Is this safe?

itsyaboi

New Member
Hi there, hopefully this is a good place to post. Wasn't really sure where to get professional advice.

I started at a convention center not to long ago. In the beginning we'd build some baby truss box arches 12x12 occasionally. None of us have any rigging experience, but it only seemed a little sketch having 6 of us tip this thing over and walk it back to drop it.

With a new purchase we tend to be frequently building a box arch 35w x 25h. To do this we build 2 25ft side sticks and then push those up. Then we build the 34ft wide peice, balance it on a scissor lift, raise it up then move the sides in place. Then use another lift to bolt it in. To lower we do it all in reverse.

Then we just push this thing around the room where ever we need it to be. (the truss base is 2x2 plate so it slides on carpet)

I frequently find loose bolts and have suggested we get a torque wrench to verify the bolts are tight, especially with us pushing this thing around the room.

Is this an OK way of doing it? It always feels sketchy having someone crouched down in the lift hoping we balanced the bar correctly so it won't fall off.
 
I'm not a pro rigger. But the fact that you don't have a pro rigger leading your crew and checking your work is very concerning to me. It doesn't really matter what you are doing or how safe you try to be doing it. You are guessing about both what is the safe installation process and what safe completed work looks like. If nobody on the team truly KNOWS (not guesses) what the safe way to do something is or what safe looks like when the job is complete.... How can any of the work be safe? To me, the fact that you are asking the question, is your answer. Worse, if somebody gets hurt, you will be held responsible. I suggest you immediately take up this topic with a supervisor in writing as that directs the liability away from you and depending on the answer you should consider working somewhere else. If your employer take risks on this, what else do the take risks on?

Also I want to point out that you may find people willing to answer you in other internet locations, but no pro rigger worth your listening to is going to risk their reputation and a lawsuit by going on the internet and declaring something safe that they have not seen with their own eyes. Anyone who says, "yeah that's fine" is not someone you want to listen to. If somebody does gets hurt, by declaring what you are doing to be safe, the rigger becomes partially responsible in the lawsuit. No rigger worth listening to is going to take the risk. This is part of the reason that we carefully moderate rigging and other potentially hazardous topics here on controlbooth. We don't allow, "oh yeah, just slap some zip ties and duct tape on it, and it's perfectly safe" sorts of posts to remain on the site for a reason.

Turning on the bat signal for comment by our resident professional riggers: @egilson1 and @What Rigger?
 
I'm not a pro rigger. But the fact that you don't have a pro rigger leading your crew and checking your work is very concerning to me. It doesn't really matter what you are doing or how safe you try to be doing it. You are guessing about both what is the safe installation process and what safe completed work looks like. If nobody on the team truly KNOWS (not guesses) what the safe way to do something is or what safe looks like when the job is complete.... How can any of the work be safe? To me, the fact that you are asking the question, is your answer. Worse, if somebody gets hurt, you will be held responsible. I suggest you immediately take up this topic with a supervisor in writing as that directs the liability away from you and depending on the answer you should consider working somewhere else. If your employer take risks on this, what else do the take risks on?

Also I want to point out that you may find people willing to answer you in other internet locations, but no pro rigger worth your listening to is going to risk their reputation and a lawsuit by going on the internet and declaring something safe that they have not seen with their own eyes. Anyone who says, "yeah that's fine" is not someone you want to listen to. If somebody does gets hurt, by declaring what you are doing to be safe, the rigger becomes partially responsible in the lawsuit. No rigger worth listening to is going to take the risk. This is part of the reason that we carefully moderate rigging and other potentially hazardous topics here on controlbooth. We don't allow, "oh yeah, just slap some zip ties and duct tape on it, and it's perfectly safe" sorts of posts to remain on the site for a reason.

Turning on the bat signal for comment by our resident professional riggers: @egilson1 and @What Rigger?

Thanks for your reply. I totally agree and the rest of the AV team does as well. We all think we're not qualified to be doing rigging work with 0 training. It's a matter of time before someone gets hurt and I just don't think management cares too much. Definitely think it's time to get a paper trail of our complaints of the lack of saftey.

I just wanted to post something and get some other inputs because I'm new to the professional industry and don't know what common practice is in covention centers.
 
You need to stop building this goalpost in this manner, and with this hardware.

First, a 25’ tall goalpost on 2’ bases only needs 14lbs at the top of it to be knocked over. This structure is VERY dangerous and will eventually fall over and hurt/kill someone.

Second, moving this goalpost by sliding it on the bases not only increases the chance of it toppling, but also will damage the truss, particularly the truss corners.

