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Truss Collapse in Las Vegas.

Discussion in 'News' started by wolf825, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    NEWS....
    Truss in Las Vegas collapsed today at an industrial show set up. It was ground supported on self-climbers, without bases or outriggers tho (DOH!!!).

    No other news at this time...

    Here is the link to see the pics of the mess...hopefully no one was killed or hurt.

    http://www.roadie.net/vegastruss.htm


    Be safe folks..safety is the BIGGEST issue you should always be concerned about.

    -wolf
     
  2. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    OH MY GOD, ALL OF THOSE EXPENSIVE LIGHTS, WRECKED, OH, THAT HURTS!!!!

    I would be able to do so much stuff with just one moving light, let alone how ever many were ruined in the colaps!!!

    Whenever I go to the mall (The Palisides Center, if anyone knows it) and see all of there expensive moving lights just off, sitting there, its an insult to me... I have 12, and soon to get 48 more, none of them moving.... OUTCH...

    I agree thou. I hope no one was hurt. Lights can be replaced, lives can't.

    EVERYONE MAKE SURE TO BE SAFE OUT THERE
     
  3. digitaltec

    digitaltec Active Member

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    Thats funny that this happened on the same day I had an 8 hour safety course on rigging. Guys, (and girls) take a error like this and learn from it. This could have been alot worse. Always use caution and your best judgement when coming to anything relating to safety. For those of you who are in HS or are working on multi-million doller shows, the rules still go the same. In this buisness, your actions not only effect you but everyone around you. If you were a rigger and only put 3 chain motors on a speaker stack rather then 4 and it came crashing down, what are you going to say, "opps". Listen to your instructors when they mention safety procedures, they are not only to protect you but to protect everone around you. I dont think ship or wolf or any of the other pros on controlbooth.com would say im wrong on this. This industry can be alot of fun but when it comes to special f/x and rigging, you DONT JOKE AROUND, the equipment can be replaced, not lives.
     
  4. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hey there---you're not wrong you are RIGHT ON. Don't know what gave you the idea otherwise or that I/we would say different--you are right on the money and a credit to the industry. Very Well Said!! To add to your comment, Safety is NEVER a compromise on ANY show in ANY area no matter the client or what the client want$$--if it compromises safety--do NOT do it. I've told clients to their face they cannot have something a certain way cause it is unsafe--and offered them compromises, and I stand by my judgement and know a hundred others who would agree with me about a safety issue if I bring it to light. I've turned down jobs cause a client will not budge on what they want--and when I won't do it, folks know if I won't do it--there's a BIG reason. Safety is a issue every time you move on a show scene--from clear walk ways to fire exits not being blocked to traffic moving and people or things being in the way. You are constantly looking for this and that making sure its clear and looking ahead to what needs to be clear or safe. People who go to shows TRUST that you were professional enough and had your chops to put everything in or up in the air rigged as safe as possible, and nothing less or was compromised. Just cause something is free-standing on the ground does not mean it does not have to be safe or ground secured. Its a complete disservice and cut to our profession to those who pay to see shows, and to those who pay US to be professionals to do any less then our best and thensome when it comes to safe stage, show and rigging practices and service IMO. Look at GReat White...look at this show--all because someone did NOT consider safety issues that were blatently there and obvious, or looked away when they shouldn't have. Not using anchor plates or legs for self climbers or uprights and ground support....thats the most basic no-no IMO..it should have been caught--I don't care how many legs you have on a ground support--you cannot torque or overstress points or beams in a way they were not designed for, whether they are on the ground or in the air.

    Keep up the great comments Digitaltec...

    -wolf
     
  5. TechnicalDirector3-W

    TechnicalDirector3-W Member

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    That is one big mess, that teaches you the lesson that if you do not know what you are doing GET HELP :!: SAFETY FIRST :!: ALWAYS CHECK and DOUBLE CHECK :!:
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    what are you going to say, "opps". Listen to your instructors when they mention safety procedures, they are not only to protect you but to protect everone around you. I dont think ship or wolf or any of the other pros on controlbooth.com would say im wrong on this. This industry can be alot of fun but when it comes to special f/x and rigging, you DONT JOKE AROUND, the equipment can be replaced, not lives.
    _________________
    Chris Ubinger

