Social distancing devices given to BBC staff to ensure they follow Covid protocols are being discarded due to safety concerns and noise complaints.
Staff members at the corporation were given the devices in January and were told the technology would alert them if they are less than two metres apart from someone else. The devices were designed to be worn around the neck or in the pocket and were given to journalists working on key news programmes in the corporations offices.
The devices use technology which transmits wireless signals and they buzz if devices are less than two metres apart. The devices were handed out at office building entrances from January this year. However, sources have told the Guardian that the devices are being discarded by staff over safety concerns and noise complaints.
One source told the newspaper that a device ‘started smoking’ and had to be withdrawn from use, adding: ‘If they can’t handle daily use and start setting on fire or overheating, then they shouldn’t be here.’ Another source claimed that they made too much noise they got in the way of ‘making TV’ and so were not used.
The source said: ‘They get in the way of making TV … they’re so noisy, so no one used them.’ A BBC spokesperson acknowledged that there was a problem with one device and said the BBC was in talks with the manufacturer.