What safety practices can you list....


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What safety practices can you list, that you follow in your school or shop, and WHY do you follow them? What practices do you NOT follow that you wish you did or are unsure of??

Perhaps its time we start a giant list of do's and do nots when it comes to general stage and technical safety practices. Goggles..ear plugs--thats all basic stuff...but what about calling out fly cues--when a batton is coming in--for example we have a strict policy of hollering it out and using spottters for example who echo our calls---even if the stage is clear we still do it. What about testing lamps--how many folks here test lamps at full in the base but not in the unit? How about electrical safety..stage safety...rigging safety...how about when clearing wings and when props move? Genie lift safety issues...safety when moving gear or building scenery...safety painting...safety when working overhead...ladder safety--spotters....power tools...safety chains on lights...straps on free-standing speaker stacks..cable taping and securing areas and other items for trip hazards...marking walk ways and paths...what do you all do to ensure you have a safe environment??

How about this--do you have a practice that goes on that you are not sure if its safe??? Ask here for views...

Lets see some posts and views on safety...safety begins with each and every person...

Post away....
How bought this one

"Try not to get hurt."
Hm. If we actually had flys, lifts, a need for a large ladder, an actual shop, wings, mobile sets, speaker stacks... then I would definitely be safe with them.

But we don't ;) However, I do constantly nag people using the grinder or the jig or even the circular when we can pry it out of the MC's hands to use goggles. I tape cables well out of the way. EVERY instrument is safety cabled.

I'll see what happens this weekend on build shift... expect a report :)
Yea, I agree with that.
Heres a story from today that I just found out:
Ok, backround story: My school, as im sure everyone knows, isn't to well equiped. We're getting some cool new stuff, and i'll post specs on everything when thats all finalized. Currently, we put are movible stage in the gym, and use are 12, well, 11 cause were missing one somewhere 500 watt fernels. These are short compleatly underpowered for the space, and have trouble lighting something thats like 20 feet away. Because of this the center of the stage is always washed out and dark, so we put the (removable) poles where we attach the lights to right next to the stage. We then run extention cords all over the gym, plugging the lights into the normal sockets (for the shows we would patch into our American DJ board). However, the little kids (pre-k through 6th) need to be able to get through the "back stage" area, so consequently I tape down the coards with half a roll of duct tape, to make sure that a little kid dosen't trip on the coards and sue the school (or me). Thats my first sugestion, tape down all of the coards down whereever people are walking. Today i was told, however, that one of the little kids was playing with our lighting poll, and swinging it back and forth. Now, this is a 10 foot iron poll, with 6 lights on the top of it. Its hard to start to move, but once its moving it is hard to stop, and theres a little kid on the bottom of it, playing with it and moving all of the lights, about to break everything, and have the 100 lbs of metal and glass fall on top of him!!!!

Now, I intentionally keep the poles out of the way of traffic, so this kid needed to go up to the poll and physically grab it and pull on it!!!!

I'm trying to figure out a way to prevent this type of thing. As soon as we get our perminent set-up (sould go up during the Febuary Break), this won't be needed, but if I ever want to set-up lights on the polls, how do I stop stupid kids from playing with them???
Two options:

Sandbag the pole bases, making them so bottom-heavy that no kid's going to move them easily.

Cordon off that area somehow, and inform whoever's looking after the children that any kids within the line (or whatever) are on their own once inside. Hopefully that will at least wake up the supervisors.
I don't know if we have any sand bags, but i'll try to find them. The problem is there is usually one teacher watching 30 or 40 little kids during lunch, so its kind of hectic....

I'll try to rope off the area at least, we've got some rope and stuff somewhere lieing around....
Booms in the industry be it 10' or 30 foot regularially get tied off to the grid to ensure they cannot fall over. As simple as a pipe cap above the pipe that's drilled out for mounting an eye bolt to it. Than your choice, suitable wire rope or regular rope that is able to hold the weight is tied off to the grid or rafters above not enough to pick up the boom, but enough to ensure it won't fall over. Perhaps that will be your solution especially considering most boom bases are 40#. As for sand bags, I'm not a huge fan of them unless they are tied directly to the boom. Too easy to slide off, much less they will do so once it starts a rocking. I use them to help add weight but always tie them to the boom at that point. Another option would be two fold. First, drill the boom base and attach a 3/4" plywood 4' square base to it. Than add on the sand bags if not build a frame around it to retain them. In this way, the base footprint of the boom is much larger than the normal 30" and that in resisting tipping makes less weight necessary. It also being one large boom base lets the sand bags be applied in a less towards the center type way. Putting them towards the edges would help more than the center. If no plywood, still tie them to the center boom, but on a longer cord so they remain towards the edge. Another advantage of the plywood, especially if it's edge is rounded over is that it will prevent tripping over the boom base that could injure someone in the dark much less move your lights.

On sand bags, usually you can purchase just the bag and fill it as time permits. Lots of industrial supply places would have them amongst them Grainger and McMaster Carr if not a garden shop. You can also buy more sturdy ones from theater supply houses.

