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Wrench Safety

Discussion in 'Safety' started by Chase P., Nov 24, 2018.

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What do you use as a small tool lanyard?

  1. Commercially produced tool lanyard

    17 vote(s)
    37.0%
  2. Tie line

    25 vote(s)
    54.3%
  3. Curly phone cord

    10 vote(s)
    21.7%
  4. Aircraft cable

    4 vote(s)
    8.7%
  5. Paracord

    6 vote(s)
    13.0%
  6. Retractable key chain

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  7. Coiled plastic wrist keychain

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. Promotional neck lanyard (for conference badges)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. What's a lanyard?

    2 vote(s)
    4.3%
  10. I use something not listed

    3 vote(s)
    6.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Chase P.

    Chase P. Active Member

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    I was recently working with someone who got chewed out for having a tie-line safety on his wrench. Someone with more seniority at the venue thought it was unsafe.

    While I agree that we can do better, I've seen plenty of homemade lanyards on wrenches, but have never seen a lanyard of any sort break when a tool was dropped.

    I'd also argue that clipping whatever lanyard off to your belt loop is probably not great. Unless Levi's is rating their belt loops now? I feel like the tenuous rating on tie line has to exceed the stitching on pants.

    What do you use as a lanyard for specifically your small hand tools? I feel like drills and drivers are another whole discussion/survey.

    The options I've listed are things I've actually witnessed. Please let me know if there's anything weird I missed.

    Follow up questions:
    Where do you clip off to?
    If homemade, how did you finish the ends of your phone cord/tie line (knot, swage, heat shrink)?
    Are your clips or carabiners actually rated?
    Do you have any other hardware in the mix (like an added jump ring on the little tiny hole on the ratcheting focus tool)?
    What's the stated rating on the commercial lanyard you use?
    Do you actually replace your lanyard if it's had an impact?
    Do you safety tools like box end wrenches and sockets that didn't come with an easy attachment point, and how?
     
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  2. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Timely post as I recently started doing a lot of electrics work on the catwalks of our new space, I decided to get more serious about the safety issues with the tools I was using and invested some money in lanyards, wrist lanyards and a Setwear Combo bag (a great tool bag).

    I had been using tie-line with cord locks, all sitting in my jeans pocket. I decided it was time to go to a better system.

    Follow up questions:
    Where do you clip off to?

    Climbing carabiner hooked into either my pants belt or my 2" tool belt. Yes I'm aware of the limitations of a pants belt loop.

    If homemade, how did you finish the ends of your phone cord/tie line (knot, swage, heat shrink)?
    Prior to buying 3 Squid lanyards I went searching at home and at work for phone cords. Couldn't find any, thus just invested the $33 for 3 Squids with carabiners.
    I used to use the coiled phone cords, held together with 2-3 zip ties plus dog clips.

    Are your clips or carabiners actually rated?

    Yes to the MSR biner. Not sure about the biners used on the Squid tool lanyards. Is the MSR climbing carabiner rated to hold tools ?, no. It's rated to protect a climber using it in a vertical fall. Great articles can be found on the misuse of climbing carabiners for the Ringling Bros. accident. I'm pretty certain the MSR I use is way over-kill for preventing a C-wrench falling to the deck from 20 ft.

    Do you have any other hardware in the mix (like an added jump ring on the little tiny hole on the ratcheting focus tool)?
    Yes, using key split rings, heavy duty. When I purchased my Lightspeed/Todd wrench it wasn't available with the sliding O ring, thus I manufactured with a 1/4" heavy duty zip tie and a split key ring.

    What's the stated rating on the commercial lanyard you use?
    No clue, they're 35" Squids

    Do you actually replace your lanyard if it's had an impact?
    No. I doubt an 8" c-wrench or Ultimate ratcheting tool is going to stress a Squid lanyard. It only drops 3 ft.

    Do you safety tools like box end wrenches and sockets that didn't come with an easy attachment point, and how?
    See above for the Lightspeed wrench. The rest of my tools carried, screwdriver, wire cutters, GAM check sit in my Combo bag and are not safetied. The Combo bag has a flap and latch. I don't carry socket tools typically as the C-wrench, Lightspeed and Ultimate tools cover the electrics work I do. If I need a socket tool I will carry as required.

