ES&H Manual



6420 Appendix T1

Radio Frequency Survey



Jefferson Lab has determined that working with non-ionizing radiant energy carries an unmitigated Risk Code >2.  At a minimum all tasks requiring with non-ionizing radiant energy are discussed with the supervisor prior to commencement of work.  An Operational Safety Procedure (OSP) is written for work considered to be Risk Code >2 in accordance with ES&H Manual Chapter 3210 Work Planning, Control, and Authorization Process.


1.0            Purpose


Jefferson Lab considers radio frequency (RF) energy to be a hazard issue.  The degree of danger from RF energy is directly related to: the source power level; distance and shielding; and the frequency, or wavelength, of the radio waves.  This appendix provides the process steps for determining when an RF survey is required; how to schedule it; performance and documentation requirements; and when follow-up actions are required.


2.0            Scope


Sources of RF energy at Jefferson Lab include:


·         Accelerator components, and

·         Microwave ovens*


*This appendix does not apply to microwave ovens located in a “common” or “break” area when used in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.  Enter a Facilities Management Work Request if break area equipment is damaged or not working properly.  Use of microwave ovens for other than manufacturer’s instructions is considered a Risk Code >2 and requires a Work Control Document.


RF is denoted with the following signage: 



Jefferson Lab recognizes that listing the requirements for every RF source would be prohibitive, it is therefore required that an RF survey be performed on all sources; and safety mitigation established and observed by all workers. 


The process steps for this procedure are performed in coordination with ES&H Manual Chapter 6420 Non-Ionizing Radiant Energy (i.e.: Radio Frequency (RF), Microwave, and Electro Magnetic).


3.0            Responsibilities

NOTE:           Management authority may be delegated at the discretion of the responsible manager.


3.1              Qualified RF Surveyor

·         Complete and maintain appropriate RF Survey Training.


3.2              Industrial Hygiene

·         Provide appropriate RF Survey Training.


4.0            Process Steps


Unless otherwise stated anyone may perform the following process steps:


4.1              RF Survey


Step 1:             Determine if a RF Survey is Required

An RF Survey may be performed at any time, is recommended for any of the following conditions, and is required per department procedures:


·         Prior to commissioning new RF equipment;

·         After installation leak test of high-power RF equipment, including waveguides;

·         After changes to operating power for equipment set-ups.

NOTE: Check the RF emission frequency with the manufacturer; you may need to monitor for induced currents.


Step 2:             Schedule

Contact a Qualified RF Surveyor or contact Industrial Hygiene for survey

NOTE:  It is recommended that safety interlocks be incorporated into RF equipment design and installation.  Whenever feasible, high-power waveguides must be pressurized, with loss of pressure automatically deactivating the RF source.


Step 3:             Perform and Document

Surveys are performed and recorded in accordance with documented department procedures that have been reviewed by Industrial Hygiene.  (See Industrial Hygiene Supplement – RF Survey – Non-Ionizing Radiation for an example.)


Minimum survey requirements include:

·         Date and Time – Provide both current and most recent

·         Source Description

a.       RF emission frequency

b.      duty cycle

c.       power

·         Source Description/Schematic

·         Safety Controls (i.e. interlocks,  signs, Work Control Documents)

·         Meter/Probe Information:

a.       Model Number and Serial number

b.      Last Calibration Date

·         Measurement

·         Technician signature


Step 4:             Follow-up

Contact Industrial Hygiene when fields exceed the occupational exposure limit in Figure 1 below.


Figure 1: 2005 ACGIH Radiofrequency and Microwave TLVs ®


5.0            References


ACGIH – 2005 TLVs and BEIs – Based on the Documentation of the Threshold Limit Values for Chemical Substances and Physical Agents and Biological Exposure Indices. 


6.0            Revision Summary


Revision 1.1 – 04/18/16 – Periodic Review; minor edits with no substantive changes

Revision 1.0 – 07/16/12 – Updated to reflect current laboratory operations








ESH&Q Division

Jennifer Williams




This document is controlled as an on line file.  It may be printed but the print copy is not a controlled document.  It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that the document is the same revision as the current on line file.  This copy was printed on 5/26/2016.