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Genie Safety?

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by thebikingtechie, Oct 1, 2006.

  1. thebikingtechie

    thebikingtechie Active Member

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    This summer I had a lighting internship in a local theater. Whenever we hung lights in large quantities we would get out the Genie lift. To save time the would have someone go up in the genie and then once they were up to the right height someone on the ground would remove the outriggers and push them around to different spots to hang lights. When a light was needed someone on the ground would clip it on to a rope that would be pulled up by the person in the basket. I am wondering if this is common procedure or if it was just this one theater. I was thinkng that if you left the out riggers in but not screw them down it might be a little safer. This would definitley save time and in my school's theater.
    Thanks
     
  2. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I usually leave the outriggers almost screwed down, and then I am able to move it without cranking the outriggers every time. I would never go up in the genie without the legs in. But I do leave them only almost screwed down so that it is easier to move. But about the lights, I just clamp a few to the safety bars of the genie (and safety cable them), and then take them up. I come back down when I need more to hang.
     
  3. RiffRaff54

    RiffRaff54 Member

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    at my theatre i go up in the genie then someone on the ground unscrews the outriggers enough to push me around. the genie at my college doesn't even have outriggers.

    while on the subject of genie safty, who wears a harness when they go up in one?
     
  4. sound_nerd

    sound_nerd Active Member

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    It's a requirement to wear a harness when you're in a Genie (or any manlift/scissor lift) here in Canada.
     
  5. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    That would never even be considered at either of my schools. To move it you always have to come down, take the outriggers off and move it, put them back in, screw them down and go back up. We used to just come down, unscrew the outriggers abit and slide it (while on the ground) but the little pins inside the outriggers got distroyed from the forces of being bounced arround across the floor and required expensive repairs. I do belive it is completely against the genie maual to move the genie at all while it is extended, let alone without outrigers out. If you must move while up, get something like a sicisor lift that is designed to move while up.
     
  6. tenor_singer

    tenor_singer Active Member

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    Personally... I am unwilling to risk injury to save myself 2 minutes of time unscrewing outriggers. I think people should rethink bypassing safety features. It simply isn't worth it.
     
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    About the harness thing... I look at it in two different ways... if i fall out of the basket I want that harness there to keep me from falling 30', but on the other side.. if for some reason the lift were to fall over I am now stuck in that basket. I know that in scisors lifts and boom lifts that you have to wear a harness, but I have heard and read two different things about vertical lifts. As far as moving the lift while I am up in it, every theatre I have worked in moves the lift with the lift up. The genie in one of the spaces has 4 12" casters attached to it and small outrigers that make it very easy to move. In newer lifts with safetys that keep the lift from moving without outrigers in I usuall do the get to trim and pull the riggers routine. I am a huge fan of scisor lifts at focus. A few words of safety is that I prefer to have the people moving the lift to have hard hats on incase a stray gel frame comes down.
     
  8. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    As a Genie dealer I will tell you the outriggers must be in place and under weight for safe operation.

    As a lighting guy we came up with a great "get-a-round" You can buy 3 wheeled casters for pianos, they are the perfect size for the outrigger pads to land on. This way your outriggers can be in place and under weight and still roll.
     
  9. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    Aha! That is a great idea. I'll have to remember that one.
     
  10. fosstech

    fosstech Active Member

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    We have three Genies here, two use outriggers, and the third one (bigger than the other two) has a really heavy base that drops down a few inches so the foot pads on each corner contact the ground. When you want to move it, just pump the foot pedal a few times which will hydraulically lift the weight/feet and transfer the entire load to the wheels. It's a lot easier and quicker to move around when somebody's on it.

    For the Genies with the outriggers, we just loosen the outriggers a little, and push it around. We always make sure that the person on the lift knows when we're pushing them and where.

    We don't use safety harnesses, at least when working in our black box. It's not really high enough to warrant using them, and the Genies aren't extended enough to risk a tip over.
     
  11. jbeutt

    jbeutt Active Member

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    This a seriously incorrect practice. Although this is common, it it entirely unsafe and unprofessional. Basic physics will tell you this is a terrible idea and should NEVER be attempted by ANYONE. It's the job of an ME, TD or any professional to plan their time in a way that allows for safe working procedures. Not too long ago, a union worker here in SF was being pushed in a genie lift which fell and paralyzed him. Beforehand, I'm certain he thought it was worth the time saved. Probably not afterwards.

    The outriggers and Genie lift system is designed for stationary use only. It's foolish and unprofessional to use it otherwise. Again, it's your job to plan a hang giving appropriate consideration to safety.

    Do the math and see that given the right accelleration from the bottom, and too much top loading, the lift can easily topple. It might not even be user error, but a bump in the ground or someone on top being snagged on a fixture.

    I don't for a second think this will stop anyone from doing this, but it's an important lesson to learn in this industry not to be too proud to be safe. We work with dangerous equipment and we should realize we as well as others are fallable, so we should take every precaution possible. You may trust yourself with equipment like this, but why neccessarily trust the guys on the ground, ESPECIALLY in an educational environment.

    Furthermore, this being a public forum, I think it's innappropriate for people to advise improper handling of equipment like this. It's really upsetting to hear about things like this. If you want to go quickly, there ARE Genie scissor lifts and boom lifts that can move in the air. USE THEM!
     
    Radman, Peter and Chris15 like this.
  12. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    OK, Is it safe no.

