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 WHAT IS RADIO FREQUENCY (RF)? (Antenna Installation)

Dangers of exposure.

If you are working close by any radio transmission device, such as on top of rooves (ie satellite dishes or antennas) you could be indangering your health with massive exposure to radio frequencies (RF) and you wouldn't even be aware of it..

A Generally speaking these are workers such as window cleaners, roofers, and large airconditioning installers but the list doesn't necessarily stop there. Any delivery or installation taking place on a roof top next to these devices posses a threat.

What is RF radiation ?

This is also known as EMF, EMR or EME, is low frequency radition (that is less than 300 GHz). These are actually you very own microwave transmissions. The main types of these devices are your common everyday TV, radio, mobile telephone or paging device.

Just imagine sticking your hand into a microwave oven (eh! now aware are you!) only for you are not aware of it at the time. All employers must ensure that employees, contractors or the joe public are not exposed to such RF above the recommended values outlined by the radiation protection standard. The maximum exposure levels to RF feilds are 3 kHz to 300 GHz and these values are published in the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency.


RF radiation measurement

Only competent persons experienced in this type of work "should" undertake all identification, mapping and monitoring of RF radiation. There is a list of accredited companies on the market who have electromagnetic emission measurement equipment. You can find these from the National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia (NATA). With a little searching you can find more information at your states Work Cover websites.

Hazard Identification / Risk Assement:-

  • Firstly you must ID the radiation source and list the contact numbers of all companies controlling the transmissions at the work location,
  • Then determine a "NO GO!" area where maximum exposure levels maybe exceeded. This area is determined by measuring devices or by a competent person,
  • Then you document the information about the NO GO area.
  • All above must be achieved before anybody works in this, or nearby this area



Control measures:-

The best method of controlling this possible radiation exposure is to have the transmission device shut down for the period of time you work at the location. However, the control of the device is nearly always far from the work site the common sense approach would be to obide by the "NO GO" determined area and constantly monitor the signal strenght via metering.

Develop safe work method and procedure supplying considerable thought to the RF radiation levels nearby. Make sure all workers are aware of your safe work method proceedure. Make the "NO GO" area fully signed posted (see photo above). Finally if a person must go into the "NO GO" area there must be a person who has undergone training in safety managing with RF enviroment on site and they also need to be supervised at all times.

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This page was last modified on 25 November 2010 and maybe out of date with regards to its information at the time of reading this article. The information above is only intended for use a guide and should not be 100% relied upon as a substitute for official manufacturer technical advice. Quality Electrics disclaims responsibility for any damage, claim, or liability any person may incur, whether caused by negligence or otherwise, as a result of anything contained in our articles.


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