    I would say your advice is pro, or at least as pro as any of us you cite would advise except it’s also an experience, training and math type thing in addition to the no kidding with what can kill. I know theater rigging. Not as well as many in the industry, but enough I’m at least qualified as a journeyman at doing so I would assume. On the other hand, I have a 1.1/2" thick photo copy from the Rigging Seminars Manual. Most of it is fairly understandable, but a lot of it gets into higher math and calculations on stuff I don’t know about. Until I understand all about it, I would never consider myself more than a fly system rigger. I could not go into a convention center and put my name upon a hung point. There is some serious stuff to master above what a fly person event rigger has to consider. I know some really smart real riggers out there. They know what they are doing and I would trust my life under them. But what about with something new like this ground support system that’s only about two years in the industry?

    Safety is NEVER a compromise on ANY show in ANY area no matter the client or what the client want$$”

    I’m fortunate in that I don’t do shows anymore. If it comes to my attention such as shackles installed upside down, it’s still in the shop and I not only have the trust to have my concerns taken seriously, but those concerns will be checked out and verified by others. In the shop it’s easy to correct, anyone with open eyes can see something if they have the guts to ask about it. Problem is there is too frequently no safety net between a designer and Master Rigger when the show is still on paper to consult with much less others seeing and questioning what’s seen. Master Riggers for this type of gear should be shop staff positions much less like TD’s are for theater places but such positions like riggers certificates are not the norm yet. TD’s for theater outside the college level also don’t really require any official training. Technology and ideas for cool things have well surpassed the abilities of those designing with the tech it would seem to be a rising concern.

    It concerned me today that a show designer in designing a floor flange for some truss did not know what grade of alloy steel bolt we use for truss bolts, much less that flat head screws were measured from end to end but socket head cap screws were measured under the head, but I made sure he knew by the time I was done with him. Question is did my telling him somewhere between a grade 8 and grade 10 in 5/8" mean anything to him? I physically know what it takes to break a 5/16" lag bolt, but can I identify with what more it would take to snap a ½" grade 8 hex bolt verses a alloy grade 8 to 10 bolt in 5/8"? It would take me much of the night to do the math so what hope would someone without access to the math much less that did not know the differences between bolts have for comprehending the difference?

    This is common to very many designers and frightening. Most designers know what they are doing on the whole I would say, but what’s separating those that do and do not from doing the same job? Well beyond how many nine light mole lights you can cantilever off a truss by way of 9' 1.1/2 Schedule 40 pipe - a problem I was brought into at one point after it bent, such similar designers in either not knowing what they were doing, or not verifying what they should have designed the system that crashed. Designers often are more art and less tech which is fine, but when you get to this “Entertainment”/convention scale, you no longer have a Theater T.D. to check the designers math and verify it can be done safely. This is possibly part of the problem. Sure most designers have been doing this stuff for years, but who knows the engineering ability of X designer that’s doing engineering on this or any specific truss? Do computer programs do the math for you sufficiently enough in how many banners you can hang off a truss - given there is such a program? Normally it’s more a question of OK, I can hang X pounds off this many sections of this size as the general rule of thumb from what I understand.

    Specific to the truss ground support system that crashed, we have a master rigger/TD as it were that is the only person allowed to use the ground support systems we also own. His training is very good from 20+ years in the industry and Tomcat School but it’s still a question at some point between what he and the designers understand about it can do verses what’s attempted. In addition to that, the entire staff had a full day seminar on working with this specific ground support gear to assist in it’s install. Did the company with the crash invest such time with the entire crew on this show much less send out a Master Rigger specifically trained with it? How many on site/on call riggers get such training in this type of gear? IATSE is good for keeping it’s members trained but had the local not had specific training in this system would that prevent any of them from installing it? Much less while installing it without training specific to it, could any one person really hope to speak up about their concerns about it without knowing what they were doing? That would seem to be a question of who is more qualified to use the system - local labor or the staff that owns the gear. Lots of questions, lots of tech and lots of danger out there to this and other gear. Anyone that assumes they can do something that’s difficult in rigging or platforming should review these pictures and ask yourself about the variables. Being a TD used to scare the heck out of me, there is stuff I would not approve doing because it was beyond my ability to ensure safety on. Other stuff I checked with other TD’s to verify on. That said, even having checked the math on the rigging part, once I split a ceiling joist supporting a snow loaded roof by being stupid and young but still a TD. Simple lever action. 1/4" plate 1'x4' long torqued against a 2x12 it was bolted to. Have reverence for calling yourself a TD because there is a lot of stuff to know.

