DAOD 3026-1, Radio Frequency Safety Program

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Definitions
  3. Abbreviations
  4. Overview
  5. Radio Frequency Program Compliance
  6. Compliance and Consequences
  7. Responsibilities
  8. References

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2012-05-04

Date of Last Modification: 2019-02-05

Application: This DAOD is a directive that applies to employees of the Department of National Defence (DND employees) and an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF members).


Approval Authority: Assistant Deputy Minister (Materiel) (ADM(Mat))

Enquiries: Quality Engineering Test Establishment (QETE) Superintendent

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2. Definitions

ammunition (munition)

A device charged with explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, initiating composition or nuclear, biological or chemical material, for use in military operations, and includes a non-charged or inert replica of such a device. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 15923)

emission (émission)

The phenomenon by which energy emanates from a source in the form of waves or particles. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 7989)

explosives (explosif)

Any thing that is made, manufactured or used to produce an explosion or a detonation or pyrotechnic effect, and includes any thing prescribed to be an explosive by the regulations made under the Explosives Act, but does not include gases, organic peroxides or any thing prescribed not to be an explosive by the regulations made under that Act. (Section 2 of the Explosives Act)

exposure (exposition)

The amount of absorbed radiation as determined by the level of emission and the time duration of that emission. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 48285)

hazardous occurrence (situation comportant des risques)

Any event or series of events that results, or has the potential to result, in injury, illness or death, or damage to materiel, real property, immovables or the environment, regardless of the severity of the injury, illness or damage.

Note: DND and CAF policies and instruction set out notification, investigation and reporting requirements for all HOs. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 694257)

radio frequency (radiofréquence)

The frequency of a periodic radio wave or of the corresponding electrical oscillation. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 7982)

radio frequency device (dispositif de radiofréquence)

A device that generates or utilizes radio frequency energy. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 48268)

radio frequency radiation (rayonnement de radiofréquence)

Energy propagating through space in form of electromagnetic waves, which:

(Defence Terminology Bank record number 48269)

secondary x-ray (rayon X secondaire)

Unintended X-ray radiation emitted from a radio frequency device containing an internal high voltage source exceeding 15 kilovolts. (Defence Terminology Bank record number 693843).

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3. Abbreviations

Abbreviation Complete Word or Phrase

CF H Svcs Gp

Canadian Forces Health Services Group


Chief of Staff (Materiel)


commanding officer




hazards of electromagnetic radiation to fuel


hazards of electromagnetic radiation to ordnance


hazards of electromagnetic radiation to personnel


hazardous occurrence


level one advisor


occupational health and safety


radio frequency


radio frequency safety


Radio Frequency Safety Board


radio frequency safety officer


Radio Frequency Safety Orders and Directives


Radio Frequency Safety Program

TA technical authority

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4. Overview


4.1 This DAOD must be read in conjunction with:

  1. DAOD 3026-0, Radio Frequency Safety; and
  2. C-55-040-001/TS 002, Radio Frequency Safety Standards and Requirements.


4.2 The purpose of the RFSP is to:

  1. provide the framework upon which L1s, managers of a DND organization, Comds of a command or formation and COs of a unit formulate and implement their own RFS orders, directives and guidance;
  2. prevent incidents, injuries and losses that may occur as a result of RF radiation exposures; and
  3. address RF radiation hazards to personnel, fuel, ammunition, explosives and other materiel, as well as hazards resulting from secondary ionizing radiation emitted by RF devices utilizing high voltages, including:
    1. HERP, HERF and HERO; and
    2. hazards of secondary X-rays

Note  ̶  Policy direction in respect of secondary X-rays is also provided by the Director Nuclear Safety.

RFSP Operational Structure

4.3 The RFSP operates within the following three-tier structure:

  1. the program authority tier: the COS(Mat), Director General Land Equipment Program Management, QETE Superintendent and RFSP manager;
  2. the TA tier: the QETE Superintendent and RFS TA; and
  3. the operational tier: managers of a DND organization, Comds of a command or formation and COs of a unit that hold or use RF devices.

Note – For the respective responsibilities of the office holders in each tier of the RFSP operational structure, see the Responsibility Table.

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5. Radio Frequency Safety Program Compliance

Federal Standards

5.1 The DND and the CAF must ensure that the RFSP:

  1. complies with the requirements of:
    1. Part II of the Canada Labour Code;
    2. the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations; and
    3. exposure guidelines set out in the Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range from 3 KHz to 300 GHz – Safety Code 6 (2015) of Health Canada (hereinafter “Safety Code 6”); and
  2. meets or exceeds standards for RF devices set out in the Radio Standards Specification 102, Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure Compliance of Radiocommunication Apparatus (All Frequency Bands), of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Note  ̶  The Canada Labour Code and the Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulationsdo not apply to CAF members unless they have direct management or supervisory responsibilities in respect of DND employees.

