Blue Book - Manual of Construction Procedures
Document Number SR-1421
Issue Number 06
Issue Date Mar 2017
For more than two decades, SR-1421, Blue Book - Manual of Construction Procedures, commonly referred to as the "Blue
Book," has provided industry with uniform construction practices to promote safety and reliability.
This SR-1421, Issue 6, describes the uniform construction procedures to be followed by all parties authorized by a communications
company to place their communications facilities on supporting structures or in trenches that are owned, administered, or provided by
the communications company. The Blue Book includes the basic considerations and requirements relative to the construction
practices and procedures that may apply in a communications company's operating area.
The construction methods, materials, and tools covered in this manual are intended to minimize the possibility of creating
- Are hazardous to the general public and to any personnel working on, in, or around supporting structures
- Could impair service or the restoration of service to customers of all parties using the supporting structures.
SR-1421 provides guidance and a set of practices that promote reliable network performance and comply with all national codes, are
consistent with current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules, and seek to meet best industry practices. This
Blue Book provides a sound basis for developing productive Joint-Use Agreements (JUAs) and collaborating with other utilities,
such as power supply companies.
The Blue Book was first published in the early 1990s to help facilitate joint-use (power and communications) deployments in
aerial and underground plant applications that were safe for workers, and to help create reliable networks that were able to be
efficiently operated, maintained and repaired. The 1990s experienced an expansion of power and communications network building as a
result of deployments of new fiber and other broadband services, and the growth of new competitive communications providers (CLECs).
The Blue Book has been revised numerous times, usually in response to a new NESC issue as well as when changes in construction
methods and new practices have been developed for the fiber and wireless networks.
This new Issue 6 of the Blue Book has been completed with a significant addition (38%) of materials, including the changes
Summary of Major Changes
- Content has been updated and revised to harmonize with the latest changes in the 2017 editions of the NESC and NEC safety
codes, and to include expanded commentaries to address the latest code releases.
- Commentaries and clarifications based on field problems, issues and concerns received in the previous 6 years have been
- A new chapter on Wireless (Chapter 15) has been added, and information on wireless facilities has been incorporated into other
- Sections in Chapter 27 on Fiber Optic FTTX have been updated and revised to cover recent deployment aspects to meet the greater
demands of high-speed, broadband communications services.
- Expanded guidance and detail on grounding and bonding issues have been added in Chapters 10 and 25 and throughout the Blue
The new wireless chapter covers construction and operational related items pertaining to the expansion of wireless technologies,
facilities and applications, and focuses on safety concerns for the public and other workers who may be on joint-use structures. These
issues cover not only (a) the physical and mechanical considerations of adequate clearances and separations on joint-use structures
from other facilities (power and other communications facilities), but also (b) the Radio Frequency (RF) exposure concerns and need for
an effective Radio Frequency Safety Programs (RFSP) to be implemented by the different utilities involved or affected.
The updates and revisions on grounding and bonding practices elaborate and reflect on changes in the NESC (e.g., Rules 097, 224,
344, and 384) and the NEC (Sections 840 and 250.94, in particular). (See Chapters 10 and 25.) Modern devices, components and facilities
routinely have power and communications capacities integrated in a single device, which requires practices of grounding, inter-system
bonding, and electrical surge/fault protection to be harmonized to help protect the public, workers and equipment.
SR-1421, Issue 6, replaces Issue 5, September 2011.