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INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................... 1
RISK ASSESSMENT............................................................................................................... 3
RIGHT TO DECLINE............................................................................................................. 4
EMERGENCY PLANNING - CRISIS MANAGEMENT ................................................... 4
RESPONSIBILITIES .............................................................................................................. 6
VIOLENCE............................................................................................................................. 13


The BBC has special arrangements in place for high risk work. This
includes deployments to hostile environments, undertaking activities such
as covert filming of dangerous groups, and covering events such as
terrorist incidents, natural disasters or pandemic diseases. High Risk is
defined more fully below.

Definition of High Risk & Travel Advisory terms

High Risk is defined as a significantly higher than normal risk of death or
serious injury resulting from:

         Hostile Environments – a country, region or specified area subject
          to war, insurrection, civil unrest, terrorism or extreme levels of
          crime, banditry, lawlessness or public disorder; or areas with
          extreme climate or terrain.
         High Risk Activities - investigations involving covert surveillance
          or filming and/or confrontation of terrorist, serious criminal,
          extremist or violent political groups.
         High Risk Events -riots, civil disturbance or extreme public
          disorder, terrorist or armed criminal incidents such as hi-jacking or
          sieges, any event involving chemical, biological or radiological (CBR)
          substances, extreme climatic events and natural disasters such as
          hurricanes, severe floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. or
          outbreaks of serious diseases and pandemics.

Travel Advisory Areas are countries that have specific safety or security
risks not amounting to a Hostile Environment. Staff who are unfamiliar
with the environment should take advice from the High Risk team or local

The High Risk Guidelines apply to:

         All BBC and independent productions commissioned by the BBC

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      All divisions including commercial divisions, World Service, BBC
       Monitoring and the World Service Trust.
      All contracted BBC staff and freelancers working on BBC projects, all
       sub-contractors and consultants engaged by the BBC.
      Co-productions where the BBC is fully funding or funding the major
       share of investment in the production.

Key Requirements

Those undertaking or commissioning high risk work are required, as far as
practicably possible, to:

      Seek information and advice from the High Risk Team
      Complete a written Risk Assessment and apply the necessary
       safety control measures.
      Ensure those involved have the right training and/or experience
       for the assignment.
      Identify and use appropriate safety equipment
      Make adequate contingency plans and arrangements in case of
      Obtain the appropriate level of management authorisation.

Information and Advice

Individuals should research the relevant background information (political,
social, religious, military etc.) to the area or country in which they will be
working. Useful sources are BBC correspondents, News Resources, the
Language Services of the BBC World Service, as well as external bodies
and specialists.

All staff planning high risk work should, where practically possible, first
seek advice from the High Risk Team. The High Risk Team maintains a
schedule of ‘hostile environments’ and designates other areas ‘Travel
Advisory’ on Gateway which is regularly updated in consultation with
regional bureaux. Countries listed as ‘Hostile Environment’ require the
special provisions in these guidelines to be applied.

These Guidelines do not apply to places listed as ‘Travel Advisory’, but
staff who are unfamiliar with these places should contact the High Risk
Team for advice. The High Risk Team will assist with the Risk Assessment
process and provide advice on how to minimise risks including:

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      Recommended methods of operating
      Individual and team security measures
      Protective equipment, first aid and trauma equipment
      Safety communications
      Contingency planning
      Remind staff of need for preventative health measures


As far as is reasonably practical, all high risk work must be covered by a
specific Risk Assessment. Frequent deployments of a similar nature where
there has been no significant change in the situation, may be covered by a
generic risk assessment, eg; regional bureaux staff in a frequently visited
hostile environment. Normally a new and specific risk assessment should
be completed. If in doubt, the High Risk Team can advise. It is the
responsibility of the producer i/c or senior staff member in the
team to ensure a current / valid risk assessment is completed.

The risk assessment should identify all the potential hazards and
potentially exposed parties such as staff, contributors and public likely to
be encountered and the mitigating measures to reduce risk give details of
all those exposed to those risks (including where appropriate contributors,
members of the public or staff indirectly affected by the activity). It should

      Personal details of all those involved (including blood groups and
       next of kin contact details)
      Personal protective equipment (PPE) to be taken (body armour,
       helmet etc.),
      Medical equipment to be taken (trauma pack, personal first aid kit,
       sterile needle kit),
      Confirmation that each individual to be assigned has received
       appropriate training.
      Confirmation that all those involved are up to date with required
       immunisations and have the necessary preventative medicines for
       the region.
      Communication systems to be used and 24hr emergency contact
       numbers in the field and at base with communication schedules if
      Contingency plans including medical emergency, becoming lost,
       losing communications or being detained or kidnapped.

