Rigging pupils learn the ropes

31 May 2011

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Demand for entry to the Rigging School of 2011 was so high that the organisers managed to make room for two extra attendees. In total, 14 pupils attended the training event, with people from a variety of industry sectors, including freelancers, rental company staff and venue riggers, all seeking to expand upon their rigging knowledge.

Although similar in format to the 2010 workshops, this is the first time the event has been held in conjunction with the Backstage Academy. This association gives the event extra added kudos because the academy’s course leader is a committee member for the PLASA National Rigging Certificate (NRC).

Additionally, by working with trussing and staging manufacturer Prolyte, the School was able to minimise costs. This made the event an affordable and viable proposition for freelancers and independents alike.

It also provided a good opportunity for Prolyte to put the latest technology available in the rigging field on active display. These included the latest Prolyte trussing products and CM Entertainment Lodestar chain hoists, including the LS D8 and D8+ versions. The advantages of using Load Cell monitoring on an active rig were also demonstrated, along with the latest rescue systems.

Independent rigging expert Eric Porter said: "The excellent feedback confirms it went well from the attendees' point of view. I always enjoy running training courses, and I encourage as much dialogue as I can to make it as relevant as possible to the trainees and their experiences.”

A comprehensive range of topics was covered, often focusing on safety and risk assessments, to help workers recognise some of the more common examples of bad practice.

Other areas covered included lifting principles, PPE systems for working at height, ropes and knots, truss assembly and basic science. Rescue plans were also covered, enabling the pupils to be fully prepared to deal with any of a variety of real-life situations, should they occur.

Freelance lighting technician/designer and rigger Dave Hughes, a freelance lighting technician/ designer and rigger, signed up to consolidate his skills base. He said: "I was amazed with how much we crammed into two days. I learnt a lot about the engineering and calculation side of rigging, especially about truss from Marc at Prolyte. It was a great revision of skills. The area of fall prevention and arrest was particularly interesting and provoked much discussion.”