    But back to problems with new gear:
    Just sent out a tour with meat rack size truss carts housing five to six lamp bars per truss section. This means something like 36 PAR cans in a 8'x8'x30" truss section. Anyone around here ever rig such a large truss section before? It’s a bit more involved than pre-rig much less swing wing truss at this point. We are talking about combining lamp bar carts with truss, bolting them together and flying them. I saw them flown from the less strong ceiling at the shop and was concerned. This is a tour that’s going all over the country in different venus. Lots of differing abilities of on site riggers much less places it will be installed. That’s a huge responsibility on the part of the designer/in this case engineer or TD to ensure such truss carts won’t be tomorrow’s photos. Not something I would feel safe in saying I can do.

    If on site, everyone has the right and responsibility to speak up to the crew chief if something is questionable. It’s not just your job and honor on the line, it’s people’s lives. It would seem none of the crew at this convention thought about what they were doing or spoke up. “Some designer engineered this truss, it must be safe” it would appear are final words to this rig. Those riggers and designers involved in the system should never be allowed to work in this field again until they go back to school and can be certified they know what they are doing. Will it happen, probably not. Most will continue on with their jobs. Others fired will seek positions with other companies doing the same thing. In my opinion, there should not be a lot of openings for gas station attendants in Vegas after this. Everyone’s responsibility, rough thing to say but is it not a valid view point?

    In safety things there is the easy to stand up to and correct - blocked exits, turned off smoke alarms etc. Than there is the hard - stuff like a 16' tall x 40' wide platform section, much less truss. Stuff that we just are not trained enough for but frequently have to figure out and often chance as best we can to make it happen if we are ignorant of what’s required to do it properly. No, I did not do the math on the stage platform discussion, but experience in doing similar engineering and math told me that what I figured for it was given proper application safe to assume in recommending starting figures for the designer/TD. It would take a lot for this type of truss system to collapse, a lot of people were out there picking their nose when it’s components were not questioned. Wolf, did you mention lack of sway braces? Stagecraft was just having a debate about point loads on walkways that’s of interest to all would be tech people that want to do more than just hack stuff together. Lots of the nitty gritty debates about such things there.

    My assistant is baby sitting our own lighting rig at that show right now if I understand the schedule properly - nope it was not us but is was a sister company using the same gear that had the problem. Didn’t even hear about it before I was mailed pictures today with a warning from the big boss of first to watch what the heck we were doing, and second not to be forwarding around the photos due to bad Karma so I won’t. There are other photos like the fork lift that either caused it or had a very near miss. I would like to hear a news report about it. That gear is the exact same stuff to the detail as we have and use, and as opposed to seeing far away pictures from past incidents, this hit home for me in seeing all it’s bits. These photos and those seemingly not published yet are very scary for me - someone that was just this weekend modifying some truss for another display booth. In modifying the truss I had already calculated what I was doing to it verses it’s strength and applied load. I was more worried about training it’s crew chief as to the electrical load and maximum amount of fixtures that could electrically be installed into it’s track lighting. It would be a given I would not accept dinged truss, much less drill ½" NPT holes into structural truss carrying a real load, but even with future and similar projects, my own eyes will give a second check to safety.

    Brian Shipinski
     
  7. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hi Ship,
    You mention the rigging seminars manual--would that be Harry Donavans seminar? FWIW, he has one of the best books (over 700 pages if I remember right) I have ever seen on rigging... While you can never get a complete education or qualification from a book--its full of info that is valuable to know before hand...newbies who want to be riggers should check it out before they become an apprentice...

