Nine Tips for #RigSafe Day And Every Day

April 24, 2020

Today is #Rigsafe day! Last year, USITT teamed up with Wenger/JR Clancy to put together a list of nine rigging safety tips to remind you to #RigSafe this Arbor Day and every day. We're sharing these tips again with you today as a reminder to renew your commitment to #RigSafe.

While Arbor Day is typically a holiday focused on planting trees to celebrate their importance, an “arbor” in the technical theatre world is a rack that contains weights used to balance a load in a counterweight rigging system. We recognize Arbor Day as a day to celebrate rigging safety and training for everyone in our industry. Use Arbor Day to thank a rigger, celebrate safe practices, or to promote a renewed commitment to safety.

Our Rigging Safety Initiative, sponsored by H&H Specialties, ETC, and Wenger/JR Clancy, provides funding for inspections and trainings for secondary schools. Monies raised supports these inspections and trainings at schools across the country. The bigger the fund, the more schools we can support. We appreciate all our Rigging Safety donors and hope you will take a moment to become one. To donate, click here.

Here are nine tips to remember courtesy of J.R. Clancy’s performing arts product manager, Patrick Finn:

1. Use a spring clip or other type of clip to hold spreader plates out of the way. If you are loading at height, use tie-line and tie-off spring clip so it can’t fall.

2. Unless you are actively loading or unloading, always lower and lock down the top spreader plate.

3. When loading, offset the corner notches for easier unloading.

4. Always use spreader plates every two feet and on top of the weight stack.

5. Paint counterweight — Indicate the weight that should never be removed by painting the ends of the bricks or banding the weight to the arbor.

6. When loading at height consider fall protection options.

7. Never leave an out of balance arbor or unlocked link set unattended.

8. Calling before moving — “Announce” what set and in what direction you are moving prior to operating a line set. Make sure it’s loud enough for everyone to hear.

9. Labels — Clearly label what is on each line set and include the amount of weight added to each set. Remember to include what is on the set, weight, and a date.

Information contained in this article is presented for educational and information purposes only and to increase overall theatrical rigging safety awareness. This article should not be used in place of an inspection by an ETCP-Certified professional. In no event shall USITT or Wenger Corporation/J.R. Clancy, be liable for any liability, loss, injury or risk which is incurred as a direct or indirect result of the use of material, advice, guidance, or services mentioned herein. USITT and Wenger Corporation/J.R. Clancy recommend every individual working with rigging systems be properly trained. #RigSafe