    In general my thought is you cannot safety everything, there are too many specialty tools required and you might go nuts. Sometimes the stuff you are installing - Rota-Loks, Cheesboroughs, lighting units, etc.... are exposed to falling and at that point it's better to practice a safe work environment such as require hard hats when people are working overhead, close off the area below, stay informed as to when somebody is working below and caution them that you've got tools out, etc....
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
  3. CrazyTechie

    CrazyTechie Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    This is the lanyard that I use: https://www.grainger.com/product/ER...d-5NPP5?opr=APPD&pbi=5NPP5&analytics=altItems

    Where do you clip off to?
    I clip the carabiner through one of my belt loops and around my belt. I go around my belt with the idea that it will be far sturdier than the belt loop and also going around the belt loop helps to keep the carabiner from sliding around on my belt.

    Are your clips or carabiners actually rated?
    Probably not since they are stamped with "NOT FOR CLIMBING/FALL ARREST!"

    Do you have any other hardware in the mix (like an added jump ring on the little tiny hole on the ratcheting focus tool)?

    Nope, just the sliding c-wrench.

    What's the stated
    rating on the commercial lanyard you use?
    10lbs max working load

    Do you actually replace your
    lanyard if it's had an impact?
    It's made with a shock absorbing material and the c-wrench isn't all that heavy so I'm not sure that I ever would replace it unless I snag and damage it in a tight space somewhere.

    Do you
    safety tools like box end wrenches and sockets that didn't come with an easy attachment point, and how?
    I've only ever stuck one of these around a GamChek and only because they are rather pricey. Dropping one of those from 20' is what we would call "a bad thing."
     
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  4. gafftapegreenia

    gafftapegreenia CBMod CB Mods

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    Ive been using one of the green coiled lanyards Clancy was giving out for a few years. Tie line is cheap, works fine, and I have no problem trusting it, BUT as big loop of it hanging off an electrician does have a tendency to snag on everything.


    Where do you clip off to?
    My belt loop, as my cargos/Carhartts have much more robust loops than standard Levi's.

    If homemade, how did you finish the ends of your phone cord/tie line (knot, swage, heat shrink)?
    I prefer to swage

    Are your clips or carabiners actually rated?
    No they're just the small biners the cord came with

    Do you have any other hardware in the mix (like an added jump ring on the little tiny hole on the ratcheting focus tool)?
    On my c wrench no, on my UFT I had to put on a split ring.

    What's the stated rating on the commercial lanyard you use?
    No idea.

    Do you actually replace your lanyard if it's had an impact?
    No. Im a klutz so Id need to buy a lanyard factory if I did that.

    Do you safety tools like box end wrenches and sockets that didn't come with an easy attachment point, and how?
    YES. This is becoming a required thing on industrial sites, that ANY tool used above other people be tethered. More and more manufacturers are adding rings or holes in the forgings for lanyards. Other companies have developed easily attachable tool lanyard systems. In my local anyone who's done a steel build has a hammer with a hole drilled in the handle and a D ring added for a lanyard.

    Box wrenches are easy - put the biner through the box end. I try to avoid using sockets overhead especially on quick release ratchets.
     
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  5. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    I use tieline and then tie a bowline in the loose end to make a choker around my wrist while using the tool. Otherwise I choke it to the rail while working on a light, if it's more convenient. Anytime we're doing stuff overhead that can't be completely safe, we have a spotter on the ground keeping people away. I can see where that might not work at busier venues, but usually it's me and my 10-20 or so kids working at any given time.
     
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  6. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    >I was recently working with someone who got chewed out for having a tie-line safety on his wrench. Someone with more seniority at the venue thought it was unsafe.

    Sounds like someone having a bad day, or someone who has had a very particular experience with a tie-line tether. I personally find that you're more likely to trip over a tether to your belt than anything or get snagged on something, but it could be this person was also the near-victim of someone who forgot to tie off, had a really chintzy knot, or they used one of those 50-cent "carabiners" from the hardware store where the latches always break in the open position. Some people are also fans of doing a wrist-sized tie-line loop off of the wrench handle and do not actually clip it to anything. This is not ideal for obvious reasons, particularly when you stick the wrench in your back pocket and now it isn't protected by anything at all.