Exposure to Potentially Traumatic Events

When selecting teams managers should consider the possible
psychological and emotional effects of unpleasant events on those
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involved. It should also be remembered that those editing and handling
material back at base may be affected as well as staff in the field.


Once the Assignment Outline and Risk Assessment form has been
completed in consultation with the High Risk Team, approval for the
deployment should be obtained from the relevant manager.

When more than one division is involved in any high risk work,
News Division will take the lead for control and coordination
purposes. The Deputy Head and Controller of Operations, News has
overall authority in the BBC for high risk work. Regional bureaux heads
and senior News producers in charge have authority in their areas.


There is no compulsion to undertake high risk work. Staff undertake high
risk work on a completely voluntary basis and have the right to decline
such work without penalty or any other detrimental consequence.

Managers’ Responsibilities in the Right to Decline

Managers must be sensitive to the pressures on their staff which may
affect their decisions on high risk deployments. In particular, managers
must take care that conversations about contract renewal, performance,
future career progression or employment are not, and do not appear to
be, in any way linked to offers of high risk assignments and that such
conversations do not give rise to a perception of duress (however


Medical Assistance and Evacuation

The availability and quality of emergency medical treatment facilities and
casualty evacuation should be identified before deployment and taken into
account in the Risk Assessment.

It is the Assignment Editor / Producer’s responsibility to ensure that all
members of staff deploying overseas are briefed on the procedure for
reporting a casualty. In addition to contacting CEGA, assignment editors
and the High Risk Team should be informed of any casualty.

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Any pertinent medical information gleaned on the ground must be
forwarded to the High Risk Team and Travel Clinic, by the quickest route
possible in order to keep risk assessments up to date.

Kidnap and Ransom

Assignment Editors / Producers must ensure that contingency procedures
are in place for detention or kidnap. Appropriate arrangements should be
made and instructions given in the local language where necessary to
enable Language section staff / reporters to understand procedures.
Where appropriate, staff should complete a kidnap form (including
details such as proof of life / duress questions etc.)

In the event of a reported arrest / detention / kidnap, Newsgathering and
the BBC Safety, High Risk Team are to be informed. Further detailed
procedures for response to detention or kidnap are held by them.

To mitigate kidnapping try and avoid prior warning, routine scheduling or
other information being released. Attempt to vary schedules, travel routes
and where possible change hotel rooms and transport.

If kidnapped remember the following:

      Avoid resisting or making violent movements and do not attempt
       escape unless absolutely certain of success.
      Attempt to relax and prepare yourself mentally for what is
       happening. Keep a quiet sense of dignity and think positively.
      Remain innocuous by avoiding eye contact or the appearance of
       observing captors movements.
      Take an attitude of passive cooperation with you captors. Attempt
       non-political rapport with your captors.
      Take any food and drink offered.

The High Risk team should be consulted should the Risk Assessment
identify a location or individual prone to risk of kidnapping. Where
necessary, advice and recommendations for training for the Persons at

BBC Safety has separate Crisis Management procedures in place provided
by specialists to deal with a kidnap and ransom situation.

Commissioning Independents

The commissioner should ensure that the following is checked before an
independent is commissioned for High Risk Activities, Events or Hostile

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      All individuals have completed the necessary training specified
       above, or meet the experience or other training requirements as
       agreed by the High Risk Team,
      Appropriate insurance is met, as agreed by BBC Insurance,
      Appropriate safety equipment is provided to individuals where
       practically possible,
      Appropriate lines of communication are agreed to whilst on the
      Appropriate medical insurance and medevac plans are agreed,
      Appropriate plan to be in place for all contingencies,
      ·A combined risk assessment and assignment outline form is
       submitted to the BBC Commissioning department and to Head
       Foreign Planning Newsgathering copied to High Risk Team,
      High Risk Team to be consulted and advised of arrangements.

Post-Assignment De-Briefing

On completion of high risk work, team leaders or Field Safety Advisers
should provide a brief written or verbal summary of the assignment /
operation, experiences, relevant new information and advice that will help
inform future risk assessments. Key information will be used to update the
hostile environments list on Gateway and ENPS (for News). Line managers
are also routinely expected to discuss assignments with individuals on
their return, and regularly with individuals resident in an area designated
as high risk.

The accident / incident reporting procedure should be used to report any
incidents including near misses, to help inform future risk assessments
and review safety procedures. Individuals should contact their manager or
senior safety advisor. Such reporting will be treated as confidential.

