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Author Topic: scary rigging?  (Read 3037 times)

Caley Monahon-Ward

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scary rigging?
« on: December 11, 2005, 01:12:26 pm »

Hello,

I'm writing with concern over something I saw last night. This is kind of a long one, and if my feelings are way off base, let me know. Anyhow...

I do sound and play music at my dormitory/coed hipsterish fraternityish joint at Wesleyan University. It's the house PCU is about. Occasionally, we throw parties ala PCU to raise our drinking money, and last night we let a dance troupe have a party/show in our venue. They brought their own DJ, "sound system", and lighting. Fine. My concern is with the lighting job. Normally, we get a pair of tripods for lights, if we use them at all. These guys drilled a hole in our rafter and hung about a 6 or 8 foot section of truss with maybe 5 lights from it. I'm not sure whether they just put a screw in it (super sketchy) or used some kind of clamp (still strikes me as less than failsafe). Unfortunately, I have no pictures of the actual hang, but I did take some pictures this morning of the hole, which follow.

I'm really pissed that they put a hole in our house (a pretty awesome example of neoclassical architecture built in 1857) without asking. But I can get over that. My question is: could this possibly have been safe? One hole for probably 80lbs of lights? In 150 year old wood? Our ceilings are pretty high - say 12 to 15 feet. If that thing pulled out, there was no backup. It seems to me that someone could have gotten really seriously hurt. Is this an acceptable practice, or am I right to be upset?

I'd appreciate your input.

Thanks,
Caley
index.php/fa/3431/0/
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Caley Monahon-Ward

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Re: scary rigging?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2005, 01:13:40 pm »

close look:
index.php/fa/3432/0/
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Ron Hebbard

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Re: scary rigging?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2005, 04:03:46 pm »

Hello Caley;

Scary? Yes, very.
Rigging?  You're flattering it.

One point?  Bad!
Straight, on axis, load?  Very bad!!
Rigging?  Nope!  Don't be misconstruing this with rigging.

Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
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Caley Monahon-Ward

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Re: scary "rigging"?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2005, 04:43:07 pm »

Ron,

Thanks for your response. Crap! It seemed so bad, I figured I must have misunderstood the situation. I hoped my impressions were wrong, and that they had actually used some sort of spiffy wunderclamp that I, in my naivete, couldn't comprehend or imagine. Thank god no one was hurt. I'll make sure these people never get the opportunity to hang anything from my ceiling in the future. I wish I could think of a way to punish them, other than billing them to fill and paint the hole, which isn't really adequate...

Caley
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Brian Ship

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Re: scary rigging?
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2005, 04:06:42 am »

Only one hole seems kind of sketchy = was it only one hole, much less in seeming on an angle, only one hole from that angle to horizontal or vertical?  Any type of installed bolting into a plaster coated beam is at best short of a lot of research into that beam hit or miss as it were.  Would not surprise me that such a thing was done, but it would surprise me if only one hole were installed to install it from.  Perhaps it was not used at all and this was more a reconocence type of drilling which found nothing.

I seriously doubt these plaster coated but not decorated beams are at this point almost 150 years old.  Just as I doubt short of evidence of compression of the plaster coat with fastening to any actual beam above that this was any hanger going into the actual beam.  Your plaster even if cement based is not the structural part of the beam especially to hang a truss off of.  In hole they might have done something like a flip out anchor but I don't even see anyting of this in damage from compression by way of the attachment to the plaster.

Instead it is probably more if used at all, a safety for the truss.  How it was hung is probably not seen.  Most likely someone get ambitious but did not use the hole once drilled.  This would explain why there was not more of them.

Definately send them a bill for the re-plastering of the beam, but I kind of doubt that either it was a single point hanging the truss or that this was a structural hole.  Not sure beyond say safety or sway brace what it was for given a truss suspended directly under the beam.

Nor am I in not seeing the space sure how they will have hung the truss without towers.

Even if this were a hole to some grid above wire rope were dropped thru, there would be more than one hole for the truss.  Are you sure this is the only hole?  Given this that's my assumption.


Can't judge the company that did the hole because short of looking at what was done it can't be interpeted what they did by way of one photo.  Sorry.  Don't hire them again if not feeling safe with what they did.  Or at least inquire with them as to what their intent was so as to educate you and make you feel safe in what was done.
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Chris McDonald

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Re: scary rigging?
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2005, 06:09:27 pm »

Looks like they might have been hanging from the spinlker pipe and maybe put in a hook to pull the truss back or something... Safety cable would be unlikely, anyone hanging from something like that is not thinking about safety.

I've seen some pretty scary hanging jobs around here(I won't call it rigging). Inspections are un-heard of so people do what ever they think will work. In one club I work in all the time, the truss is hung with this flat metal plumming support tape and supports a few scanners and other DJ lights. They do have safety chains on it but they are not rated for overhead use. Speaker cabinets hung by handles(atleast these are not over anyones head)... etc... One night I got a pretty good fright when I was running my dmx cables up and over the clubs truss and knocked a pinspot off which was caught by the zip cord it was wired up with. The bloddy thing almost got me in the head. Wasn't life threating or anything, but you would feel it.

Another club I did some work in, was a death trap for firefighters. They had some radioshack tower truss tied together and hung 15' above the floor from nylon rope and dog chain. The dog chain was tied to the nylon rope which was tied to the steel rafters. We removed it before the gig.

Another thing that I've seen that scared me was at one of the larger venues around here, the rigging was safe enough but the riggers... 50' above the arean floor walking on the big steel with no safety line at all.
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Caley Monahon-Ward

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Re: scary rigging?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2005, 06:33:13 pm »

I think you're right about the sprinkler pipe, and the screw being a pullback point - that occurred to me as I read Brian's post. I don't suppose sprinkler pipes are a load-rated structure either... hmmm. Anyway, thanks everybody for helping me figure out what to hold these fellows responsible for.

Brian - I certainly didn't hire the dj squad who put up the lights, nor would I dignify them by calling them a company, especially judging by their sound system, which was pretty sloppy. They were hired by the dance troupe. I am just a member of a consensus society that lives in the house. But, being concerned with the safety of the people who come to our house, I'll do my best to prevent this stuff from happening.
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David Hadfield

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Re: scary rigging?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2006, 10:55:41 am »

I find it interesting that you can get the fly anchor type screws that are rated at 10kg (1/4" screw) for hanging out of plaster board (we call it gyprock in Aus). I had my brother (who is a draftsman) to ask one of his engineers what you can hang from a 0.6mm thick, 25mm wide tin plate strip with 10mm bolts at either end will carry 190kg before it starts to stretch.

Saying that, I don't know how well a screw into wood will hold up anything???

Dave
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I work with knobs...
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