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

·         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 mitigations be 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 to a task qualified Jefferson Lab employee 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: 2016 ACGIH Radiofrequency and Microwave TLVs ®


5.0             References


ACGIH – 2016 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 1.2 – 04/24/18 – Updated Figure 1 and References with current TLV reference per CATS#STR-2017-12-01-03

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








ES&H 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 4/26/2018.