    Safety is something I get real cranky over...I see pics like these and it bugs me and worries me. One time I thought I lost a freelance job cause my boss was being stupid in a genie lift--very stupid and almost tipped it--and no hands were on the lift to steady it (and no outriggers were there either) and after he nearly tipped it trying to swag cable--front two wheels lifted off the ground and were bouncing around--I freaked out. After seeing this I (this is MY boss mind you and the first time I worked for this company freelance--none of us knew the other) very loudly ordered him down from the lift and proceeded to chew him and the rest of the crew a new one about safety, having spotters and hands on when someone is in the air, how to swag cable on the ground to take the stressess off the lift and the weight etc and how to properly use a manlift. I figured since I was rather blunt and took charge to tell my new boss what to do that I wouldn't be hired again--exact opposite happened..I now get called to see if I am available for his shows. Safety is never a compromise, or a "look cool" or a struggle 'to get this done this way" type of thing. I know some riggers I (and other riggers) won't work with..period..and I know others whom I trust to rig anything and know it was done with full consideration.

    Its odd cause I look at the pics--the type of self-climber being used..and I cannot understand what would convince anyone that without outriggers or plates that it would be safe to operate and use...it just escapes me at how basic a blunder that is. Since you all have a guy who is out in Vegas at the same show--did he mention if anyone was hurt?? I hope no one was...

    -wolf
     
  8. chizle97

    chizle97 Member

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    ill bet the first person they blamed for this feasco is the head tech not the even cordinator.
     
  9. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Have not heard from her but I'm told stagecraft is discussing it. (I'm about two days behind.)
    Something about outriggers not being used and the fork lift pictured or not depending upon your copy of the pics - mine for the most part the same as yours, was used to some how move the entire rig. As I was told today someting about the fork lift moving the rig as if that with this system were safe without the outriggers even considered. Once moved by a fork truck it not only was unstable but the forces placed upon it did the thing in in my understanding so far. I expect I'll read more in the next day or so if I ever get off work at a reasonable time. Anyone interested in a forwarded copy of stagecraft contact me off line.

    Bet the driver was a teamster. Nothing against them but I would not expect any such person to know where to pick up an assembled truss however. Where was the Master rigger much less any rigger given an otherwise safe system to direct or po,poo the idea of moving the lighting rig with a fork truck? Communication.

    Outriggers from what I was told was part of it all but not the reason for the collapse. My initial assumptions on load ratings and the designers for the system was not the failure it would seem unless a lack of safety factor is part.
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    This is just off Lighting Network:

    From: Eric Kennedy (EKLD) Jan-20 10:53 am
    To: Keith Kankovsky (KELITE) (7 of 39)

    12777.7 in reply to 12777.6

    The lead rigger ( whom I have worked with- is a very safety conscious individual- one of the top in town there) fought with the client for 45 minutes. The show floor was concrete/ carpet/ plastic/plywood - he said it's going to fall if we dont put the plates and outriggers on it. The client demanded that it be done without as to not interfere with his set design- "Thats how we did it last year" was the quote. At the clients insistence, they raised it and one leg started to slip out- the forklift came in to try and save it, but the whole thing just went- the description was like Bambi on and ice rink... The lessons are clear to me I hope the client gets to eat the whole thing- it's his fault.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Edited 1/20/2004 1:54:47 PM ET by Eric Kennedy (EKLD)
     
  11. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Interesting...at the point the client decides to forgo safety and will not budge or move on the safety issue, is the time I pull myself and my crew off the show, hand the client the pickle control and tell them to stand directly under the truss while it goes up. ;)

    While I sympathize with the lead rigger for wanting to fulfill his job...he should not have followed orders from someone who was not in authority on what he knew was right...he should have called his IA office and let them know, and then walked off the gig. Too many stupid things have happened cause "I was just following orders"... But then I was not there...I am just thinking out loud about that..

    FWIW, the news-bits I have picked up off other sites have also stated that no one was hurt (yea!) but also that the room at the LVCC has tons of hanging points--but is very expensive to have that done and rigged to fly--which answers my burning question as to why, in a room with obvious steel structure and grid, that they didn't fly the rig and bolt on the uprights it was flown for "look" and not support. Money...to save a few dollars...well it will cost them ten fold now.

    Its events like this I wish the public was made aware of this "client / designer"...like his name, his company and how he was superceding strong safety advice of working experienced professionals in an area he is obviously clueless about, to do something his way against advice, that is blatently unsafe--just so folks know who this person is so that person never works again in design or implementation of such a project again, and the public knows who is truely at fault. Because IMO an accident like this always will come back to the people who set it up as being at fault....which is clearly wrong.

