Page last updated at 14:20 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 15:20 UK

Safety in the newsroom

As School Report News Day approaches, here are our top tips for working safely in a newsroom environment.

BE ORGANISED

Student with cables
Make sure you avoid trailing cables between desks
A well organised workspace is a safe work space.

Take a little time to decide who will sit where and what equipment they will need.

Think through the steps you need to take to ease congestion, especially with regards to editing your sound and pictures.

Do not overload the mains power supply in any one area and do not use too many multi-way power adaptors.

KEEP THE WORKSPACE TIDY

Avoid trailing cables between desks.

Keep food and drink away from the equipment and workstations.

Avoid placing bags and coats near computers or on chairs - they become trip hazards.

ENSURE ENOUGH LIGHT

Ensure that there is sufficient (but not too much) light in the newsroom.

Avoid glare and reflections on the computer screens.

KEEP THE NOISE DOWN

Keep the noise down by discouraging general chit chat.

Ask students to walk across the room to converse with someone, rather than shout across it.

Keep the volume on any speakers in the newsroom down to a minimum working level.

Where possible, monitor sound when editing using headphones. Remind students to take them off before talking to someone as people tend to shout when wearing headphones.

AVOID CLUSTERING

Spread out the areas that will be labour/pupil-intensive to avoid clustering.

When two or more large groups gather side by side, there is often a commensurate rise in noise and a tendency to compete for space that can be very disruptive.

WALK DON'T RUN

Encourage students to walk from place to place, whatever the deadline.

Running increases the risk of injury and engenders an atmosphere of panic.

AVOID EUREKA MOMENTS

Discourage them.

If part of the production team achieve success, a quiet "high five" is preferable to a raucous "way to go!" shout.

A loud celebration from one area of the room can be disrupting.

It can also be off-putting for other groups who may be struggling to resolve a problem.

DON'T STRESS

Deadlines matter, but encourage your students to stay calm. They aren't a matter of life and death.

AND FINALLY

Don't panic! Enjoy it!




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