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Why Safety Audits Are Important

If you want to know just how well your current safety plan is working, test it. With safety audits, you can take control of your crews lift and rigging plans and reduce your risk of workplace safety citations from the top down. Why Do Crews Conduct Safety Audits? Safety audits are an added expense, a time-consuming project, and a nerve-wracking process, which makes most employers wonder, “Why should I spend on a safety audit for my crew?” Prevent Dangerous Situations You shouldn’t wait until an accident happens to modify your safety plan. Making the right safety changes now allows you to minimize the potential risks later. Correct Bad Crew Behavior No crew likes to be scolded for a safety violation. […]

Why Every Worker Should Wear Eye Protection

If the majority of workers strap on their helmet without thinking twice, why do so many crewmembers take chances with eye protection? Slipping on a pair of glasses, goggles, or attachable eye shields could make the difference between a close call and a complete disaster; therefore, every employer should feel obligated to prioritize eye protection for their crew.   Why Eye Injuries Are Common on Site Just like shoes, pants, and shirts that aren’t the right size, it’s hard to work with eye protection that doesn’t fit. If eye protection accessories limit workers’ line of sight, they’re less likely to see glasses or goggles as a protective tool. Similarly, crewmembers are constantly pushing up their safety glasses or adjusting their […]

When Must Fall Protection Devices Be Used?

Fall protection helps crews to plan for the predictable and successfully handle the unpredictable, which means that each employer needs to understand when they’re expected to provide it for their workers. Here’s a look at OSHA’s criteria for fall protection and some tips to help you get it right on your next job.  Fall Protection Rules (Subpart M) To regulate the way that each crew is protected, OSHA created Subpart M, a set of guidelines that instructs employers when and how to use fall protection. Because, it’s every employer’s responsibility to evaluate on-site structures and determine which fall protection systems are necessary. When the consequences of falling jeopardize the health of workers in potentially fatal ways, specific types of fall […]

Most Common OSHA Cited Standards

OSHA publishes the most common worksite citations each year; however, many of the same violations continue to top the annual charts. Therefore, it’s crucial that both OSHA and the lift and rigging community double down on safety in every aspect of the industry. Spreading awareness about the most common citations is a great way to keep workers informed of their rights and responsibilities while on the job, so here’s a look at the top citations for 2018 with some tips on how to prevent them today. Fall Protection Fall protection tops the list as OSHA’s most common citation—a position this standard has held for eight years in a row. OSHA splits fall protection into training and general requirements, and both […]

Accident Prevention Tips

Every lift and rigging job comes with a list of potential risks, but dedicating some extra time to accident prevention before and after each job can almost entirely eliminate them. However, most crews continue to rack up safety citations and poorly plan to avoid them in the future. To keep your crew safe and sound while on the job, here are some of the most important accident prevention tips. Equipment Inspections Although manufacturers forge lift and rigging equipment with heavy-duty materials designed to take on extreme tasks, every tool has its limits. Equipment inspections are crucial for accident prevention because they evaluate the capabilities of each tool and measure them against the requirements of a job. And, these inspections give […]

When to Retire a Hook from Service

Using a damaged, expired, or malfunctioned hook is more than just a risky move; it’s a potentially fatal lapse of judgement. Sling slippage, loss of load control, and on-site injury become imminent possibilities when you use a hook that isn’t up to par. Therefore, it’s essential to know what to look for when you inspect a hook and how to tell when it’s time to retire it from service.   When to Retire a Hook Hooks might not come with exact expiration dates, but you can easily tell when one needs replacing. Monthly hook inspections are essential to every lift and rigging crew, because they can detect defects, malfunctions, or any other equipment errors proactively. Here are the most common […]

What Is Theatrical and Stage Rigging?

Theatrical rigging systems, also known as fly systems, are structures that allow stage crews to safely move and manipulate objects, effects, and cast members on and around the stage. These stage systems feature rope lines, pulleys, and other rigging arrangements that lift, lower, and horizontally fly props using backstage controls. The dramatic effects, lighting, and even the movement on stage wouldn’t be the same without the precise control of theatrical rigging. But, despite how fluid the on-stage effects might look, theatrical rigging requires as much caution as any other industrial arrangement. Common Types of Stage Rigging Depending on the size and structure of a stage, there are many ways to configure an appropriate fly system. Some of the most common […]

The Importance of Rigging & Fall Protection Training

Being under prepared for most jobs might negatively affect your performance or give a bad image to management, but it can be devastating when you’re a part of a lifting or rigging crew. The damages from a fall on-site can be irreversible and sometimes fatal. Therefore, to prepare crew members with the knowledge to safely take on any lifting and rigging operation before them, they need the education of rigging and fall protection training. Learning to Plan Training doesn’t just help crews understand how to handle emergency situations, it teaches them how to prevent them. An untrained crew can still understand how to efficiently get through a job, but they won’t be able to secure it every step of the […]

3 Ways to Use Gaff Tape

Crewmembers become familiar with endless amounts of equipment over their careers, but there are some highly specific tools that can fly under the radar until a peculiar job pops up. Gaff tape is one of the most synonymous pieces of equipment in the world of theater, but most crews don’t come across it until their first day assembling a stage arrangement.  This type of roll isn’t just an essential piece in creating a safe layout on set; it’s also the key ingredient to fixing unexpected accidents or obstacles. If your crew is taking on its first theatrical rigging job, here’s a peek at the tape that holds everything together. What Is Gaff Tape? Gaff tape has many names, including gaffer’s […]

Differences Between Winches and Hoists

A winch is a crank mechanism that pulls loads from side to side, and a hoist is a device that lifts loads up and lowers them down. Winches and hoists might seem like similar pieces of equipment to use on the job, but these tools aren’t capable of handling the same tasks. Using one in place of another could jeopardize the stability of a moving load, which is why knowing the specific differences between winches and hoists is crucial for every crew.    What Is a Winch? Winches are tools that pull weight across leveled or slightly angled areas by winding the cables or rope of a winch drum. Winches are broken down into classes such as: Manual Winch Manual […]