    -wolf
     
  12. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Hi Ship,
    From the look of the pics I have seen it was pretty heavily loaded. I cannot tell how far between points the truss spanned..it loks like it was 40' tho... If I recall correctly on a 40 foot stick of Tomcat/JT GP minibeam held at two points, the max load rating at the center is rated for 300lbs. If they did 20' spans or more points, they could have increased the load capacity significantly into the thousands of lbs. Hard to tell from the pics tho.. Some parts of the pics it looks like mini...others look like 15x15 or larger...its hard to discern what is what in the mess..but from what I can see in the pics it looks like they were doing 30'-40' spans. Still..it looked pretty heavily loaded in a lot of areas--between the cable bundles and the movers..doesn't look like it was balanced for load in some places--which might explain why when they took it up it slipped in some areas and not in others at first...not to mention that you cannot torque trussing like that and expect it to hold--its not designed to be stressed at twists and angles on the points and bolt plates. I'm surprised a lot that it was not flown...I'm surprised the uprights were not tagged up top to the steel to stay in place...lots of surprises...

    Ahh...teamsters...fun guys some of them. Give em something to drive from point A to point B and they are in their "zone"..have them change the radio station while driving or think about directions--and you have lost them... :)

    -wolf
     
  13. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Don't get me started wit "you trying to tell me how to do my job?" teamsters on forks. But in this case and it's not confirmed, it was either that the fork truck was trying to save the leg that was going over, or that it was trying to lift the structure and move it back to perpendicular after it was out of alignment. In any case, the fork truck driver was not at fault in being directed by the client/designer and approved in the end by the master rigger to attempt. At least this time. Now when it comes to fork truck drivers zipping by the booth and hitting a leg causing it in this case to collapse, that would be partial fault but still more the designer and rigger for allowing unsafe trussing even after the fact. Get them moving lights whipping around and that could also unstablize the legs as much as the fork truck.

    Also hearing or reading things like the sail effect in being another potential problem - by the dock door. This thing if it caught a good breeze could have crushed customers at any time. In this case, and Anderson Windows booth only crushed itself and the Marvin windows booth next to it as I hear. Now there is an insurance claim - our window companie's set crushed the compitition.

    There was a lecture at work about it today. What happened to them is not a us veses them thing, it's all of us in the end. Fourth Phase people and the company in general is no more unsafe than any other company, to that I agree. The gear is the same, the people in general are the same and bad luck or circumstances can befall any company. Unfortunately like with the last crash, it's probably going to be the lighting company that takes the bulk of the public blame. Some of it's justified certainly but not the sole culprate. All it takes is one section of truss that's got bolts but no nuts on it and such a thing could do in our own company. Fingers and we are better than that is not applicable.

    Granted it's the job of the companie's project manager, lead and other crew people to ensure nothing like that can happen, but things happen. You get clients that want things and it's really difficult to say no - given you know better. Like with union people, you as a crew member have the responsibility to take all problems up the chain of command. In this case those fourth phase people given they saw a problem should have gotten the project manager on the spot if not before hand when the gear was being pulled, to negotiate with the client a safe way of doing it. Lots on lighting network also about this event center and what happened but for the most part what was said at work was backed up by what I read.

    On the gun line, anyone can call "check fire". Same with rigging and tech work. It's not as easy, it's very intimidating as a matter of fact. We might say I would walk rather than allowing such a thing, but in the moment far too frequently it's hard to just walk - especially on something so big as this where so many experts above you will have signed off on doing it.

    Officially, I will not make a 208v plug to 120v receptical adaptor. Just won't do it no matter how much the crew chiefs bitch about switchable voltage moving lights needing them. Instead, I will allow 280v to slip/stage pin, and stage pin to Edison adaptors to be taped together. Is this splitting hairs over something that is potentially unsafe and clearly against NEC standards, or a active compromize to the conditions? That's my line in the sand, there will be no such adaptors made, you can use existing equipment to temporially make something unsafe, but it will not be perminant stock - short of it being in my lock up and only given out with good reason such as Edison to three phase thirty amp outlet adaptors. D

    id the project manager know he should not allow the client to do this without ground support and bracing, much less the floor plate? Probably not. Did the crew chief that's supposted to be trained with the system, he had better be, as with the equipment manager that signs out the gear and approves it leaving the building not having caught it.

