Worked example for building an outside broadcast (OB) at a sports ground


A broadcaster is televising a sports event at a sports ground in the UK. The broadcaster builds a studio and a small scaffold platform for a camera position.

Acting as the CDM client, the broadcaster also plans, manages, monitors and co-ordinates the construction activity and so retain the CDM Principal Designer (PD) and Principal Contractor (PC) roles.

The broadcaster discharges these CDM duties with the assistance of those working for it as part of its production team. In this scenario, the team consists of:

  • The Producer and Director who provide the creative lead.
  • The Production Manager who takes the lead in turning the Producer and Director's vision into a working production, by coordinating the design and construction work.

Pre-construction (pre-production) information

Pre-construction (pre-production) information required for the design and build process includes permitted cable run locations, floor loadings where the structures will be built, plus access arrangements to the areas where the compound and structures will be located. It will also include information about the installed electrical system to make sure the OB system is appropriately earthed.  

Planning and design

The Production Manager determines the overall size, dimensions and location of the OB studio, based on an agreement with the Director and the venue's Event Safety Officer.

The creative department develops conceptual design ideas for the set. They appoint a set builder (acting as a CDM designer) to produce a final structural design for the OB studio set and manufacture the components at their offsite workshop.

The Production Manager appoints a scaffold contractor to produce the final design for the OB studio based on the specification he has been provided with. The scaffolder (acting as a CDM designer) is also asked to design a 2m by 3m camera platform, the location of which he was shown by the Production Manager during a site recce.

The broadcaster appoints an OB company to provide OB facilities, which include cable runs and studio infrastructure.

During the site recce the Unit Manager for the OB agrees the cable runs and the other locations of infrastructure with the Production Manager and the venue's Event Safety Officer.  

Build, rig and de-rig

A set installation contractor delivers the components to site and (acting as a CDM contractor) erects the set in the desired location.

The scaffold contractor (acting as a CDM contractor) erects the scaffold for the OB and camera platform.

Temporary barriers are used to establishing access control to the area of construction.

The Unit Manager runs the OB unit onsite and liaises with the Production Manager to undertake the OB rig and fit out. The Production Manager appoints a lighting and power contractor who provides power to all of the broadcaster's functions. Acting as a CDM designer and contractor, the contractor is responsible for managing the electrical system.  

Arrangements for the de-rig are the same as the build and rig.

The Production Manager has prepared a simple construction phase plan, detailing the key arrangements for managing the work.

An example of a construction phase plan for this scenario is available.

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Updated 2022-11-01