Lessons Learned: Personal RF Monitors and the new Safety Code 6 limits

Many of Canada’s tower and antenna contractors found themselves in a state of panic early this year after a large Canadian broadcaster requested confirmation that contractor employees were using updated personal RF monitors.

The problem, the STAC Council heard, was a lack of available equipment that could be calibrated to new Safety Code 6 safe exposure limits, which Health Canada first published last March.

To some contractors, this dilemma posed a potential threat to their business.

The broadcaster, after all, was requesting confirmation that all technicians working on its towers had updated personal monitors – which didn’t appear to exist. It said that companies that failed to provide confirmation would be unable to do work on the broadcaster’s towers after March 31 – less than three months away.

Fortunately, one of STAC’s leading RF experts had already encountered this issue and was ready to provide assistance to his industry colleagues. Dan Renaud, from Groupe Telecon, identified the Narda S3 personal monitor as the one available model that could be calibrated to the new Safety Code 6 limits.

All that was needed, he added, was the updated Narda sensor 2271/122.

Dan noted that Interfax Systems Inc. was an authorized distributor of Narda monitors in Canada, and that the company had worked with Narda to ensure there was available equipment that could be calibrated to the new safety limits.

Since then, STAC has worked with Interfax to help ensure that tower contractors and their employees are aware of the new Safety Code 6 limits and the availability of the Narda S3 monitor.

Other manufacturers may claim that their monitors can be set to the new SC6 standard, but have not proven they can be calibrated to those standards. This needs to be considered when purchasing RF personal monitors. If the calibration of the new standards can be achieved by other devices, an update will be posted.

We’ve chosen to highlight this anecdote in our first blog post because it illustrates perfectly STAC’s ability to assist tower and antenna companies and personnel by bringing together a community of experienced professionals and industry experts.

In this way, STAC can help industry workers maintain their envious workplace safety record while also helping companies reduce the resources they must spend to ensure their employees’ continued safety.

Going forward, STAC will use this space to pass along important industry information, such as regulatory updates, new STAC guidelines, or “lessons learned” anecdotes, like this one.

We will also encourage STAC Members to submit blog posts or requests that certain topics be covered.

Ultimately though, the STAC Blog will at all times endeavor to educate and assist – just like the STAC Council itself!