Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation

Standards

There are no specific OSHA standards for radiofrequency and microwave radiation issues. This section highlights OSHA standards and documents related to radiofrequency and microwave radiation.

OSHA Standards
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
General Industry (29 CFR 1910)
Related Information

1910 Subpart G - Occupational Health and Environmental Control

1910.97, Nonionizing radiation. The exposure limit in this standard (10 mW/sq. cm.) is expressed in voluntary language and has been ruled unenforceable for Federal OSHA enforcement. The standard does specify the design of an RF warning sign. Newer designs are also acceptable.

Related Information

1910 Subpart J - General Environmental Controls

1910.147, The control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout).

Related Information

1910 Subpart R - Special Industries

1910.268, Telecommunications.

Related Information
Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)
Construction Industry (29 CFR 1926)
Related Information

1926 Subpart D

1926.54, Nonionizing radiation. See paragraph (l) for which limits worker exposure to 10 mW/sq.cm. for construction work (including the painting of towers).

Related Information
State Standards

There are 28 OSHA-approved State Plans, operating state-wide occupational safety and health programs. State Plans are required to have standards and enforcement programs that are at least as effective as OSHA's and may have different or more stringent requirements.

Additional Letters of Interpretation

Note: The letters in this list provide additional information that is not necessarily connected to a specific OSHA standard highlighted on this Safety and Health Topics page.

Other Federal

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

  • Radio Frequency Safety. Office of Engineering and Technology (OET). Evaluates the effect of emissions from FCC-regulated transmitters on the quality of the human environment. At the present time there is no federally-mandated radio frequency (RF) exposure standard.
    • The FCC's requirements dealing with RF exposure can be found in Part 1 of its rules at 47 CFR 1.1307(b). The exposure limits themselves are specified in 47 CFR 1.1310 in terms of frequency, field strength, power density and averaging time. Facilities and transmitters licensed and authorized by the FCC must either comply with these guidelines or else an applicant must file an Environmental Assessment (EA) with the FCC as specified in 47 CFR 1.1301 et seq.
  • Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (PDF). (January 6, 2005). Describes a violation of FCC rules resulting in a $10K fine. The case involves a worker climbing an FM broadcast tower.
National Consensus

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

  • ANSI publishes consensus standards on RF exposures and measurements. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES) sets safety standards across frequencies 0 to 300 GHz. Also the IEEE Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR) publishes position papers on human exposure to electromagnetic fields.
    • C95.1, Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Radio-Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz. (Revised 2005).
    • C95.2, Standard for Radio-Frequency Energy and Current Flow Symbols. (1999).
    • C95.3, Recommended Practice for Measurements and Computations of Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields With Respect to Human Exposure to Such Fields, 100 kHz-300 GHz. (2002).
    • C95.4, Recommended Practice for Determining Safe Distances from Radio Frequency Transmitting Antennas When Using Electric Blasting Caps During Explosive Operations. (2002).
    • C95.6, Standard for Safety Levels with Respect to Human Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields, 0-3 kHz. (2002). Defines exposure levels to protect against adverse effects in humans from exposure to electric and magnetic fields at frequencies from 0 to 3 kHz. (2002).
    • C95.7-2005, Recommended Practice for Radio Frequency Safety Programs. (2006).

American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH)

  • Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values for Physical Agents, 7th Edition. Provides consensus exposure limits from organization of governmental industrial hygienists for radiofrequency and microwave radiation.
Foreign National

Note: These are NOT OSHA regulations. However, they do provide guidance from their originating organizations related to worker protection.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency Standard (ARPANSA)

Public Health England