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Title: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Sam Costa on December 28, 2018, 10:33:42 pm
So my wife and I went out to a local BBQ restaurant a few minutes from home to see a friends band perform that night. We sat down and naturally I'm looking for the audio gear, to my horror I look up and see this (pictured below)
I mentioned to the waitress that this is not a safe rigging job and they should really have someone redo the work properly. She shrugged her shoulders and said "ok"...

The 2 QSC speakers sit right on top of the front of the stage area (one of each side) were patrons sit for dinner then they move tables out of the way for dancing. The bottom of the cabinets sit about 2'ft above everyone head so placement is horrible and not even aimed correctly to begin with, but this rigging is completely horrible ad unsafe.

Needless to say my wife and I didn't stay long but should I bring it to the owners attention at this point or just contact the local city inspector?

This also might be a location that I might bring my own gear in for future events and will not use any of the existing system.

(https://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a136/fullforcesound/No%20bueno%20rig_zpsfwxfb6in.jpg) (https://s10.photobucket.com/user/fullforcesound/media/No%20bueno%20rig_zpsfwxfb6in.jpg.html)
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Richard Turner on December 28, 2018, 10:51:57 pm
Oh wow. That's is the best worst job post here in a while.

1/4" link chain open loop hook. Guessing that's threaded into the edge of a 1x3 strapping under the gyprock held on with clip head air nails.....
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Eric Snodgrass on December 28, 2018, 10:57:36 pm
Don't sit anywhere near it and don't use it. 
As has been said in another current thread, it's a bit dicey when, as a professional, one gives advice about overhead rigging.  This definitely appears to be rigged haphazardly, but unless you are absolutely sure that this rig has not been certified by an installer or inspected by the local building code authorities it might be best if you just inform the place that this appears quite unsafe (rather than making a declaration of its safety) and, if you are so inclined, inform the local inspecting authority about the existence of this rigging.  They can take it from there. 
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Chris Hindle on December 29, 2018, 07:37:28 am
So my wife and I went out to a local BBQ restaurant a few minutes from home to see a friends band perform that night. We sat down and naturally I'm looking for the audio gear, to my horror I look up and see this (pictured below)
I mentioned to the waitress that this is not a safe rigging job and they should really have someone redo the work properly. She shrugged her shoulders and said "ok"...

The 2 QSC speakers sit right on top of the front of the stage area (one of each side) were patrons sit for dinner then they move tables out of the way for dancing. The bottom of the cabinets sit about 2'ft above everyone head so placement is horrible and not even aimed correctly to begin with, but this rigging is completely horrible ad unsafe.

Needless to say my wife and I didn't stay long but should I bring it to the owners attention at this point or just contact the local city inspector?

This also might be a location that I might bring my own gear in for future events and will not use any of the existing system.

(https://i10.photobucket.com/albums/a136/fullforcesound/No%20bueno%20rig_zpsfwxfb6in.jpg) (https://s10.photobucket.com/user/fullforcesound/media/No%20bueno%20rig_zpsfwxfb6in.jpg.html)
What does the Waitress care?
Find out from the manager who the owner is, and send him/her a note.
A copy to the Fire Marshall would be a good move.
Maybe have your wife write it, as your name might come up in future employment issues.......
Chris.
Ya, real dodgy "installation".
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Sean Zurbrick on December 29, 2018, 09:03:42 am
That's an 87 lb speaker (QSC KW153) just begging to come down.

The only way to be sure it will be dealt with effectively is to report it to an entity that can do something about it. There's no point in speaking to the owners as all you're doing is calling out it's you that reported it should inspectors come calling. If you're part of the scene, doing it anonymously also avoids dealing with backlash from the local music community (other venue owners, friends, bands). Although they should be thanking you, you can't predict how people will react.

Even if you're not part of the scene I'd do it anonymously. You don't know the owners, how they'll react to laying out cash to do it properly and what fines they might be accessed, so don't risk retaliation.
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Bob Stone on December 29, 2018, 12:23:53 pm
That's an 87 lb speaker (QSC KW153) just begging to come down.

Well...at least it looks like they used the M10 rig points on the top...even if the rest is completely inadequate.
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Richard Turner on December 29, 2018, 07:14:47 pm
Not even. I'd lay money on m10 bolt with a distorted plain steel 3/8" washer, no lock washer on top of it, threaded in 3 threads so it wouldnt chip the cabinet by having the chain tightened down

If I was gigging there and needed the space under it  I'd set it on the floor in the corner and leave a note warning any staff not to re hang it and make the owners do it right the second time.
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on December 29, 2018, 10:15:36 pm
Geez guys, maybe I'm just an old codger from a different generation with a different perspective on what's risk / what's safe...
I don't get all the safety over-lording...
Who knows how it's really hung, and honestly it doesn't take much to hang 87 lbs completely static... I'd dine under it..


Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on December 30, 2018, 12:46:03 am
What does the Waitress care?
Find out from the manager who the owner is, and send him/her a note.
A copy to the Fire Marshall would be a good move.
Maybe have your wife write it, as your name might come up in future employment issues.......
Chris.
Ya, real dodgy "installation".

Regarding informing the fire marshal, I recently spoke to the fire marshal when he came in for a preshow inspection in a town I was working in. I have known him for years. I mentioned my concerns about some rigging practices of some very heavy set pieces and I mentioned that he might want to take a closer look at it. This is a very strict fire marshal and he said that doesn’t fall under his authority to do anything about. So depending on where you are this may not be a fire marshals job or concern. I was actually very surprised at his answer, to the point of not even then thinking to ask him whose job is it.
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Kevin Maxwell on December 30, 2018, 12:48:03 am
Geez guys, maybe I'm just an old codger from a different generation with a different perspective on what's risk / what's safe...
I don't get all the safety over-lording...
Who knows how it's really hung, and honestly it doesn't take much to hang 87 lbs completely static... I'd dine under it..

You said “I don't get all the safety over-lording...” well It becomes a concern when there are incidents of people getting hurt or even killed due to improper rigging. So when we see things that we know are not proper rigging practices we have a tendency to be concerned for people’s safety. Are you saying that you don’t see the issues with the way that that speaker is hung when you say “Who knows how it's really hung,”?

And as far as it being a “completely static” hang, do you think that the vibrations of the music being played thru that speaker have no effect at all on the hang? While technically most people would consider a hanging speaker to be static, there are vibrations at work. Have you any experience with vibration testing? It is interesting to see how things fall apart in some of these tests. Have you ever seen a speaker on the floor that doesn’t have rubber feet on it walk away from the sound being played thru it?

Is the speaker in the picture about to fall down? We don’t know. But we do know it isn’t hung properly. The thing that concerns me the most about it is the hook that looks like it is just screwed into the ceiling. It looks like a bent hook wood screw. So that right there is 2 things wrong. 

Here is a quote from a JBL document regarding hanging speakers.
“Lag-Screw Eyes cut threads into wood and rely upon the strength of the wooden threads to carry the load. The ultimate strength of the bond depends upon the strength of the material and total surface area threaded into it. Wood or wood fiber makes untrustworthy threads and should never be used to support overhead loads.”
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Mark Cadwallader on December 30, 2018, 01:05:52 am
Geez guys, maybe I'm just an old codger from a different generation with a different perspective on what's risk / what's safe...
I don't get all the safety over-lording...
Who knows how it's really hung, and honestly it doesn't take much to hang 87 lbs completely static... I'd dine under it..

The fact that the suspension point is an open J hook is enough to tell me not to go near where it is hanging. 

The size of rod that forms the hook is enough information too.

Not to mention that the chain doesn't run through the eye bolts on the top of the speaker, but it also appears to be side-loading the eyebolts.

And that's just what I see from the picture on an iPhone screen.
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Stephen Swaffer on December 30, 2018, 03:47:36 pm
Here is a quote from a JBL document regarding hanging speakers.
“Lag-Screw Eyes cut threads into wood and rely upon the strength of the wooden threads to carry the load. The ultimate strength of the bond depends upon the strength of the material and total surface area threaded into it. Wood or wood fiber makes untrustworthy threads and should never be used to support overhead loads.”

I understand where you are coming from-but there are times when wood is the only framing material available  ;) .  To a degree this comes across to me as boiler plate "We're not responsible"-though in my mind the only thing the speaker builder should be held responsible for is if the fly points hold or fail.  The problem is that the language makes it difficult for me to always follow their instructions thus requiring some interpretation as to where to draw the line. (part of my day job responsibilities is overseeing hoists and rigging in an industrial facility-I do not consider myself an expert-but I do understand the issues involved safety factors and all that) One of my biggest concerns on this hang is that if one screw hook fails it comes down.

Perhaps the most effective/ethical and likely to be listened to course of action would be a note to the owner indicating your concern and the discomfort caused-and the possibility that it will influence your decision to frequent the establishment.  You are but one customer-but any business owner worth their salt knows a happy customer is worth their weight in gold when it comes to advertising.  Compliment whatever you can-and express it as a safety concern.  It is quite likely a case of someone doing what they know-and simply not knowing any better.

Our pastor became concerned about lighted exit signs because a visitor to our Christmas play expressed a concern.  Probably faster results (and certainly less friction involved) than if a demanding building official came in the door insisting we do something "or else".

Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Frank Koenig on December 30, 2018, 05:15:06 pm
There exists engineering guidance for lag screw connections into timber for both tension and shear. I found it a few years ago when I was designing a steel deck to go on an existing wood house. The majority of the connections in this case were bolted through wood framing members using nuts and large washers but there were several locations where a blind fastener was required. Incidentally, all the plans were gone over and stamped by a licensed civil engineer before being approved by the county.

