Weather Conditions

Date: 04.11.2016     Last updated: 30.06.2017 at 14.12
The BBC regularly film and record outside, exposing staff to a variety of adverse and changeable weather conditions during the course of their work. Thunderstorms pose a particular threat to those working at height outdoors, or with raised masts on broadcast vehicles.

What Can Go Wrong?

  • Heatwaves can result in sunburn, dehydration, and possibly heatstroke.
  • Hurricans and storm winds can damage property, create flying debris, disrupt communications and transport.
  • During winter, snowstorms and ice can block roads and isolate people, making driving conditions hazardous.
  • Conditions can change rapidly and without warning causing disruption to plans and potential threats to life in exposed locations or extreme situations
  • Lightening strikes can cause electrocution / burns and damage to broadcast equipment
  • Flash floods, freak waves and storm surges pose risk of drowning, impact injuries, cold injuries and possible infections if sanitaion systems are affected.

Legal/BBC Requirements

  • There are no specific legal requirements to draw to your attention; you must still apply the control measures that are relevant to your activity

Control Measures

Adverse Weather – in General

  • Recce before setting up position.
  • Check weather forecasts to seek advice & keep up to date with weather conditions.
  • Make sure team are fit, suitable and prepared for the proposed filming/recording activity.
  • Make regular contact with base, leave itinerary & check comms work in the area / conditions.
  • Take suitable outdoor clothing and footwear.
  • Agree fall back plans if situation deteriorates or position becomes unsafe.
  • Plan breaks, food & drinks. Limit exposure to severe weather and shelter where possible.

Hot Weather

  • Wear loose cotton clothing, take & use sunscreen and hat.
  • Plan breaks in shade and provide sufficient water

Coastal Surges / Storms

  • Read the Floods and Coastal Surges guidance

Thunder Storms

Lightning strikes the ground in Britain around 300,000 a year. If you do get caught out by a thunderstorm, take the following precautions to minimise the risk of being struck:

  • Be aware that the thundercloud doesn't need to be directly above for a lightning strike to land near you.
  • Take action early if you hear or see lighting strikes coming your way e.g. those working at height should come down, vehicles with masts raised should lower them, stop using booms or jib arms, etc.
  • If your hair starts to stand on end or you hear any buzzing or crackling, this could mean a lightning path is being created near to you - seek cover immediately or if that isn’t possible, drop to the ground.
  • If you can, seek cover inside a solid structure / building. If the building is struck, it is not unknown for electrical appliances to blow and shock voltages be induced in water pipes and metal window frames, so avoid touching these. If there are no solid buildings nearby, get into your vehicle. Isolated trees or cliff faces do not provide safe locations as these tall structures are at greatest risk of being struck and the lightning path could strike you as it runs to ground.
  • Stay inside a building or vehicle until the storm has passed and the sound of thunder becomes a distant rumble once more.
  • Further information on thunder storm safety advice can be found in Recommended Links (www), r/h margin.


  • Avoid standing under damaged / fragile structures.
  • Avoid entering any water because of underwater / floating debris and danger of being swept away / trapped.
  • Be alert to damaged power lines and gas pipes.

Snowstorms, Snow and Ice

  • Select the correct vehicle for the trip including availability of spare parts and repairs.
  • Make sure drivers are experienced and competent. Consider using two vehicles.
  • Carry out pre use checks on tyres, water, fuel and oil etc. (See BBC Academy video)
  • Take any additional equipment or supplies e.g. food, drinks, tow rope, torch, water, shovel, first aid kit, winter tyres, snow chains etc.
  • Take suitable outdoor clothing and footwear

Division Specific Issues

  • No division specific issues.

FAQs/Did You Know?

  • No FAQs/Did you know items.

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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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