Broadcast: Presentation and Linking Positions

Date: 08.06.2016     Last updated: 05.09.2017 at 15.08
Presentation or linking from sporting events involving a purpose-built studio facility; or the utilisation of a permanent space such as a corporate box; or a temporary built installation, such as one made from scaffold. These facilities may require a complete fit-out, including set design, dressing and fitting out with broadcast and lighting equipment.

This also covers ad hoc presentations around the venue.

The hazards and risks will vary depending upon the type of studio construction and the knowledge of the persons involved in the studio production. Allowances must also be made for those guests who may be unfamiliar with the studio broadcast environment.

What Can Go Wrong?

  • Slip, trip and fall accidents and incidents caused by the unfamiliarity with the studio or location environment, access, layout and temporary arrangements or poor set design and build.
  • Failure of the structures could lead to entrapment or collapse
  • Fire, electrical shock.

General Hazards

  • Cables causing a tripping/falling hazard.
  • Person or object falling (eg camera lens) while working at height.
  • Musculo-skeletal injury from handling or lifting heavy equipment.
  • Severe tiredness/fatigue from long working hours, resulting in loss of concentration and/or poor decision making.
  • Prolonged exposure to cold/wet or hot/sunny weather, causing ill-health and/or poor dexterity
  • Noise exposure from crowds or sporting activity.
  • Hit by/struck by equipment, vehicle or animal used in sporting activity, or danger caused to sports competitors from broadcast activity.
  • Event fire or other emergency (including Terrorist incident).
  • Electric shock or fire due to unsafe connection to OB electrical supply.
  • Setting Up Temporary Studios / Presentation.
  • Fire in presentation studio or other production area.
  • Acute ill-health from inadequately ventilated studio.
  • Unsafe use of broadcast vehicles.
  • Potentially unsafe ladders and scaffold structures, camera positions, gantries; and risky access routes to them.

Legal/BBC Requirements

  • Wherever possible a BBC pre-vetted contractor should be engaged to build the temporary structure required. However, this may not be possible if for example the temporary structure has been provided by the venue. In this case, there is still a requirement to ensure that an adequate inspection has taken place and certification has been provided.
  • The Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015) came into force in April 2015, replacing CDM 2007 and are now applicable to the use of temporary staging, rostra and riser within the event industry.

Control Measures

Temporary Structure Build

  • At the initial planning stage discuss how the requirements of CDM 2015 will be discharged and who will undertake the roles of Principle Designer & Principal Contractor.
  • All temporary structures are to be fitted or installed by competent persons only.
  • The installer will inspect the completed temporary structure(s) and inform the producer that it has been inspected and is now safe to use, and provide certification to that effect.
  • Re-certification will be required for any major structural changes made after the initial build / installation.
  • The installer will ensure that no gaps or uneven joints are present.
  • All rostra or risers will be inspected by the producer prior to use to satisfy themselves it is safe to use, any problems found should be brought to the attention of the installer.
  • Outdoor structures must have an adequate weather plan (especially wind monitoring) in plaace and a clear action plan detailing; what actions should be taken, when, and by whom.
  • Reinspection of a structure may well be required if adverse weather conditions have prevailed - requirements should be detailed in the handover certificate.

General Controls

  • Avoid trailing cables. Route cables safely and securely ramp, mat or fly cables that by necessity cross pedestrian routes.
  • See ‘Working on Broadcast Gantries & Platforms’.
  • Take every opportunity to avoid manual handling wherever possible, see ‘Manual Handling’.
  • Tiredness/Fatigues from Long Working Hours. See ‘Tiredness, Fatigue & Trauma’.
  • Provide weather forecast information and brief crew/staff unfamiliar with the working environment on suitable clothing and sun protection. See ‘Weather’.
  • Be aware of noise levels likely at the event and take appropriate hearing protection if necessary. See ‘Noise Exposure’.
  • Hit/Struck by objects at Sports Events. See ‘Recording & Filming Track/Pit Side at Sports Events’.
  • Establish clear points of contacts with venue, competition organiser and host broadcaster.
  • Consider buying seating to extend working space, ESPECIALLY if the media position restricts the view of paying spectators.
  • Request additional stewards to be allocated to the position if required.
  • Wear BBC logo unless this raises the personal risk.
  • When planning working positions consider easy access to exit routes.

Aggression and Crowds

  • Research likelihood of aggression and expected profile of fans & crowd.
  • Use a back-watcher/second person if aggression is likely.
  • Try to diffuse aggression if threatened and stop recording/filming and leave if violence is imminent.
  • Plan what to do if violence escalates, including escape routes &rendezvous points.
  • Ensure staff are properly trained and experienced for the environment, eg for football, rugby and boxing the BBC Working in Crowds course is strongly recommended.

Fire and Emergency

  • Find out the emergency arrangements in place at the venue and ensure all staff are aware, eg through site induction or safety brief.
  • When working in an unfamiliar venue, note your safe route out of building & agree an assembly point for your team (at a safe distance).
  • In the event of a fire or emergency follow instructions from venue staff while paying attention to crowd movement and any developing situation the venue may not be aware of. Keep colleagues alerted and pair or group up to protect each other as you make your way out.
  • Never obstruct fire exits or emergency vehicle routes with equipment set-up or storage.
  • Disabled members of the team should notify the site manager if they have particular emergency evacuation needs.
  • Find out venue emergency arrangements in place during rig or de-rig as normal routes may be out of use or exits locked outside event hours.
  • Ensure strict housekeeping is maintained to keep fire exits and emergency access/egress routes free & uncluttered.
  • Setting Up Temporary Studios / Presentation
  • Provide fire extinguishers and consider a smoke alarm for all dedicated areas controlled by the production, if none are provided by the site
  • Liaise with venue to ensure suitable working space is allocated, separated from spectator areas where possible.
  • Ensure all fabric materials and construction materials used with a presentation studio are suitably fire resistant.
  • Temporary studios and commentary boxes must be designed and built by competent persons to prevent collapse
  • Ensure adequate ventilation in studio locations and commentary boxes. Provide mechanical ventilation if necessary.
  • Provide safe access/egress to all presentation and linking positions – ensure clear routes and use steps in preference to ladders if at all possible.
  • Provide hand-rails on steps.
  • Use of vetted contractors. Ensure ladders and scaffold structures are safe and have the appropriate scaffold tags and current handover documentation. See Gantries and Platforms and Scaffold guidance.

Division Specific Issues

  • No division specific issues.

FAQs/Did You Know?

  • The UK government publication ‘Guide to Safety at Sports Grounds’ (the Green Guide) was first published in 1973 after the Ibrox disaster when 66 people were killed. Subsequent versions were published following the Bradford City stadium fire in 1985 when 56 people were killed and the Hillsborough disaster in 1989, when 96 people were killed. The current edition was published in 2008.

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