Third, lifting a 34’ section of truss weighting roughly 200lbs with considerable cantilever on a scissor lift is a violation of OSHA law. And dangerous too.

Point being, a qualified person needs to actually design the system with an appropriate base/foot print, and as you mention the team needs to be trained in the proper manner to assemble the structure.

There is a lot of good training options, and I of course will plug myself as one of those options. I do on site training all over the world.

 
You need to stop building this goalpost in this manner, and with this hardware.

First, a 25’ tall goalpost on 2’ bases only needs 14lbs at the top of it to be knocked over. This structure is VERY dangerous and will eventually fall over and hurt/kill someone.

Second, moving this goalpost by sliding it on the bases not only increases the chance of it toppling, but also will damage the truss, particularly the truss corners.

Third, lifting a 34’ section of truss weighting roughly 200lbs with considerable cantilever on a scissor lift is a violation of OSHA law. And dangerous too.

Point being, a qualified person needs to actually design the system with an appropriate base/foot print, and as you mention the team needs to be trained in the proper manner to assemble the structure.

There is a lot of good training options, and I of course will plug myself as one of those options. I do on site training all over the world.

@egilson1 aka Ethan Gilson IS a real deal Rigger. He knows his rigging math, he knows his OSHA code, his safety violations, his Gene lift regulations, etc... His training classes are excellent. If I was you, bringing in his company ERS would be my top choice as it would be the complete package solution. They could design and install a system for you to set this gear up safely, it would meets all codes, and he could train your staff to do this safely. I'm a big fan of Ethan and his company ERS as he's a friend, a long time supporter and contributor on Controlbooth, and I know he never cuts corners on safety.

A lower key option would be to bring in someone local to do an inspection and start the conversation. I know an ETCP certified rigger who works out of Ellensburg. He does a lot of rigging inspection, minor repairs, and training work throughout Eastern Washington, so he's not too far away. Having him come do an inspection and training might be a good first start for you. That said, it sounds to me like the inspection would result in him saying, you do not have a safe way to do this, you need to bring in a company like Ethan's to design and install a system which will allow for this to be done safely. So starting with ERS would probably be the most complete solution.
 
Just the base plate dimensions (and the fact we seem to be talking about only base plates) was all I needed to hear. As is typical, @egilson1 is correct and got here before I could, thankfully. @itsyaboi you're correct to feel sketched out by this whole thing. It's beyond shady, it really is just a matter of time before there's any number of failures that will happen. Definitely encourage you to follow up with Ethan's offer to point you toward training.
 
I don’t know what convention center you are at but it must be off the beaten path cause there is no way what you said would fly at our convention center ever. The only thing that goes up in a lift is a person and their tools. You need to tell whoever is in charge this. Also I have no idea how y’all are pushing a 25 tall by 35 wide four post and it hasn’t lost a leg that in itself is a feat, not a good one.
 
If you have to ask a public forum "is this safe?" you have probably answered the question already. When in doubt call it out. Get some professional help with this one, do a risk assessment or a safe work method statement or what ever documentation you use in your area and then put it back on the management. If they get nasty, walk away. No one needs to go home injured or worse from bad work practices.
 
Ive only been in the trade show realm for a year now, but I've heard some stories about convention center riggers. One of our Senior PM's told me he's shocked every time a show goes up without somebody getting killed by show riggers. I've been onsite for one install and saw a three bleary-eyed riggers roll up to a booth in their golf cart, ask the install lead what they needed to hang and just kinda wing it. Ironic, because we have to send a rigging plan to the venue weeks ahead of time. Then for another one of our booths they said there was no way they could build a few bridles so we had to pay for a chain motor for every corner of the hanging sign. :mad:

Convention centers feel like the wild west
 
Ive only been in the trade show realm for a year now, but I've heard some stories about convention center riggers. One of our Senior PM's told me he's shocked every time a show goes up without somebody getting killed by show riggers. I've been onsite for one install and saw a three bleary-eyed riggers roll up to a booth in their golf cart, ask the install lead what they needed to hang and just kinda wing it. Ironic, because we have to send a rigging plan to the venue weeks ahead of time. Then for another one of our booths they said there was no way they could build a few bridles so we had to pay for a chain motor for every corner of the hanging sign. :mad:

Convention centers feel like the wild west
I will say if you come to Phoenix we aren’t. We do require rigs submitted early as possible and if you do it last minute you will have to pay for it and I will have to pull the truss so submit early please 🤓.
 

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