When an individual has experienced stressful or traumatic situations
during an assignment, the BBC recommends that, as soon as practical
after the assignment, they have an operational debrief from their
managers. The need for a briefing related to traumatic stress will also
need to be considered and advice should be sought from the BBC Safety,
Travel Clinic. Staff may choose to use informal support mechanisms with
colleagues or they can seek professional support from BUPA PEC, if they
wish to consider a confidential counselling service.

When an individual has been ill while on assignment and received
treatment (medical professional / self-administered) they should complete
a Returning Travellers form and inform the BBC Safety, Travel Clinic.
Corresponding arrangements can be made in a relevant language in UK or
overseas for locally based individuals.

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Deputy Head and Controller of Operations, News will:

      Have overall responsibility and approval for all High Risk work
       across all divisions,
      Delegate approval authority to appropriate

Head of Newsgathering will:

      Have overall operational control and coordination of deployments to
       Hostile Environments,
      Delegate operational control of deployments to appropriate editors
       and regional bureaux heads.

Commissioners will:

      Ensure that the independent has the knowledge skills and
       experience to do high risk work safely.
      Make an assessment of the independent’s safety competence prior
       to placing the commission.

For any work in High Risk Activities, High Risk Events and Hostile
Environments Commissioners will also:

      Ensure Independents are aware of the requirement to comply with
       the BBC High Risk requirements and that they have suitable
       arrangements in place,
      Ensure sufficient funding is factored into the programme budget to
       provide for the necessary training and equipment required
      Ensure the commissioned independents are kept up-to-date with
       any changes to the Hostile Environments schedule,
      Be the first point of contact for Independents risk assessment and
       assignment outline,
      Forward risk assessment and assignment outline to World News
       Editor, acting on behalf of Head of Newsgathering, for clearance. A
       copy must also be sent to the High Risk Team for review.

Assignment Editors / Producers / Managers will:

      Prepare a written Risk Assessment using Assignment Outline and
       Risk Assessment Form ,
      Consult with BBC Safety, High Risk Team,
      Ensure that those who are to travel have sufficient time to seek
       advice from medical practitioners (eg; Occupational Health) prior to

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      Ensure that staff are briefed on the procedure of reporting a
       casualty and have the CEGA PPP emergency medical card,
      Consult with other Editors / Producers whose staff are in the field to
       ensure that the work is coordinated,
      Be the point of contact for their staff in the field,
      Alert the High Risk Team in the event of an incident – accident,
       detention, kidnap, medical emergency,
      Receive and discuss debrief with members of the team eg;
       counselling service available and share information gleaned with
       BBC Safety, High Risk Team.

Person in Charge (IC)

Each deployed team will include a nominated person in charge, usually the
most senior person on location eg; senior Producer. The responsibilities of
the person leading a team in the field will include:

      Drafting the risk assessment,
      Making timely safety decisions,
      Communication with Field Safety Advisor, if deployed,
      Ensuring competence of locally-hired members of the team,
      Managing team issues: suitability, consensus,
      Provision and use of equipment and personal safety equipment,
      Ensuring appropriate and safe use of vehicles and equipment
      Communication with senior management and High Risk team.

High Risk Team Safety Advisor

An individual deployed to support certain hostile environment and high
risk work with responsibility to advise on and co-ordinate the safety
arrangements for those employed or engaged by the BBC in the area.
However, ultimate responsibility for safety and security remains with the
Person in Charge.

Safety Advisors are either members of the High Risk Team or pre-vetted
and approved external contractors. Their responsibilities include:

      Advising on all aspects of field safety and security issues,
      Co-ordination of all safety and security arrangements in consultation
       with Person in Charge,
      Provision of information – briefing teams on all safety aspects,
      Assistance in the completion and development of Risk Assessments
      Procurement and maintenance of protective equipment in the field,
      Selection of competent local contractors for safety and security,
      Reporting procedures.
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All BBC staff, or others employed or engaged by the BBC should:

      Know safety guidelines and current operating conditions and
      Attend training as directed, prior to deployment as far as practically
      Work within management and control structure in the field,
      Provide detailed personal and medical information (next-of-kin
       details, blood group etc.) as deemed appropriate,
      If required to drive, hold a current valid driving licence and are
       competent to drive in specific terrain,
      Provide post assignment brief if required,
      Freelancers ensure contract is signed (Insurance requirement).

Locally Hired Freelancers and Stringers

The conditions outlined in this document apply to all BBC staff on
continuing or fixed-term contracts (whether UK based or in the field), and
all contractors engaged by the BBC, and all freelancers who may be
engaged and assigned to undertake high risk work from the UK or

Where freelance contributors (reporters, stringers, crews, fixers,
interpreters, etc.) are indigenous, resident or already working in an area
considered to be a high risk area, then they may have the appropriate
experience to operate safely in that area. Appropriate experience could
include for example, knowledge of local conditions, previous assignments
in the area or to other high risk areas, or military service.

