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Rigging: A Skill For All Technicians

As an automation guy, the link between my job and rigging seems very obvious. I fly scenery and/or people above other people’s heads all of the time. So I recently decided to add some extra knowledge and got myself on one of UK Rigging’s basic rigging courses. Admittedly, there were loads of concepts that I was very familiar with from the start, but in the three days I spent there, I did pick up some fine details that I had never been fully aware of.

In addition, I got to climb up on some beams and pull some rigging points up, which helps one appreciate the work of your local climbing riggers. The whole experience made me think of the number of people who hang gear from rigging points who won’t know certain details, like how the forces affect a piece of truss when you’re choking it with a gackflex or spanset, for example.

I left very pleased with the bits of extra information I had picked up and came to the conclusion that these courses should be more common all across the board. Stagehands should be sent to these, so they can apply safer conducts when helping build kit, but so should lighting techs, and even sound techs or video techs.

We spend years flying stuff (be it, lighting truss, video screens or speaker stacks) in the air just following rules that we were once told, but perhaps never properly explained as to why certain things should be done in a certain way.

Knowledge is the best way of working safe, and maybe we should all try to not forget that the best way to work, is to work safely. So, whether you’re just starting or even if you have been in the industry for years, if you’ve been considering doing any of the rigging courses the different rigging companies around the world offer, but you weren’t sure if it was worth it, I would tell you, DO IT.  The worse that could happen is, you spend 3 days hearing stuff you already know, but most likely, you’ll pick up a few details which will help you work more safely in the future.

And if you hadn’t thought about this, I would strongly recommend that you think about enrolling.

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