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Broadcasters produce new guidance to ensure safe working amid the outbreak



STV and BBC Scotland have joined with other broadcasters to introduce new industry wide guidelines for producing television safely in the weeks and months ahead.

The guidelines are intended to enable a return to production for the television industry following the coronavirus outbreak.

The guidance covers TV programme making in every genre for TV and is complementary to the forthcoming British Film Commission guidance on managing the risks associated with film and high-end TV drama production.

The number one priority in the new guidelines remains the safety and wellbeing of production teams and those who work with them.

The guidance has been produced through a collaboration of cross-industry specialists with external expertise provided by Dr Paul Litchfield.

The University of ST Andrews graduate doctor is a former chief medical officer for BT.

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 detailed guidance details six areas that producers, in conjunction with 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
  • Develop a feedback loop for communicating issues

It also includes advice to minimise travel, amend work activities to be safer, good hygiene with equipment, working in small groups, ensuring safety of rest areas and providing good first aid support and provide appropriate PPE.

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STV CEO Simon Pitts said: “STV’s continued delivery of public service news and current affairs throughout the Coronavirus crisis demonstrates our ability to produce programming safely, incorporating stringent new safety measures.

“Nations and regions producers like STV Productions play a vital role in driving both the UK’s world-leading production sector and the local creative economy and – working closely with the Scottish Government – this protocol can provide a vital framework for more of our colleagues, across a broader range of production, to return to work with the same level of confidence about their safety and wellbeing.”



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