The Invisible Workforce
Cellular base stations include antennas that receive and transmit RF signals and enable our everyday wireless communication. Base stations were historically located in remote areas, but as the demand for wireless has increased, they are being built in closer proximity to populated areas of towns or are being attached to existing tall structures in urban or suburban areas.
Public concerns regarding the proximity to base stations is not new, although within communities, the distance from antennas to residents results in very low power levels that are “typically thousands of times below safety limits,” according to the FCC.
Municipal and commercial base stations must obtain approval from several governing agencies along with meeting FCC compliance prior to being constructed and powered on. Yet, everyday citizens, doctors, and the international scientific community still express concerns regarding proximity of base stations to residences, schools, fire stations, and other community buildings.
Workers near stealth site
However, third party workers find themselves performing their duties in areas where the public is generally not present. Workers may be on rooftops, sides of buildings, or other structures to maintain them, whether it be servicing electrical equipment, roofing, repairing HVAC units, painting facilities, washing windows, etc.
These workers around the nation are exposed daily to RF radiation. In fact, the number of workers who may be overexposed amounts to 250,000 yearly, according to AM Best, a leading insurance rating company. That’s nearly 5,000 workers every week coming within tens of feet of the antennas, not hundreds. As we detailed in a previous blog, third party workers are often unaware that they are performing their maintenance duties within close proximity to antennas emitting RF radiation.
With the public’s concerns regarding their own health living and working hundreds or thousands of feet from emitting antennas, they should be even more vocal in protecting workers who are performing their duties within a few feet of these antennas.
National Antenna and Tower Safety Center’s (NA&TSC) globally patented RF safety solution guarantees workers are kept safe as they maintain the structures housing the wireless facilities we so heavily count on.
It is time for the wireless industry to do the right thing and protect our Nation’s workers.