Compliance and Requirements

5.2 The RFSP sets out:

  1. requirements  for all DND and CAF organizations in which DND employees or CAF members work with or are near, hold or procure RF devices;
  2. requirements and procedures for the compliance evaluation of RF devices to be procured for use in DND and CAF organizations;
  3. procedures for the evaluation, prevention and control of hazards associated with RF devices that operate in the frequency range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz;
  4. requirements for the compliant use of RF devices during training and operations;
  5. emergency response procedures incidents involving RF radiation exposures;
  6. requirements and procedures for the notification, reporting and investigation of RF radiation exposures that constitute HOs;
  7. requirements for the medical assessment of overexposed personnel (see CF H Svcs Gp Instruction 4440-16, Physical Hazards Surveillance Program);
  8. requirements for DND employees and CAF members who use RF devices or work in an environment where RF radiation hazards may be present; and
  9. training and qualifications of RFSOs who are appointed to oversee the compliant use of RF devices and control RF radiation hazards

Overriding  RFS Standards

5.3 The Comd of a command or formation or the CO of a unit may override an RFS standard in Safety Code 6 if compliance would have a detrimental effect on activities in support of training and operations of the CAF. In such a case, the Comd or CO must

  1. employ recognized risk management practices to determine an appropriate course of action;
  2. advise the RFSP manager within 24 hours; and
  3. be prepared to justify the decision in writing.

Compliance Evaluation Process

5.4 The process of evaluating RFSP compliance includes:

  1. L1 organizations conducting:
    1. evaluation of their RFSP;
    2. annual task forecasts and RFS evaluations of new RF devices; and
    3. regular RFS evaluations of existing RF devices; and
  2. the RFSP manager and RFS TA:
    1. reviewing the intended use of RF devices;
    2. performing hazard assessments on RF devices through data collection and analysis;
    3. providing recommendations and advice on measures required for achieving compliance; and
    4. reviewing preventive and protective measures implemented to control RF radiation hazards.

RFSOD  Direction

5.5 The RFSOD provide detailed direction for:

  1. the safe use and control of RF devices;
  2. the procurement requirements for RF devices;
  3. the qualifications, training and evaluation of RFSOs;
  4. international obligations regarding the use of RF devices outside of Canada;
  5. requirements and procedures for conducting RFS surveys;
  6. procedures for RFSP evaluations;
  7. prevention, consequence control and emergency response for RF radiation exposure incidents; and
  8. requirements and procedures for the notification, reporting and investigation of RF radiation exposures that constitute HOs

Medical Examinations

5.6 Requirements for medical examinations of DND employees and CAF members who use RF devices or work in an environment where RF radiation hazards may be present are outlined in CF H Svcs Gp Instruction 4440-16.

Materiel Acquisition and Support Process

5.7 RFSP requirements must be taken into account during the entire materiel acquisition and support process for an RF device.

5.8 No RF device is exempt from the compliance requirements of the RFSP. If a compliance evaluation has shown that an RF device presents an RF radiation hazard or is capable of causing injury during normal operation, appropriate physical and administrative hazard controls must be put in place in order to maintain exposure within the required limits.

5.9 In the case of a contract for a new or upgraded RF device:

  1. the contract must provide that:
    1. the contractor is required to provide HERP, HERF and HERO data as applicable; and
    2. the RF device is required to comply with Safety Code 6; and
  2. the RFS TA must verify compliance.


5.10 The RFSB:

  1. reports through the RFSP manager to ADM(Mat) on all RFS-related issues;
  2. may be represented on several safety committees; and
  3. consists of:
    1. a chairperson; and
    2. representatives from each of the following:
      • L1 organizations holding or using RF devices;
      • QETE;
      • CF H Svcs Gp;
      • Directorate  of Ammunition and Explosives Regulation; and
      • any other major stakeholders.

OHS Committees

5.11 In accordance with sections 134.1 and 135 of Part II of the Canada Labour Code, the National OHS Policy Committee and workplace OHS committees respectively must participate in the development, implementation and monitoring of OHS policies and programs. RFSP representatives are part of the National OHS Policy Committee, and local RFSP representatives are part of workplace OHS committees. The General Safety Program provides policy direction and guidance to the National OHS Policy Committee and workplace OHS committees.

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6. Compliance and consequences


6.1 DND employees and CAF members must comply with this DAOD. Should clarification of the policies or instructions set out in this DAOD be required, DND employees and CAF members may seek direction through their channel of communication or chain of command, as appropriate. Managers and military supervisors have the primary responsibility for and means of ensuring the compliance of their DND employees and CAF members with this DAOD.

Consequences of Non-Compliance

6.2 DND employees and CAF members are accountable to their respective managers and military supervisors for any failure to comply with the direction set out in this DAOD. Non-compliance with this DAOD may have consequences for both the DND and the CAF as institutions, and for DND employees and CAF members as individuals. Suspected non-compliance may be investigated. Managers and military supervisors must take or direct appropriate corrective measures if non-compliance with this DAOD has consequences for the DND or the CAF. The decision of an L1 or other senior official to take action or to intervene in a case of non-compliance, other than in respect of a decision under the Code of Service Discipline regarding a CAF member, will depend on the degree of risk resulting from the non-compliance and other circumstances of the case.