    Beyond that, I used to see side arms with bent pipes on them. I had a thought, why not use schedule 80 pipe in a side arm instead of schedule 40? Them side arms look just as good as the day we built them now.
    Or we had some guest production people in this past week that wanted to put tape on the barrels of some brand new Lekos to mark them. I's the way they do it all the time'. The prep crew was about to do this until one of them mentioned it to me in passing. I went to the crew chief, asked if it was within his permission - blame for burnt tape on the Lekos now being his, and he did not know about it. Such a plan was instantly cancelled. Had the prep crew who knew it was bad just asked the crew chief that did not know about it, it will have saved time. No the Leko prep crew could not over rule or talk back to the guest/client but it was their responsibility to look after what's not proper to do.

    Those kind of thoughts every day and at all times by all eyes from the box pusher to the project manager is the difference between something as bad as a truss collapse, to as simple as keeping your new lekos looking new after their first show. You have an idea, like with the beefed up side arms, it's your job to present it to those that can weigh it's merit. That's the professional way anyway.

    I would trust that Fourth Phase did a proper loading on the truss - I assume it's on a computer program no matter what the span, or at least verified by those that make their living off such specifications. That's not my training or experience so I would not comment about truss spans. In all none of the legs had if I understood right proper support to them and one went in on a slight angle during the install. In trying to correct that angle without takeing the whole thing apart, the whole thing crashed like a table with bad legs because that's what it was. Work on one leg and the others if othewise fine suddenly get a lot more stress.

    This was less an equipment or engineering failure than a failure to properly use the equipment.
     
  14. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    Still, I don't understand how that happened, I see hoists there as well.
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    The hoists are at the top of the tower/legs to raise the truss from the leg instead of the ceiling. The entire truss walks up the legs from the floor. Note I missed my class in it but have to climb over the equipment every few weeks while it's prepped for shows. So the entire set has the truss horizontals bolted to a kind of corner block with nylon wheels which allow it to walk up tower trussing. Hoists are at the top of the tower off an I-Beam to raise the truss with. Simple enough but given the horizontal pieces are not really bolted or ridgid to the vertical legs, it's important that those legs can't topple because they already are at a disadvantage.
    Thus the outriggers and base plate. Complex system but fairly simple in engineering. This way you are self supporting a large truss, but you don't need a bunch of ladders to hang the thing.
     
  16. Inaki2

    Inaki2 Active Member

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    Oh yeah I hadn't noticed the Tomcat "T" bar on it. Its actaually a miracle the truss didn't fall when it was raised, I'd say that an amounto of weight such as that taking off balance sucha along truss should've toppled it over.
     
  17. KKRoadie

    KKRoadie Member

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    I didn't read every word of every post above so if someone else has posted this information I apoligize....

    UPDATE 1/24/04: The first report claimed that the client refused to allow bases or outriggers to be put on the towers. Later reports from reliable sources allege that the outriggers were in place but a technician tried to "adjust" an outrigger with a forklift while the truss was airborne. (according to my source the leg was unlevel or crooked and the rigger tried to force it into place with the towmotor.)

    I just hope we all start being safe out there before someone gets killed. Hopefully we won't need a Rhode Island Fire type event to do to the rigging trade what that tragedy has now done to the Pyrotechnic trade. I hope that this incident as well as Atlantic City, Godstock, Chicago (Dylan), etc will wake us all up.
     
  18. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Welcome KKRoadie and thanks for the info. Keep us informed on the outcome if you hear about it and please feel free to help with what ever other topics you can. The more voices the better. This makes three versions of it that I have heard the supports having been set up already is new for me. Interesting, if that's the case that would change a lot.
     
  19. KKRoadie

    KKRoadie Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Houston TX
    Thanks for the welcome,
    I have been out of the "biz" for 25 years but I run www.roadie.net so I sometimes get confidential information passed my way and I post it. This was the case on this truss accident. I just found this site and will check it regularly.

    Everyone should also be aware that I am getting several inquiries from the press about the string of truss accidents. In one way this is good since it could raise awareness about stage safety in our industry and possibly prevent another "Great White -The Station Fire" magnitude of disaster with a truss accident. On the other hand it could trigger unwarranted Governmental regulations and intrusion into the touring industry that for the most part has been doing a good job with safety since the late 60's.

