Many companies with larger industrial operations, or open work sites where workers may not be visible at all times, employ a radio communications systems to facilitate work and working safely. Radio communications systems operate under license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency that regulates the allocation and use of the electromagnetic frequency spectrum in the United States—they control the airwaves. Licensed employers, not operators, are fully responsible for the actions of personnel who operate radio systems. Because the FCC holds the licensed employer responsible for all operator actions, workers must comply with all of the organization’s rules and operating procedures.
Employers are responsible for the proper functioning and operation of radio systems. Generally, there is a system operator on duty with authority for the operation and use of the organization’s radio system, who is assigned to monitor the organization’s own compliance with FCC regulations. All individual radio operators have the responsibility to know and to follow the “rules and regulations” governing the use and misuse of all radio equipment. Each radio operator is also responsible for the prevention of any damage to the organization’s radios or radio equipment in any licensed installation.
This lesson introduces students to why radio operator training is required, operator responsibilities, correct procedures for calling and acknowledging messages, how to use code words, and general radio communication requirements.