Recently, the FCC has levied fines totaling almost $40,000 on operators for infractions of FCC rules on RF safety, tower lighting, and site access. This may represent a new aggressiveness on the part of the FCC. In any event, it is a wakeup call to all tower and site operators to be vigilant in FCC compliance.

Tower site RF hazards – take seriously!
Tower site RF hazards – take seriously!

In one case, an AM station was fined $14,000 for, among other things, not maintaining its tower fence, thereby exposing people to hazardous contact with high RF tower voltages. The station was also faulted for not posting RF hazard warning signs.

Another station was gigged for maintaining a site where excessive RF radiation, exceeded public exposure limits at ground level. The site was neither properly fenced nor signed. Not cited, but a real danger for the station, is the OSHA violation that would occur if non- RF awareness trained workmen were to access the location. The fact that the site was on a remote mountain top did not deter FCC agents from their course!

Finally, a tower owner was hit with a $10,000 fine for a two day delay in reporting an outage of his top tower beacon! This, even though he reported it voluntarily and had it fixed within three days. Apparently no good deed goes unpunished.

The FCC and OSHA notwithstanding, it makes good sense for licensees and site owners to carefully manage and monitor all transmitter site technical issues that affect health and safety. Since 1963, LBA has helped licensees and site operators maintain FCC compliance in radio frequency safety and other compatibility issues. Contact Mike Britner to discuss our solutions for your issues.

About The Author

LBA Group, Inc. has 50 years of experience in providing RF asset solutions and risk management for industrial and telecommunications infrastructure assets. The group is comprised of LBA Technology, a leading manufacturer and integrator of radio frequency systems, lightning protection and EMC equipment for broadcast, industrial and government users worldwide; the professional consultancy Lawrence Behr Associates and LBA University, providing on-site and online professional training. The companies are based in Greenville, N.C., USA.

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