    Personally I think (and many seasoned roadies agree with me) that the problem is a lack of training/mentorship programs and the occasional "loose cannon" roadie that doesn't know how (or doesn't want) to play by the rules (e.g. the decision to fire a 15 foot gerb on an 8 foot ceiling stage in RI with no test and fire extinguisher handy) We need to clean up these "incidents" now before the government does it for us.
     
  20. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Eastcoast USA
    Hi KKRoadie,
    Again, Welcome to Controlbooth. Hope you enjoy your visits here and contribute often. I would agree a lot of the problems from the accidents in the past few years has to do with the lack of training and mentorship--hence a reason for this website. Its a start. But I would like to pose the idea that as professionals we have an obligation to be a collective voice and teacher to represent our industry but also to guide others who wish this as a career. I've been in the biz well over 15 years and I had some mentors when I started out who were guides--folks I respected, listened to, payed attention to and learned from tremendously, so least I can do is pass on and be there for newbies what they gave me. Big thing for me however that I stress--is you can never stop learning..even if you have mastered something, been around, or know 50 different ways to do something, you can always learn something new in the same thing or a new application. Change is a key part of life--we have to change with it. That has always been my philosophy--keep an open mind, keep a sharp eye and think 5 steps ahead of things, and always keep learning cause everyone has something to teach. But to me the biggest problem I have encountered nowadays has to be in not the knowledge that is passed on but the arrogance and attitude of many who take that knowledge or even a small part of it--and then become the all too frequent "loose cannon" who applys one thing for everything. I've run into and know a few folks who think that after learning a few things they are then "in" or all-knowing..and no one else can tell them anything. They get a compliment for their work and feel they can know no more. I've always tried to show that there are many ways to do the same thing--some have pros, and some have cons, and some have specific applications. But once someone figures that hanging a truss is hanging a truss, or rigging a spanset is the same for every application--the industry begins to run into folks who think faster is better then being correct for the application, and that there is a universal one-thing to know for each step in a process. That has always been the biggest obsticle I have run into-what I call the fast-food mentality..quick result when demanded... Would you concur? What has your experiences been on this subject? Similar? I'm just curious and would love to hear more of your views...

    The folks and newbies on this website have been top notch in not only being open to everything and new things, but open to learning and developing the right attitude of saftey concerns and actions having reactions, so they keep that valuable open mindedness. Even us old-dogs on here still want to learn and swap styles, techniques and info to keep that process going. If the industry could only find a way to pass on that attitude of being professional, thorough and conscious of their work and know that as times and technology change they have to change and grow with it, we would have less instances of problems. I've grown concerned as I see the crashes and problems that happen...when I go on an arena gig I watch everything like a hawk cause I have become very concerned of all the practices..even when I'm on a break standing by the stage I find myself inspecting things around me..feeling spansets for equal tension..looking at shackles for proper placement etc...but as shows get bigger and more complex, and knowledge requirements, safety issues and regulations get bigger and more demanding, I feel it is going to leave a lot of the newbies skilled with the most basic beginner info, out of the loop and more accidents may result. I wonder how our industry can keep up with the influx and changes...

    The Great White tragedy has always pained me at the needless loss, and struck me as a blatent incident that broke all the rules not only of safety & consideration for doing pyro, but of common sense and the most basic of professional practice on any production. It was such a loss that need not have happened and could have easily been prevented on many levels...but hindsight and blame aside, I see it as a symptom of a progressive problem of complacency, responsibility and practice that as professionals we have to keep ourselves, and each other we work with around us, in check for. Only working together as professionals, with a professional collective voice and vision to our work quality and environments, can we hope to avoid another tragedy like that, and other accidents and issues that have since happened. Hopefully we can let some of the instances and the publicity push forward the critical awareness of safety as a top priority in our industry, and to our members young and old to not make the same mistakes again...


    -wolf

    P.S.--roadie.net, for those newbies who may not know, is a great site for those interested in concert production as a career, and life on the road, and the goings on for shows around the globe. I've frequented it for a very long time--its a great site to check out. Thanks to KKRoadie for making it available! Glad to have you visit and join us here at Controlbooth.. -w
     

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