Communications – Radio Procedures

A two-way radio is a radio that can both transmit and receive. Using two-way radios to communicate in and around industrial sites and buildings saves workers time and is a practical solution for communication, especially in areas where other means of communication are almost impossible.

Understand your company’s policy regarding properly using and handling their two-way radios.

FCC Regulations

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires all two-way radios to operate on frequencies regulated and issued by them. The FCC has set aside 22 UHF frequencies as general frequencies for use by consumers. These frequencies make up GMRs and FRS channels.

Business radios use different frequency ranges approved by the FCC for business use. These frequencies are not as popular, so you typically don’t have to worry about “chatter” on your channels. The company must obtain a license from the FCC to operate the radios.

Proper Methods of Speaking

Radio communications need to be professional, clear, and precise.

  1. Verify that your radio equipment is functioning properly by performing a radio check with another radio operator before entering the field.
  2. Except in an emergency, plan your message before you transmit, using the least number of words. Be br i ef. Be concise.
  3. Hold the radio at a 45-degree angle, approximately one to three inches from the lips and slightly to the side. This eliminates “blowing” into the mouthpiece.
  4. Always listen first to ensure the channel is clear before transmitting.
  5. Press the microphone button firmly, wait a few seconds, and begin speaking.
  6. Speak clearly and distinctly.
  7. Signal quality is affected by talking too loudly, too fast, and too close or too far from the mic. Do not shout or become excited. Your voice must remain a constant volume that does not trail off. Do not mumble.
  8. Do not transmit when advised to standby.
  9. Note: Being asked to repeat constantly indicates that you may not use the microphone correctly.


  1. Don’t talk too much
  2. Don’t swear
  3. Don’t try to adjust the antenna
  4. Don’t interrupt other people
  5. Avoid “keying” your microphone.


The general life term for the two-way radio is 5 to 7 years and 1 to 2 years for its accessories. The usage, atmosphere, and environment play a significant role in determining its life term. Verify battery conditions frequently.


As with any tool entrusted to you on the job, practice will improve your skills. You need to know the correct position to hold the unit, how loudly to speak, and the effective range of the equipment.