    >I'd also argue that clipping whatever lanyard off to your belt loop is probably not great. Unless Levi's is rating their belt loops now? I feel like the tenuous rating on tie line has to exceed the stitching on pants.

    I've cited the relevant OSHA codes below and to the best of my knowledge OSHA doesn't dictate anything about tool lanyards or usage beyond that your employees should be protected from falling objects. I believe there are some ANSI standards but these are more for manufacturers and not for in-the-field regulation.

    >What do you use as a lanyard for specifically your small hand tools? I feel like drills and drivers are another whole discussion/survey.

    Sometimes tieline, sometimes I use my Ty-flot Quickswitch belt pouch with locking wrist clips. The Quickswitch is great, but somewhere around 2500x the cost of a bit of tieline. When I have the Quickswitch, I usually tether a screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and a utility blade. Anything else gets a "loose tool" shoutout to the ground crew. There a lot of other people here who work on shows in arenas or really loud load-ins where shouting doesn't work though. Got to be mindful that the people below can hear you and have walked back.

    Depending on how long I'm working at that spot, I may rope it off with some danger tape/signage. More common when I was an installer on construction sites, less so while working on production calls.

    Follow up questions:
    >Where do you clip off to?

    Belt or belt loop.

    >If homemade, how did you finish the ends of your phone cord/tie line (knot, swage, heat shrink)
    Sometimes I also just tie a loop in the end of my tieline, thread it through my belt, and drop the wrench through the end loop.

    >Are your clips or carabiners actually rated?

    Yes, I have climbing carabiners.

    >Do you have any other hardware in the mix (like an added jump ring on the little tiny hole on the ratcheting focus tool)?

    With my Quickswitch system I have some other tools that have tether points attached to them. Ty-Flot sells a bunch of different odds and ends for this designed for tools that are otherwise not easy to attach to like screwdrivers.

    >What's the stated rating on the commercial lanyard you use?

    My Quickswitch is rated for 6 lbs. Really, anything more than a couple pounds heavier than that shouldn't be tied off to your body because if you drop them 30" they'll pull you off balance when they fall. Imagine what having a gallon of water (8.3lbs) tied off to you does when the lanyard catches it.

    >Do you actually replace your lanyard if it's had an impact?

    No. IMO, wrenches are not nearly heavy enough to have destructive forces on standard-grade tieline leashes. Things like fall protection lanyards and SRL's are very different and are engineered to softly self-destruct upon first impact.

    >Do you safety tools like box end wrenches and sockets that didn't come with an easy attachment point, and how?

    Sockets and other loose tools/hardware get a shoutout to the ground crew, though generally I avoid them unless they make a particular task go much faster. If you ever find yourself working on Titan rockets, loose hardware is a good way to cause a broken arrow nuclear incident. Back in 1980 a crew was using an 8lbs socket for routine maintenance at the top of the missile. Socket fell off the tool and bounced down to the bottom of the silo before puncturing the skin and leaking fuel that eventually erupted.

    =========

    Relevant OSHA codes:

    1926.451(h)
    "Falling object protection."1926.451(h)(1)
    In addition to wearing hardhats each employee on a scaffold shall be provided with additional protection from falling hand tools, debris, and other small objects through the installation of toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems, or through the erection of debris nets, catch platforms, or canopy structures that contain or deflect the falling objects. When the falling objects are too large, heavy or massive to be contained or deflected by any of the above-listed measures, the employer shall place such potential falling objects away from the edge of the surface from which they could fall and shall secure those materials as necessary to prevent their falling.1926.451(h)(2)
    Where there is a danger of tools, materials, or equipment falling from a scaffold and striking employees below, the following provisions apply:

    1926.451(h)(2)(i)
    The area below the scaffold to which objects can fall shall be barricaded, and employees shall not be permitted to enter the hazard area; or

