Safe production guidelines published for the UK

“Everyone across the TV industry wants to get production back up and running" Tony Hall, BBC director-general

By Nia Daniels 18 May 2020

Safe production guidelines published for the UK

A detailed document has been published with guidelines on how to resume production safely in the UK during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The industry-wide blueprint has been released as a joint effort from ITV, BBC, Sky, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV, ITN, the Association for Commercial Broadcasters and On-Demand Services (COBA) and Pact.

It is intended to be complementary to the forthcoming British Film Commission guidance on managing the risks associated with film and high-end TV drama production.

The full guidance is available to download here

In the new guidelines, the number one priority remains the safety and well-being of production teams and those who work with them. The guidance has been produced through a collaboration of cross-industry experts in this area along with external expertise provided by Dr Paul Litchfield CBE.

The broadcasters have also worked with First Option, safety consultants to the media and entertainment industry, to devise this approach as well as liaising with union representatives and the Health and Safety Executive.

The guidance has also taken careful note of the recent government advice on the safe return to work, which is expected to evolve over the coming months.

The document details six areas that producers, in conjunction with the commissioning broadcaster, must consider when planning to produce during COVID-19. They are:

• Specifically consider people at higher risk of harm
• Heighten precautions for everyone at work
• Reduce the number of people involved
• Consider editorial ‘on camera’ requirements
• Consider mental health and wellbeing
• Feedback loop

The guidance also lays out the key areas to consider when assessing risk on productions and suggests controls to consider (detailed in the download). They are:

Travel; location; work activities; work equipment; work patterns; rest areas; first aid and emergency services; PPE and mental health.

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Great British television is keeping us company throughout the crisis, and I'm keen to get cameras rolling as soon as it is safe. Our creative industries are Britain's global calling card and this is a significant step forward in getting our favourite shows back into production."

John McVay, Pact CEO, added: "This guidance from all the major commissioning broadcasters in the UK is a very helpful first step to getting the industry back working and taking forward the recovery".


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