Production Services Ireland has run its latest round of 3 x 2-day Rigging Awareness Training courses, which were completely sold out. The courses were held at PSI's Belfast HQ, where an area of the warehouse has been designated, complete with a full training truss structure set up.
Courses were limited to 8 people per session, although such was the demand that 10 were accommodated on the final course. The cross section of attendees represented all areas of the industry and included venue personnel, freelancers and sound, lighting & staging rental companies. Three technicians from BBC Northern Ireland were there along with 2 from University College Dublin.
Freelancer Phil McVeigh used the course as an invaluable all round 'primer' opportunity before going on to successfully complete his National Rigging Certificate (NRC) Level 2 in the UK the following week.
The courses were instructed by PSI's rigging specialist Sean Pagel, and have been designed to suit all experience levels, from novices to seasoned professionals. It's become apparent that getting a balanced mix of abilities adds to the dynamics and learning capacity of all on the course, and is a great chance to cross reference experiences.
PSI's courses are designed to give everyone who has any contact with rigging, its practical applications and its concepts a better understanding of all aspects of the discipline, from the actual rigging hardware - shackles, motors, trusses, etc - to its correct and safe working practices.
At the end of each day, attendees took an examination to ensure they had fully understood all the topics covered.
Says Pagel, "For years the importance of solid rigging awareness when delivering events has been overlooked. Equipment has often been used in the wrong applications or people have used incorrect PPE or working procedures when dealing with rigging issues. We are not aiming to teach people how to become 'a rigger' in 2 days, but anyone working in environments where rigging is a core element needs to know what's happening around them".
This is why the course offers something for all skill levels. Technicians working solely on the ground should need to be aware of what's happening overhead; venue staff need to be sure that any rigging is carried out properly and safely by qualified personnel and professional riggers who are responsible for the safe installation of the equipment need to know that people understand what their job entails ... and so does everyone else involved in between these areas!
The course has an even split between 'classroom style' training, and practical 'hands-on' sessions. Modules covered in the programme include regulations; ACoPs and Standards; PPE options and their applications; an introduction to the PLASA NRC Scheme; hardware application including baskets, bridles, etc.; trussing and hoists; motor anatomy; good and bad practices and practical working.
"The levels of interest were extremely high," comments Pagel, adding that it was a "real pleasure" to teach those who were listening, learning and asking lots of intelligent and relevant questions. "We had some serious in-depth Q&A sessions during each course, lots of feedback and all the days proved to be long and intense as everyone was so hungry for knowledge".
PSI will be running more Rigging Awareness Courses later in the year, check www.productionireland.com for announcements and details.
For more press info on Production Services Ireland, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679 or +44 (0)7831 329888 or Email [email protected]'. Call PSI direct on +44 (0)2890 814858 or check www.productionireland.com