    1926.451(h)(2)(ii)
    A toeboard shall be erected along the edge of platforms more than 10 feet (3.1 m) above lower levels for a distance sufficient to protect employees below, except on float (ship) scaffolds where an edging of 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch (2 x 4 cm) wood or equivalent may be used in lieu of toeboards;

    1926.451(h)(2)(iii)
    Where tools, materials, or equipment are piled to a height higher than the top edge of the toeboard, paneling or screening extending from the toeboard or platform to the top of the guardrail shall be erected for a distance sufficient to protect employees below; or

    1926.451(h)(2)(iv)
    A guardrail system shall be installed with openings small enough to prevent passage of potential falling objects; or

    1926.451(h)(2)(v)
    A canopy structure, debris net, or catch platform strong enough to withstand the impact forces of the potential falling objects shall be erected over the employees below.

    1926.451(h)(3)
    Canopies, when used for falling object protection, shall comply with the following criteria:

    1926.451(h)(3)(i)
    Canopies shall be installed between the falling object hazard and the employees.

    1926.451(h)(3)(ii)
    When canopies are used on suspension scaffolds for falling object protection, the scaffold shall be equipped with additional independent support lines equal in number to the number of points supported, and equivalent in strength to the strength of the suspension ropes.

    1926.451(h)(3)(iii)
    Independent support lines and suspension ropes shall not be attached to the same points of anchorage.

    1926.501(c)
    "Protection from falling objects." When an employee is exposed to falling objects, the employer shall have each employee wear a hard hat and shall implement one of the following measures:

    1926.501(c)(1)
    Erect toeboards, screens, or guardrail systems to prevent objects from falling from higher levels; or,

    1926.501(c)(2)
    Erect a canopy structure and keep potential fall objects far enough from the edge of the higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were accidentally displaced; or,

    1926.501(c)(3)
    Barricade the area to which objects could fall, prohibit employees from entering the barricaded area, and keep objects that may fall far enough away from the edge of a higher level so that those objects would not go over the edge if they were accidentally displaced.
     
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  7. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    The only tool I ever need to laynard is a C-wrench/UFFT.

    In each case, it's only on my FoH bridge, as we have a full fly.

    I use tie-line, unwaxed, clove-hitched through the loop, and with the two tag ends tied in a single overhand knot at least an inch back from the end.

    (I'm probably describing that knot wrong... ;-)
     
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  8. Jay Ashworth

    Jay Ashworth Well-Known Member

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    Also, peripherally, the topic of sockets coming off ratchets reminds me of the YouTube clip I watched the other day about the 1980 Titan II explosion in, I think, Alabama, that stemmed from precisely that source: a worker on a high platform had a socket come off a ratchet, get out of his grip, and fly off down the silo... Luckily, the (9MT) W53 didn't go off, even though the second stage blew out of the silo and landed a hundred or more feet away.
     
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  9. egilson1

    egilson1 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    ANSI/ISEA 121-2018 “American National Standard for Dropped Object Prevention Solutions” was published a few months ago. $30 to buy it thought. If I pick it up I’ll fill you all in on what it says.

    Ethan
     
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  10. RonaldBeal

    RonaldBeal Active Member

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    It was actually in Damascas Arkansas.
    The (excellent) book on the subject is : "Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety"

    Wiki article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Damascus_Titan_missile_explosion

    1 killed, 21 injured, because a socket fell off of the wrench
     
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  11. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    From the wiki article:
    That's a beefy socket.
     
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  12. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    One the guys who was in the silo that day said that it wasn't the right tool to use but it was what was convenient. They had forgotten the proper wrench in their truck at the surface but going back up and out of the silo and through all of the secured doors would've taken too long and they just wanted to wrap up and get out of there. As usual, that was one of only a series of things that went wrong that day that lead up to the eventual explosion.

    Basically the same gist as any of the life-threatening live entertainment accidents but with the extra pizazz of almost triggering nuclear fallout.
     
