Important message from WIA on EMR

The Wireless Institute of Australia’s Phil Wait VK2ASD has an important message for
all Australian Radio Amateurs, and particularly for those amateurs taking
part in the current High Power Trial.

Phil says: The ACMA has been auditing the applications of amateur licensees taking part
in the High power trial, and checking their stations compliance with the
ACMA’s Electromagnetic Exposure Regulations.

The ACMA’s intention from the audit is to gauge Radio Amateurs’ level of
understanding of, and compliance with, the EMR exposure requirements. The
results of this Audit will influence the ACMA’s decision about adoting a
permanent 1kW PEP limit on the HF bands. The requirements of EMR compliance
are complex, and the audit found that a number of stations that believed they
were operating under a Level 1 (low risk) Compliance should have, in fact,
been classed as Level 2 (medium risk).

Many of these licensees used the EMR Calculator on the WIA website, and upon
investigation, it was found there was a discrepancy between the requirements
of the Amateur Licence Conditions Determination (the LCD) and the output of
the EMR Calculator with respect to antenna accessibility.

This discrepancy appears to have arisen from differences in the exposure
levels specified in the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety
Agency (ARPANSA) Standard, on which the EMR Calculator’s results are based,
and the exposure compliance requirements in the Amateur LCD which are
determined by a set of simplified station conditions, rather than actual
exposure levels.

Doug VK3UM has now updated the calculator and amateurs who hold a current
High power Licence variation should now re-determine their station compliance.

However, there is a larger issue here.

Since 2003, the ACMA has required all transmitting stations to assess the
status of their station in relation to human exposure to radiofrequency
electromagnetic fields. All Amateur licensees, no matter what power they are
running, are required to determine the EMR compliance level of their station
and keep supporting information in their station file for inspection by an
ACMA representative.

Checking the compliance level of your station is very important but is quite
easy to do. Information on how to perform the EMR compliance check, along
with the EMR calculator, is in the “Technical Reference” section of the
WIA Website accessible under the “For Members” drop down menu *.

So, please check your EMR compliance, it’s

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