When such contributors are to be engaged, then an assessment must be
made of the individual’s suitability for the engagement or assignment. The
assessment should take account of the individual’s experience, knowledge
of prevailing conditions and equipment. It should be made by the senior
BBC team member on the ground.

The assessment should identify the training needs of the individual.
Individuals working for the BBC in the region must be provided with
appropriate training, information and instruction, either in the field or the
UK. Hostile Environment training should, where possible, be given to all
individuals, who work for more than 50% of their time for the BBC.

If engaged by the BBC, the individual must be made aware of the BBC’s
Safety requirements and should be provided with appropriate protective
equipment if necessary and where practically possible.

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High Risk Team - Identify and keep under review hostile
environments, high risk activities and events (in consultation with
News and World Service, regional editors, Controller Editorial
Policy) and publish information on Gateway:

      Keep producers/editors up-to-date with information which may
       affect their risk assessment/assignment.
      Provide specialist safety advice and information, including
       operational and personal safety, to managers and staff eg;
       communication systems needed eg; satellite phones, PPE and
       contingency plans.
      Provide advice to key managers, e.g. Head Foreign Planning
       Newsgathering, on clearance and co-ordination
      Review Assignment Outlines and Risk Assessments
      Monitor and advise on continuous development of hostile
       environment and high risk safety training
      Advise on the necessity for a safety advisor and assign/recommend
       suitable individuals/companies.
      Provide advice for traumatic stress and recommend to managers
       and individuals appropriate courses of action
      Work with BBC procurement to establish a pre-vetted list of
       specialist companies and field safety advisers. This will include a
       process for vetting companies and individuals at short notice to
       meet specific operational needs
      Check that Producers have gone through the appropriate editorial


Hostile Environments. Individuals assigned to work in Hostile
Environments should have undergone the Hostile Environment and
First Aid Training (HEFAT) course. This is a 6-day residential course
designed to familiarise staff with the safety and security issues associated
with working in high risk situations and provides a good level of
emergency first aid training.

Exceptions to this requirement will only be made if the individual’s
previous experience is judged by the Head of High Risk to have
adequately prepared them to work in the area in question, or the
particular circumstances of the proposed assignment mean that the
training is not necessary. Overseas HEFAT courses can be run for local
staff unable to travel to UK.

The BBC has negotiated a scheme for freelancers to attend hostile
environment training. The scheme is sponsored by the BBC and other
broadcast organisations and is run by the Rory Peck Trust. The Trust is

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also able to facilitate discounted insurance policies for those who have
attended recognised hostile environment training.

In some circumstances there may also be a need for additional training
such as:

      Chemical, Biological and Radiological (CBR) Survival or awareness,
      Civil Disorder or Working in Crowds Training,
      All terrain or armoured vehicle driving course
      Environment specific (arctic, jungle, desert, high altitude) survival

High Risk Activities. Individuals undertaking high risk activities, in
particular investigations and covert filming, should have undergone
adequate preparatory training or have sufficient relevant experience to
enable they can tackle the assignment safely. Some high risk activities
may also warrant additional training such as HEFAT or the courses
outlined above.

High Risk Events. The training requirements for high risk events will be
determined on a case by case basis by the High Risk Team in consultation
with senior divisional management. Any training needed is likely to be one
or a combination of the training courses outlined above. As with other
high risk categories the training requirement for individuals should be
tempered by their previous experience, other relevant training and the
particular circumstances of the deployment.

Refresher Training. Refresher training for all the above courses should
be undertaken every three years.

Training and Development will receive and keep training records and

manage the contracts for safety training courses in close consultation with
BBC Safety, High Risk Team, BBC Procurement and key users.

Equipment / PPE

The BBC has a wide range of personal protective equipment (PPE),
medical and other equipment available from the BBC Safety Stores in TVC
under a contract with an external supplier. There are smaller supplies of
safety equipment held at other locations in UK and overseas.

The equipment needed for each assignment will be identified as part of
the risk assessment process and should be issued to all affected
individuals where practically possible. All equipment used must be
obtained through the safety Store to ensure it meets the agreed
specifications. If equipment from other sources is to be used, agreement
must be sought from the High Risk Team.
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If safety equipment is recommended, individuals are to have it readily
available. The precise circumstances in which equipment is worn or used
is a decision to be made by the senior person on the ground. Local drivers
and fixers should be provided with the same level of protection as BBC
staff and appropriate arrangements should be made, particularly for
planned assignments.