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  13. geoffrey hugh

    geoffrey hugh Member

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    in a slightly different vein: i have been an IATSE stagehand since 1969, still working, and in that length of time have seen only two broken lighting fixture c clamps. both fractured at the point in contact with the pipe on which they hung, the ‘right angle’ that cracked opposite the threaded hole through which passes the bolt.

    they fractured while being (over) tightened.

    i use my experience to justify my disdain for the wire rope safeties (over) used by in the business now, with the exception of a thin gauge wire rope linking snoots, color changers, and barn doors to fixtures. i think color frames should also be linked, somehow.

    it is a tough position for stagehands like me. to take i am even ‘required’ to wear a full body harness and tie off in order to focus lights in the auditorium ceiling.

    i liken it to the days of sailing shops when sailors would go aloft in even stormy weather to man the spars and halyards there, to set sails and so forth, barefoot and care free, and at the risk of a fall to death.

    but i (dare i say ‘we’?) survived and wonder about what appears as excessive concern for safety as it exists, and the direction it is taking.

    it seems excessive, yet i would like to hear a reasonable argument that addresses personal responsibility, skill and compares that to personal risk and risk to others.

    if we can send a person ‘aloft’ with no training, no skills, and who has no personal connection to their work, perhaps endless safety measures must be taken.

    i also know of two instances in which an experienced stagehand dropped a counterweight from the loading rail which landed on the stage. apparently, they take on a life of their own, bouncing and ricocheting around unpredictable and, unavoidable.

    is that the case, today?

    in my career, only one friend died as the result of inattention: he was aloft (around 35’) in a bucket, onstage, moving, probably no outriggers, when his pushing crew hit a hex nut on the stage, abrutly stopping one wheel, and sending the whole rig over. he died from the fall, despite his fruitless attempt to grab soft goods on his way down.

    should he have been tied off to the grid?
     
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  14. SteveB

    SteveB Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but cannot let this pass.

    This is real easy to read the wrong way, but there is no such thing as "excessive concern for safety". Your friend was killed because of a LACK of concern for safety, specifically the failure to use what the lift company provided to keep somebody from being killed, namely a set of outriggers. Likewise there is nothing lost by using a safety on a lighting unit for the same reason, nothing lost in using it and it MIGHT save a life, regardless of your particular anecdotal experiences. I've focused thousands of stage lights and cannot fathom an attitude that a safety cable is a burden to use, that's just BS. I too have seen maybe 3 cracked c-clamps in my 44 years in the business but I wonder what the shop experience is, probably much different than ours and I bet they see broken clamps frequently, though maybe that's a question for Ship. And in truth, 3 cracked clamps is enough to believe they can and do crack, so I'm using a safety. Likewise I've seen our theater invest in "safety" frames, that don't slice your head open when dropped from 20 ft. What a concept !.

    And NO, your friend didn't need to be tied off to the grid. What a stupid question and shows a real attitude that I'm happy is changing with the retirement of an older generation that cannot adapt to new attitudes. Personal lifts are perfectly safe if used as designed. Rolling a lift that is not designed to be moved while extended, is the problem, not the lack of a tie-off system. If you want to move as extended, get a unit designed for it, a JLG or Genie self powered unit or a scissors lift.
     
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  15. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    ^^ What he said, @geoffrey hugh. Your friend was killed because a lift was used improperly. Plain and simple. It's not the fault of a loose nut or bad luck. It was irresponsible and even though almost every person here at CB who uses one-man pusharound lifts has done it, those lifts absolutely are not designed to be moved while elevated and doing so it at your own risk.

    FWIW, I was in a job trailer on a amphitheater construction project in Nashville during OSHA's annual safety week. They made one person from every contractor on the project sit in the trailer all day for a conversation about safety and the meaning of life. Every single person in that room knew multiple friends that died from slips, trips, or falls. The regularity with which these other guys had become accustomed to this over their careers was breathtaking, even if it was just one person they knew every 7-8 years. Sometimes it was the new guy who was on the site for the 2nd or 3rd day, other times it was the vet who's been doing that job for 30 years.

    Likewise, it was acknowledged in that meeting that everything in life has risk. You could eat a burger in 5 minutes and choke on a bone fragment or eat burgers for 25 years and die of massive cardiac arrest. That doesn't mean you should live in constant fear and never go outside or eat burgers, but it also doesn't mean you should play in traffic and bring all your friends along with you.

