Part 7. Inspection of Rigging Systems
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229 Inspection of Rigging Systems Keep the Equipment in Safe Working Order One of the questions asked after an accident is whether the rigging equipment has been inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Rigging equipment is machinery and, as such, requires care and maintenance. Because it suspends objects over the heads of people, it poses a high degree of risk to life and limb. Failure to care for rigging equipment is negligent behavior. Performing regular inspections and correcting problems as they occur are required procedures to ensure the safety of everyone working on the stage or under any suspended object. Frequency of Inspection How often you should inspect the rigging depends on the usage and degree of risk it poses. Part 7 7.01 7.02 230 A. Daily Every time you use a line set, be aware of anything that sounds, feels, or smells out of the ordinary. As Wally Blount said when teaching classes on chain hoists for Columbus McKinnon, “If it looks bad, if it sounds bad, it is bad.” Always investigate a strange noise, feel, or smell to find out what is causing the problem. Then, if necessary, immediately repair it, or take the line set out of service. The problem may require canceling a performance, which can be a tough decision to make. Remember, the show does not have to go on. No performance is so important that a performer, crew member, or audience member be put at risk. If the rigging equipment is properly maintained, canceling a performance because of unsafe rigging should never need to happen. B. Scheduled Thorough inspections must be performed on a regular basis to find any worn parts or potential problems, and repairs should be done before parts break, pose a risk, or endanger a person. The more the rigging system is used, the more frequently the equipment needs to be inspected. 1. Every rigging system, regardless of number of performances , should have a thorough inspection at least once a year. 2. Equipment in busy roadhouses—those with several hundred performances a year—should be inspected more frequently . This is especially true if line sets have been taken out for a show and reinstalled. When line sets are hurriedly restored early in the morning after an all-night load-out, it is very common to miss something. Before the next show is loaded in, carefully inspect every restored set from arbor to batten. 3. Long-running shows with heavy rigging use require more frequent inspection. Thoroughly inspect a line set at least every 300 cycles. The number of cycles is the number of times the line set is used, not the number of performances. If a blackout curtain is run in and out 8 times during a performance, then the line set should be inspected every 38 performances. 4. Flying performers poses a much-higher degree of risk than almost any other type of flying. The entire flying-rig should be inspected before every performance. 231 Preparation To inspect the rigging efficiently and thoroughly, take some time to prepare. It is important to have a guide to the inspection, a record of the inspection, and a record of any repairs that need to be made. Here are three documents that will help with the inspection process. A. Rail Log Memories fade, and people change jobs. The rigging equipment remains in the theatre, but no one can remember what was done when. A rail log is a record of anything and everything that happens to the rigging system. A simple but effective way to create a rail log is to use a looseleaf notebook. On the first page, list the manufacturer, installer, and their contact information. Include the date that the equipment was installed. Using a separate sheet of paper for each line set, list every problem, repair, and component replacement that has affected that line set. Set up a separate section to list every inspection of the equipment. List the dates of the inspections and the names of the people conducting them. The sheets can be prepared on a computer, but printing out hard copies to put in a binder makes them more accessible to the entire rigging crew. (The other advantage of paper records is that they do not crash.) B. Repair List As you inspect, create a list of the items requiring repair or replacement . Create a second list of those items not sufficiently worn to require immediate replacement but that bear watching. As items are...


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