Night Filming and Recording

Date: 12.02.2018     Last updated: 13.02.2018 at 09.21
A guide to working at night on location between sunset and sunrise (approx 2300 - 0600). Requirements under the Working Time Regulations may apply if work at night is to be regular.

What Can Go Wrong?

  • Someone may hurt themselves or someone else due to fatigue.
  • Reduced visibility can impact both on time and risk.
  • Night working on location can increase the security risk.
  • Members of the public may cause injury if disturbed or upset by noise or intrusion. 

Legal/BBC Requirements

  • Regular work at night will entitle the employee to a health assessment.

Control Measures

General Controls

  • Give the team as much notice as possible about working at night.
  • Consider the journey times and travel arrangements of the cast and crew.
  • Ensure safety critical activities are scheduled appropriately e.g. don’t have higher risk work such as stunts at end of night.
  • Consider accommodation, taxis and arrangements for transport; these may need to be offered.
  • Consider a health assessment via a questionnaire if the night working is to be regular.
  • Keep access and egress clear of equipment and cables.
  • Ensure that access and egress routes are adequately lit and that cables are properly managed.
  • Identify any potential risks to personal safety at the location.
  • Make the police and / or other relevant authorities aware of your recording intentions.
  • Contact the Corporate Security Team and liaise with the police if you require further security advice.
  • Consider the length of time and the location of the sequence if the recording may be contentious to the local people or area and the need for security (see pre-vetted list).
  • Ensure arrangements for vehicle parking will be secure.
  • Think about the need for working lights at location and unit base ensuring they do not dazzle drivers.
  • Inform the cast and crew of any particular hazards.
  • Keep noise levels to a minimum in public areas. If significant noise is likely liaise with the locals/the local environmental health officer to make them aware and help manage it.
  • See our Safety Short on Working Nightshifts to help cope with the changes to the body clock caused by working unusual hours (see Useful Documents).

Division Specific Issues

  • No division specific issues.

FAQs/Did You Know?

  • The BBC Academy has produced two films about Night Shift Working that are available from the link on the right hand panel.
  • Most people will feel less alert in the mid afternoon and around midnight and will feel particularly low in the early hours of the morning.
  • Mental fatigue can result in errors of judgement.
  • Tiredness can affect a person’s mood, making them more optimistic, less cautious and more reckless.
  • People feel the cold more at night.
  • Sedatives to aid sleep can lengthen reaction times and increase the risk of accidents.

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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.


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