There are various types of PPE and it is important that the appropriate
type and required level of protection is identified. Examples of PPE are
overt body armour/flak jackets, covert body armour and stab vests.

Flak jackets consist of 3 parts: a filler/ballistic liner; ceramic plates; and a
cloth cover. The filler protects against fragments and low velocity
projectiles. The plates protect against high velocity projectiles such as
rifle fire. Ballistic plates must be placed in the pockets of the jacket (front
and back) in order to achieve protection against high velocity gunfire.
Level 4 ceramic plates will protect against calibres up to 7.62mm rifle
ammunition. Stab vests are designed to protect against edged weapons
and low velocity projectiles.

For all staff not directly working for BBC Newsgathering (News
Resources), body armour can either be obtained from Equipment Safety
Store. During working hours (contact 02 67568), out of hours contact
DOM (Duty Operations Manager on ext 67777).

Other Preparations for High Risk Work


All those undertaking high risk work should be physically fit and free from
debilitating injuries. Frequent travellers should undergo a physical
screening provided by BBC Safety, CAPITA Occupational health, 0800
0828080, and keep standard inoculations up to date.

Advice on avoiding disease, including the correct medical prophylaxis, is
essential to prevent illness and fatality. Occupational Health is able to
provide up-to-date advice and briefings for staff based in UK and to
provide advice on medical practitioners able to provide the service

Managers are responsible for ensuring that:

      Those travelling abroad have sufficient time to seek advice from
       Occupational Health or other medical practitioners prior to travel
      Those travelling abroad have checked their vaccination status and
       received advice
      Regular travellers have received a core travel briefing and
       immunisation programme
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Those who may be required to drive must hold a valid driving licence and
have relevant driving experience for the vehicle and the terrain.

Those driving armoured vehicles should be appropriately qualified and


People whose work brings them into direct contact with the public may
face aggressive or violent behaviour. Experience has shown that this can
include extortion, intimidation, abuse, threats and actual physical attacks
causing injury or even death.

The possibility of violence should be considered when planning broadcasts
or filming, especially in the following areas:

      News and current affairs programmes,
      Documentaries,
      Drama series shot on location.
      Violence should never be accepted as "one of those things". It must
       be assessed and controlled in the same way as any other risk to
       health and Safety.

Accidents, Incidents and Injuries

If anyone has received any physical injury resulting from violence, medical
treatment and advice should be sought where necessary. Those who have
been threatened with or experienced violence may need counselling,
informal support from colleagues or to learn de-stressing techniques such
as self hypnosis, relaxation techniques, visualisation etc.

Injuries (patent physical injury or shock/distress) arising out of violence,
and "near-miss" incidents due to violence, must be reported following the
procedure for any other accident or near-miss incidents due to violence
should always be reported to your employer, or whoever is contracting

A report should not be suppressed just because a person was hurt

The better the reporting of violent incidents, the better the chances of
developing effective systems to reduce the frequency, severity and impact
of violence.

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences
Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR) require that all acts of non-consensual
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violence done to persons at work be reported to the appropriate enforcing
authority if they result in:

      Death, or
      Major injury, or
      The person being incapacitated for the work they would normally be
       expected to do for more than three days.

Assessing the Shoot

Managers must assess the risks of violence and implement measures to
reduce the risk and effects of attack. The assessment must indicate what
precautions are to be taken.

In productions the person in control of the production must review this
assessment as necessary if more information becomes available. The
assessment will then form the basis of discussion about whether or not to
proceed and what precautions to take.

Productions can encounter violence from many directions. These include:

      Members of the public intending to steal or demanding "protection",
      People who do not wish to be recorded,
      Direct or indirect assault when caught in an affray,
      Situations of public disorder or civil disturbance,
      Conflicts with contractors, other productions or other members of
       your own crew,
      Hostile "authorities"/forces, e.g. crew arrested/kidnapped,
      People under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

For further information please contact the High Risk Team.

Change History

Document Location
The source of this master document will be in The Core.

Document Owner
The BBC Safety High Risks team own this document.

Revision History
This document will be updated from time to time, using formal change control
procedures. (V1.0, V2.0 etc are published versions; VX.1, VX.2 etc are draft versions.)
Please add version details when changes are made.

Version Date          Reasons/ Summary of        Author           Approved by
                      Changes                                     (where

ed8c700e-9100-44bc-89b4-02af1274d4a0.doc                                14 of 15
1.0      04/08/09   Master from myRisks      Julian Clover   Julian Clover
                    rewrite July 09

ed8c700e-9100-44bc-89b4-02af1274d4a0.doc                           15 of 15

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