Controlled environments are areas where exposure may be incurred by personnel who are aware of the potential for RF exposure as a result of employment or duties; by individuals who knowingly enter areas where higher RF levels can reasonably be anticipated to exist; and by exposure incidental to transient passage through such areas.
  • Uncontrolled environments generally include public areas, living quarters and work places where there is no expectation that higher RF levels should be encountered
Consensus Standards:
Developed by independent panels of experts, these guidelines recommend limits for safe human exposure to radio waves. The following organizations provide information and guidelines regarding RF use and protection.

  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) provides Threshold Limit Values for RF/Microwave Radiation
  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC), an independent US government agency
  • Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) /American National Standards Institute (ANSI) (U.S.)
  • International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 29 CFR 1910.97 (a)(2)(i) For normal environmental conditions and for incident electromagnetic energy of frequencies from 10 MHz to 100 GHz, the radiation protection guide is 10 mW/cm2. (milliwatt per square centimeter) as averaged over any possible 0.1 hour period (6 minute period)
Controls :
  • Utilize low exposure equipment & site configuration
  • Use good equipment
  • Control hazard areas
  • Limit exposures
  • Access Restriction
  • Maintenance of Controls
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Signal Blocking or Blanking
  • Prevent access to hazardous locations (Signs & Fences)
  • Standard Operating Procedures
  • Protective clothing
RF safety Program :
In RF safety programme one needs to plan to eliminate or minimize RFR hazards at every aspect. The sole intent of this entire exercise would be to control and/or reduce RF exposures to levels which are in compliance with applicable guidelines.
  • All RF source equipments are required to meet applicable RF standards when new and during its lifetime.
  • RF hazard identification and periodic surveillance is performed by a competent person.
  • Assess new areas for potential hazards in near future.
  • RF Hazard Areas are properly Identified and Controlled.
  • Controls to reduce RF exposures to levels in compliance with applicable guidelines are mandatory
  • Train your personnel to not only understand RF safety issues, but to work safely in potentially hazardous RF environments
Electro Magentic Spectrum