    Is it common practice yes.

    Should you do it ... nope.

    Do most people do it ... yes.

    So the real question at hand is full body harness are required by all manufactures no matter where you live. But most people do not, why because its kinda silly. But it is really up to your boss weither or not you have to wear them.

    JH
     
  13. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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  14. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Nope oshas basicaly says the most stringent rules are applicable. Weither it is state or provincial law or even the manufactorers manual which ever is most stringent is the one you must follow.

    JH
     
  15. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    You should be wearing a work positioning harness in the bucket of a lift, not a fall arrest harness. If you fall out of the bucket and the harness catches you your entire weight and their force of your fall will cause the lift to tip over. The work positioning harness keeps you from getting in a position from which you could fall.
     
  16. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Work belts, or work postion harness are acctualy no longer legal atleast in canada.

    JH
     
  17. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hard hats, safety person on the ground who's only job is to keep people away and ensure the lift does not operate unsafely or run over things, fall protection harnesses properly sized for the person wearing it, lanyards that are designed for the length of fall, specific training for the lift operated etc. Yep that's the conditions I work under. Way back when, yea it was expediant and normal. Much less I remember a reading something about a OSHA thing saying at fall protection was not necessary for some types of lift. That's all the simple and lazy and the norm is to use full protection and safety standards.


    Do it properly or go home once implemented as policy goes a long way towards correcting what one does wrong but has excuses for, or expediant policies that could cost lives. Our shop foremen is a big safety person, amazing how fast things get turned around once one person puts his foot down in setting policy based upon real safety guidelines as opposed to what worked in the past. That's in part his job, he would not be doing it if he followed the norm in what was expediant.
     
  18. jwl868

    jwl868 Active Member

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    This thread mixes colloquial and technical terms. Genie makes several different products for work at heights. However, the “Genie” at one facility may not be the “Genie” at another facility. And this distinction is crucial in these discussions because in the US, the federal OSHA regulations for a scissors lift are different from those for just about every other type of lift, for example, the “bucket” used by electrical utility workers.

    Scissors lifts are regulated under the OSHA scaffolding standards. (See end of this paragraph.) More often than not, a scissors lift is equipped with railing that meets the fall protection standards in OSHA. Because of this, additional fall protection is not required. The placement of the lift relative to the work may be a factor in deciding if other protection should be used. http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=24191

    But the original post is about moving an extended and occupied lift (that I am assuming to be a scissors lift), and per US OSHA 29 CFR 1926.452 (w)(6), (somewhat surprisingly) this is permitted only if all five conditions (listed below) are met. Notwithstanding this, some of the reasons that such movement should not be done are noted by jbeutt, above.

    http://www.osha.gov/
    From 29 CFR 1926:
    1926.452(w)(6)
    Employees shall not be allowed to ride on scaffolds unless the following conditions exist:
    1926.452(w)(6)(i) The surface on which the scaffold is being moved is within 3 degrees of level, and free of pits, holes, and obstructions;
    1926.452(w)(6)(ii) The height to base width ratio of the scaffold during movement is two to one or less, unless the scaffold is designed and constructed to meet or exceed nationally recognized stability test requirements such as those listed in paragraph (x) of Appendix A to this subpart (ANSI/SIA A92.5 and A92.6);
    1926.452(w)(6)(iii) Outrigger frames, when used, are installed on both sides of the scaffold;
    1926.452(w)(6)(iv) When power systems are used, the propelling force is applied directly to the wheels, and does not produce a speed in excess of 1 foot per second (.3 mps); and
    1926.452(w)(6)(v) No employee is on any part of the scaffold which extends outward beyond the wheels, casters, or other supports.

    For a given lift, the stability test in item (ii) can only be demonstrated with the some evidence from the manufacturer, probably a decal on the equipment or a statement in the operator’s manual. Otherwise, it would appear that the lift is just about down anyway to meet that height width ratio.

    I’m not sure about pulling items up with a rope, at least from a regulatory point of view. To do so would require reaching over the railing. My gut feeling is that this action could apply a tipping force to the lift so some caution is required (If anyone can cite one way or the other, I’d appreciate it.). While a lightweight object could be pulled up with no ill-effect, heavier loads could create a problem.

    Joe
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2006
  19. disc2slick

    disc2slick Active Member

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    I'd just like to toss in my two cents on the subject and say that moving a genie with a person in the bucket and the bucket at is NOT an acceptable practice. Most people in the industry can probably tell you some horror story about this 'common practice' going wrong (I remember hearing one not too long ago that took place up here in Boston). It's a very easy thing to say "that won't happen to me" just like car crashes or other serious misfortunes, but it very well can happen to you, or to someone on your crew in the bucket you are pushing around. My advice would be to follow the standards described in the user's manual that comes with any piece of equipment. If you are asked to do something that violates it, refuse. it's easier to get a new job than a new spine.

    -Dan
     
  20. jonhirsh

    jonhirsh Active Member

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    Um no the orginal poster was referning to an one man arial work platform commonly know as an single man lift.
    and it is not ok to move it under any conditions while a person is in the bucket. A scisor lift is something entirely differnt they are designed to be driven by motor while in the air. They hold more then one person as well. Generaly scissor lifts do not have out riggers, the gas/ propane models some times do but this is a construction thing.

    But people do and always will. Does that make it right ... thats for you to decide for your self.

    jh
     

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