    I had a scissor and boom lift instructor once who explained it very well. Any one of the things that he tells you not to do, you can almost always do and get away with no problem. Most of the things like stepping on the rails and leaning out over the rails or not wearing a harness you can do without ever having any issues. But everyone has a day that they're off. Maybe they have allergies, the flu, an inner ear infection, maybe they're in a bad mood or distracted by a recent personal tragedy that's got them distracted that day, or maybe they just found out their wife is pregnant and aren't focused on what they're doing just this minute, or someone else in the room drops something that makes a loud noise and the surprise throws them you off your balance unexpectedly -- those once in a while things are why you should always bowl with the bumpers out. Nothing's going to stop you from chucking something into the lane next to you like a reckless fool, but if the person next to you sneezes at the wrong moment you won't end up with a gutter ball -- and at the end of the day you always get to go home to your family.
     
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  16. Richard Young

    Richard Young Member

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    I don’t see much wrong with doubled tie line. I have had it on my c wrench for years ( do replace it from time to time) I only work in IATSE venues and have never been told there is anything wrong with it. I did help a friend who’s phone cord with a knot and E tape was constantly coming apart. I nico pressed it. Now when it gets caught on something while climbing or just brushing on a latch his pants are comming down
     
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  17. Calc

    Calc Active Member

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    "We" didn't survive.

    You did. I have. The vast majority do. But "we" didn't.
     
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  18. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

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    No, the lift should not have been moved while extended and occupied. Those are the primary causes of the tip-over and subsequent death. The secondary issue was the debris on the stage.
     
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  19. ruinexplorer

    ruinexplorer Minion CB Mods Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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    I have only seen pictures of failed clamps. One of the reasons that I requested that my electricians used 6" wrenches is that it was more difficult to over tighten.

    I would think that this would reinforce the idea of using safeties. You have experience where the equipment used to hold the fixture was failing during use. Should another lineset have struck that instrument while in the air, the clamp could have completely failed. No, the clamp should never fail, but they do.

    I can point you to numerous examples where "we" have not survived. Sometimes it was someone who thought that they didn't need the equipment, wore it because they had to, but never clipped in. Recently, across the pond, one of those stagehands who felt that he didn't need to clip in, fell and landed on another stagehand. The guy on the ground died while the idiot who was too macho to clip in survived. He was a skilled up rigger, but thought that he knew better.

    You mention being in IATSE for all these years. I assume that you do not take an active role. IATSE has been one of the leading proponents of the safety measures we have in this industry. When I was an active member of a mixed local, it was often difficult to impress upon those who were brought in as decorators to understand the dangers that exist in our industry. This is called risk assessment. This doesn't mean that we can completely remove all risks, but through proper management and engineering, we can minimize risk to the point that it rarely happens. Someone could have a 50 year career where a safety is nothing but a nuisance. Yet I have also seen where someone was distracted and an electric was flown where not all of the lights had been locked down, and the safety was the reason that no one was injured that day. Mistakes happen. Equipment fails.
     
  20. EdSavoie

    EdSavoie Well-Known Member

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    Being much newer to the industry, I find it insane that the slight inconvenience of clipping safeties and using outriggers is enough for someone to justify not using them.

    All it takes is an overzealous technician tightening a bolt, an electric snagging a heavy pipe, the aforementioned nut on the stage, to cause catastrophic failure concluding in death.

    The prospect of safety further increases my disdain for working with lekos from the 80s, which often have several poorly attached components without any good way to attach safeties.

    I've been mentioning these fixtures a fair bit recently, but Colortran lekos are absolutely abhorrent when it comes to this. Being old units doesn't help their case, but the bolt coming out the side to attach the burner to the body doesn't index in the edge, so inadvertently grabbing the fixture by the very conveniently shaped handle will likely leave the 20 something pound instrument going down, while you are left holding a burner with a lamp in it. The attachment point between the lens tube holder and the rest of the body is a rather weak pair of rivets that I've seen be loose or cracked on several fixtures. These have no safety points and would instantly fly off if smacked by a pipe.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.

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