Health Hazards on Location

Date: 24.03.2015     Last updated: 05.06.2017 at 10.58
A brief introduction to preventing communicable illness when making programmes.

What Can Go Wrong?

  • Someone could contract an illness.
  • We could spread infection to the general public or especially vulnerable people.

Legal/BBC Requirements

  • Report any occupationally related ill health through MyRisks.

Control Measures

General Controls

  • Carry out research before visiting site to establish what you need to do and any local rules or procedures.
  • Avoid physical contact with body fluids & contaminated dressings or items.
  • Don’t sit on hospital beds unless permitted to do so by local staff.
  • Maintain good hygiene e.g. wash hands using good technique.
  • Get specialist advice from BBC Safety for high risk infections, example; Ebola or other tropical epidemics.
  • Don’t visit farms or attend sheep births if pregnant.
  • Don’t eat, drink or smoke without washing your hands (or using an alcohol gel or disposable hand wipe if in the field).
  • Avoid placing cameras or other equipment where it can be contaminated and clean down using fast acting antimicrobial wipe.
  • Monitor your own health and report to your own doctor / BBC Occupational health if unwell.

Protecting others

  • Don’t attend places with sick, old or vulnerable people if you are ill yourself.
  • Check with your team if anyone needs particular consideration e.g. is pregnant or immune compromised.
  • Follow any site specific recommendations for infection control.

Division Specific Issues


  • Boxing: Human blood can be sprayed in fine droplets or spilt in the boxing ring.

News and TV

  • Journalism and reality programming can require work with potentially contaminated refugee camps, homeless people, tropical / disease epidemics.
  • TV: series on animals and farming. Check human / animal vectors.

FAQs/Did You Know?

  • You must ensure you have appropriate vaccinations and medical support for international travel.
  • Remember to manage emotional trauma, and use the EAP if needed (see Recommended Links (Gateway)). Whilst the EAP is an employee benefit, it can be made available to freelancers under certain circumstances (contact HR for advice).

 Safety Guides - Quick Links

About this site

This site describes what the BBC does in relation to managing its health, safety and security risks and is intended for those who work directly for the BBC.

It is not intended to provide instruction or guidance on how third parties should manage their risks. The BBC cannot be held liable for how this information is interpreted or used by third parties, nor provide any assurance that adopting it would provide any measure of legal compliance. More information.

Links: Some links on this site are only accessible when connected to the BBC network