What ever the case, avoid duct tape and use gaffers tape. It is much less likely to leave a residue on what it's attached to and not a huge amount more expensive. Normal minimum practice otherwise would be to buy some 27" vinyl ribbed hallway runner and cut it into say 9" wide strips. Tape the runner over the wires so it's less of something to trip over. Gaffers tape normally will go for $15.00 per roll. If you lock it up between uses, you should get at least half a season out of it given it's not used for everything.
cruiser said:
when working in a theatre with a fly tower, or grid i feel when rigging it is quite important before you take up your bar or grid it is a good idea to shout "lx 4 (grid 1 etc.) moving, heads up on stage!"

Most of the adult lighting people that I have worked with actually call out just about everything that they could caution people about. 'Cable Swinging', 'cable coming down', 'Cable coming up'.. etc

And we always call out any boom movements. Its definately standard practice here.
If you think you are doing something wrong, you probalby are.

If you think you know everything, you are pobably doing something wrong.

In the shop, everyone has a tool log. If they are not trained in the safe operation of that tool and signed off on it, they cannot use that tool. To get signed off, they must use it properly in front of me.

Ladders are used with two people. One on the floor and one on the ladder.
Some times we use three people for a ladder one on each side and one on the ground to hold.

Safty glasses are a must working with any cutting or grinding tool.
No runing on the cat walk, it sways.
Empty out our pockets before going up to the loading rail to toss iron.
When in doubt ad another screw.
The builder gets to test out the set piece.
If you are in an a position that is higher up you must empty your pockets of everything that isnt attached.

If you are letting somthing drop allways warn people first, call out "EYES AND EARS!!!"and always wait for a response.

Noone is allowed underneath the loading dock while someone is loading. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!

It ALWAYS takes 2 people to carry a platform, no ifs ands or buts.

Rock Springs Wy.
our big one is to wear safety glasses when we cut anything.

another is to keep the closet clean. we've had wayyyy too many people step on nails and end up out of school with problems cuz of it. (2 in 2 productions)

platforms have to be able to hold as many techies as its supposed to hold actors.
Make sure the ladder doesn't wiggle.
Tape it down or tie it up.
Don't play with the asbestos fire curtain.
Wear a belt.
Be glad not to have a fear of heights.
Keep it neat.
--Double check any light that you've hung (we have the worst ceiling in our auditiorium. First off, the auditorium itself is used for a lunchroom usually so it's one level and we have maybe 3 permanent bars to hang lights from which are safe and have passed the Berlin safety test. The ceiling is wooden slats though so cables that aren't properly placed or tied down sometimes fall a little and hang right next to the lights. Not a good idea)
--When up the ladder, make sure that you take all tools back down before taking the ladder down. Our ladders are about 4 meters tall (very sturdy) but easy enough for someone to take them down. I can't count the number of times I've seen a wrench or hammer fall from those ladders or heard someone yell "wait there's my leatherman up there!"
--If you don't know exactly what you're doing. ASK FOR HELP.
In our school, the general practice is that we don't do anything stupid. If you do something stupid and get hurt, then its pretty much your own fault. As far as the rehearsals during tech week and the actual performances, the actors all know that the crew is in charge. If they get in our way, they get ran over.

zac850 said:
I tape down the coards with half a roll of duct tape, to make sure that a little kid dosen't trip on the coards and sue the school (or me).

you should try hanging all cables over the doorways. even a well taped down cable is really easy to trip over if you don't know it's there. i think some areas even have laws that require this. it's a big pain to do it over and over again...but it's worth it.

some shortcuts though, if you do go that route....if you can install some hooks or something of the sort in the wall, then you can just use a long pole to hang the cables up and you don't even need to climb a ladder. if all else fails, just use some gaff and it'll stay.

as for the kids messing with the booms....i always rope off my speaker stacks with that orange safety fence you always see at festivals. sure it looks tacky...but it keeps anyone from even thinking about climbing the stack. i'd rather it look like crap than have 200 pounds of speaker come falling down on someone.
Because of some very tight turnarounds, we often have to send people to the grid while others are on the deck. We have hard hats available, and we always announce that somebody is going up (Two in the Grid!) and an acknowledgement will be given as well when the workers leave the grid. If welding needs to be done onstage, we hang signs everywhere that there is welding on stage and to not enter the stage area unless it is required. We also screen in the area that has welding going on. Many people choose not to heed the signs, but we feel we have done about everything we can except bar the doors which breaks fire codes. We have been known to hang yellow caution tape across doorways to deter random crossovers, with some success.

i tell my kids "you are not aloud to get hurt"

the only safety thing that gets overlooked, which is more of a liability is minors on ladders. Its a no-no in the school district policies.

But my kids are put in charge more then the adults who come through the space. They are the ones who will re-weight the battens. 2 on the loading bridge and one on the deck to keep the area clear. Maybe 2 on the deck if there are a lot of people about.

The best safety i think is that i show and teach all of them the basics of everything.

For example: How the flys work. Granted some are intimidated by them and some are a little small to work them effectively. BUT all of them are able to recognize that some thing is amiss and can correct it or at least communicate effectively to correct the problem.

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