6.3 The nature and severity of the consequences resulting from non-compliance should be commensurate with the circumstances of the non-compliance and other relevant circumstances. Consequences of non-compliance may include one or more of the following:

  1. the ordering of the completion of appropriate learning, training or professional development;
  2. the entering of observations in individual performance evaluations;
  3. increased reporting and performance monitoring;
  4. the withdrawal of any authority provided under this DAOD to a DND employee or CAF member;
  5. the reporting of suspected offences to responsible law enforcement agencies;
  6. the application of specific consequences as set out in applicable laws, codes of conduct, and DND and CAF policies and instructions;
  7. other administrative action, including the imposition of disciplinary measures, for a DND employee ;
  8. other administrative or disciplinary action, or both, for a CAF member; and
  9. the imposition of liability on the part of Her Majesty in right of Canada, DND employees and CAF members.

Note – In respect of the compliance of DND employees, see the Treasury Board Framework for the Management of Compliance for additional information

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7. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

7.1 The following table identifies the responsibilities associated with this DAOD:

The ... is or are responsible for ...


  • providing guidance for the operation of the RFSP.

L1s advisors whose organizations hold or use RF devices

  • providing leadership and direction in respect of the operation of the RFSP;
  • implementing the RFSP in their organizations;
  • providing representatives to the RFSB;
  • providing an annual forecast of survey tasks to ensure all existing RF devices are surveyed regularly according to the established levels of risk for each RF device;
  • coordinating all RFS surveys and providing assistance and support to RFS personnel in performing RFS evaluations;
  • reviewing and implementing recommendations to control RF radiation hazards;
  • ensuring sufficient RFS expertise within their organizations to meet RFS requirements; and
  • ensuring RFS control measures, including the appointment of RFSOs, are put in place, as required.

managers of a DND organization, Comds of a command or formation and COs of a unit that hold or use RF devices

  • ensuring DND employees and CAF members who use, hold, procure or work near RF devices are trained in accordance with relevant policies, orders, directives and guidance;
  • ensuring RFS control measures are put in place through their own related orders, directives and instructions; and
  • ensuring that all RF radiation exposures that constitute HOs are reported and investigated.
Surgeon General
  • providing advice to COS(Mat) as the RFS Champion on health risks associated with RF radiation exposures and suitability of protective measures; and
  • providing occupational health support for RFSP development and sustainment, and the establishment of RFS standards for health effects associated with RF radiation exposures.
RFSP manager
  • developing policies, orders, directives and guidance for the RFSP;
  • providing oversight of the RFSP;
  • conducting RFS compliance monitoring;
  • ensuring RF safety training is available to the DND and the CAF;
  • responding to DND and CAF safety reporting requirements;
  • as chairperson of the RFSB
    • maintaining  awareness of current developments in national and international RFS standards, policies and procedures; and
    • making recommendations on:
      • research or trials to develop or improve the RFSP; and
      • appropriate control of RF radiation exposures from RF devices; and
  • addressing other RFS-related issues, as required.
  • providing  RFS technical delivery and expertise, engineering support and guidance to L1 organizations;
  • providing advice to L1s on the identification, analysis and control of RF radiation hazards;
  • interpreting RFS standards;
  • coordinating with Health Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on all matters pertaining to the interpretation and application of Safety Code 6; and
  • specifying RFS control measures.
  • providing advice on the implementation and management of the RFSP at their DND organizations, units and other elements;
  • implementing and coordinating RFS control measures on behalf of their respective managers, Comds and COs;
  • ensuring all RF devices within their organizations are properly installed, maintained, surveyed and operated in accordance with the RFSP and relevant policies, orders, directives and guidance; and
  • ensuring all DND employees and CAF members who use RF devices, or work in an environment where RF radiation hazards may be present, receive RFS training.
life cycle materiel managers, procurement officers and project managers
  • ensuring all RF devices under their control have been evaluated to establish the extent and type of their RF radiation hazards;
  • ensuring, in the case of any RF device that presents an RF radiation hazard or is capable of causing injury during normal operation, that appropriate physical and administrative hazard controls are put in place in order to maintain exposures within the required limits;
  • ensuring that DND contractors provide HERP, HERF and HERO data on new, modified or upgraded RF devices as part of contract deliverables;
  • ensuring that contracts comply with Safety Code 6; and
  • ensuring that RFS compliance evaluations and RFS surveys are conducted for relevant HERP, HERF and HERO requirements, as part of first article testing for any new, modified or upgraded RF device, by requesting that the RFS TA either:
    • conduct both the evaluation and the survey; or
    • conduct the evaluation and use a contractor to conduct the survey under the following conditions:
      • a detailed test plan is submitted to the RFS TA at least 60 days prior to starting the survey;
      • RFS TA test protocols are used during the survey; and
      • the RFS TA maintains oversight and validates all results of the survey

Note – Details of the requirements for using contractors are set out in C‑55-040-001/TS-002.

DND employees and CAF members using RF devices
  • taking required RFS training;
  • complying with RFS control measures set out in relevant policies, orders, directives and guidance; and
  • reporting all RF radiation exposures that constitute HOs.

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8. References

Acts, Regulations, Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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