Monday Musings: Safety First

rigging with Jonathan Deull_crop.jpg
A Jonathan Deull aerial rigging class

No matter how careful people think they are being, accidents happen. And no matter how many safety regulations are put into place, accidents still happen. I saw an interesting post on Facebook the other day about the issue of “Relentless Safety” and how to make sure that all rules make sense.

“There are so many opportunities to damage our credibility as safety professionals when we go overboard. We need to keep it simple, be practical, and make sure we don't devalue our mission with our policies. How do you accomplish that in your organization?” asks Jason Maldonado, author of the book, A Practical Guide to the Safety Profession: The Relentless Pursuit.

In the meantime, at LDI2019, there are three two-day rigging courses that strive to help make the rigger’s environment a safer one:

Eric Rouse, Live Design’s thought leader of the week, teaches a new course “Fall Protection and Rescue Planning for Technicians and Venues,” on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 19 & 20: This class looks at fall arrest from the OSHA perspective to see where the rules we follow come from; the equipment used in fall arrest from the perspective of the technician and the venue they are working in; proper gear inspection and documentation; templates that can be used to implement fall protection and rescue plans. OSHA requires this documentation for anyone working with fall arrest. Attendees will leave the course with a solid understanding of the OSHA codes and the materials necessary to design and implement venue-specific fall arrest and rescue plans.

Ed Leahy of Chicago Flyhouse has taken over the Entertainment Rigging Fundamentals class to be held on Wednesday and Thursday, November 20 & 21: This two-day survey of rigging covers the essentials of entertainment rigging for theatres, concert halls, studios, churches, and schools. Topics include the forces that we deal with in the rigging world, and the gear that we use to fight them, as well as proper ways to handle various scenarios, and open up the floor to discussions of how you do it. What are WLL and SWL? What do they have to do with the breaking strength and what does the breaking strength have to do with safety factor? What is the right way to terminate aircraft cable? Do you really need to know 30 different knots? Get intimate with a lot of the math behind what we do. This is a great course for folks just getting into rigging and for those preparing for the ETCP exam or for those needing renewal credit.

Jonathan Deull leads an intermediate/advanced class in Rigging for Aerial Acrobatics and Performer Flying on Wednesday and Thursday, November 20 & 21, offsite at Entertainment Production Services. This is not an introductory entertainment-rigging course. Prior rigging knowledge and experience are strongly recommended. This workshop will focus on principles and practices of rigging for circus, acrobatics, and theatrical performer flying. It will explore many typical and unusual scenarios, and provide access to an array of skills and techniques for safe and effective performance rigging. Day one will focus on manual systems, and day two will look at automated systems. Topics to be explored include dynamic loads and forces, strength and properties of materials and hardware, design factors and determination of allowable loads, use of non-rated and invented apparatus, risk assessment and risk management, inspection and retirement protocols, emergency planning, touring considerations, and rigging math. Fundamentally, acrobatic rigging will be treated as an extreme dynamic application of the principles and practices underlying all good entertainment rigging, both arena and theatrical.

And a good resource for all things safety is the Event Safety Alliance, which you can support by making a donation in their name on the LDI2019 registration page, as LDI supports worthy industry organizations!

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