Regulations aside, what I think about when flying a speaker, or anything else for that matter, is redundancy, or the lack thereof. The least reliable connections should be redundant so that if any one fails the remaining ones take the load and give visual warning to the inhabitants. The sometimes unavoidable single points of failure, those where failure would cause the object to fall, need to be of the highest reliability and conservatively rated: forged, rated, eyebolts; grade-8 cap screws; etc.

The OP's example fails miserably where the iffy hook goes into God-knows-what in the ceiling. Were the speaker suspended from, say, a couple of pieces of Unistrut lag screwed at multiple points into wood framing using suitably large and long screws, I bet a CE would sign off on it. Better to add a wire rope loop with a WLL  >10x the weight of the speaker that goes over a large framing member or two. That would satisfy redundancy and I, at least, would be happy.

As for what to do, at best I'd notify the city (San Jose, I'm guessing) building department and hope something happens. Beyond that, don't let your friends sit under it.

Happy New Year.

--Frank

PS:There was a great quote at the end of the recent movie "Apollo 8".  As the astronauts are being hoisted into a helicopter after splashdown one of them says (approximately), "I spent the last ? days in a spacecraft where everything was designed with redundancy. Now I'm hanging from a single 3/8 in. wire rope." Man after my own heart... -F

Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Douglas R. Allen on December 30, 2018, 07:22:01 pm
   Do those speakers require a pull back?  Those rig points look close to the front. If it does have pull backs I wonder how it will turn/spin if/when? it falls..  Shudder.....

Douglas R. Allen
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Randy Pence on January 05, 2019, 10:32:38 am
Geez guys, maybe I'm just an old codger from a different generation with a different perspective on what's risk / what's safe...
I don't get all the safety over-lording...
Who knows how it's really hung, and honestly it doesn't take much to hang 87 lbs completely static... I'd dine under it..

yea, who needs seatbelts in cars?
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Riley Casey on January 05, 2019, 01:08:17 pm
As a government certified old codger I'm good with extremely high rigging standards. You and I may not have much runway left but I have a keen interest in making sure my kids and grandkids come away healthy and whole from the next show they attend.  I have pointedly explained to the owners of small bars that my kids have played at that the speakers they've hung in similar ways were not safe and if they were that way the next time I was in attendance I would make a call to the ABC board.  Guess what, it worked.  Bar and restaurant owners couldn't care less about whiney old patrons but they are scared shitless about their liquor license.

Geez guys, maybe I'm just an old codger from a different generation with a different perspective on what's risk / what's safe...

Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Mark Oakley on January 05, 2019, 01:31:46 pm
they are scared shitless about their liquor license.

Absolutely true. I've invoked the term "Liquor Control Board" in conversations waaay back when I was playing in bars that were slow to pay after my band had played. Worked like a charm.

-Mark
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Tim Tyler on January 05, 2019, 04:53:33 pm
Geez guys, maybe I'm just an old codger from a different generation with a different perspective on what's risk / what's safe...
I don't get all the safety over-lording...
Who knows how it's really hung, and honestly it doesn't take much to hang 87 lbs completely static... I'd dine under it..

Mark - another old codger here - in all the decades I've been on this forum or following pro sound issues, I've seen catastrophic sound system damage due to high wind, fire, flood, tsunami, vehicle crashes, landslides, tornado, hurricane, improper tent construction and warfare - those are the only ones I remember specifically.  I've never seen or heard of speakers such as the one on this thread actually falling.  It's sloppy and probably illegal, but I think the actual danger is grievously overrated.  I think the OP should make some calls and then get over it.

Cheers,
-Tim T
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Dave Garoutte on January 05, 2019, 05:52:54 pm
I doubt if a speaker falling on the ground in a bar would make national news like the other things you described.  It may well happen more often than we are aware of.
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Lee Douglas on January 05, 2019, 09:39:11 pm
Speakers fall.  Links from page one of simple search bear this out.  To bury your head in the sand and pretend otherwise until it happens within your limited little world is just ignorant.  If your conscience is clear, looking other way when you see a potential problem, so be it.  But don't belittle others for showing concern and trying to make others aware, who may not otherwise know of the potential for failure.  I think there should be a sticky of compiled safety failure issues links that could be shared, if needed.  Sometimes a picture of three year old with his head sliced open and traumatic brain injury might be enough to warrant a second look.

https://kdvr.com/2014/09/06/speaker-falls-on-teen-at-movie-theater/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4481614/Boy-three-badly-injured-speaker-fell-head.html

https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/woman-knocked-unconscious-by-falling-speaker-at-rcmp-musical-ride-1.3565769
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on January 06, 2019, 03:55:44 pm

Hi guys, guess I owe some replies.
I realize my angst post was not really about safety itself,…
Because I don't take chances with others' safety.

I can see that my post was really about the ongoing ire I have with what I call "safety politics".

I could go into how I’ve become jaded here, but suffice it say that I’ve donated a lot of time to trying to improve public safety in my retired years.
I've had graduate level training at assessing levels, types, and comparisons of risks,…. along with understanding how personal preferences and fears influence both private and public opinion. Working on water safety issues seemed like a good way to help out the community.
But I’ve found that safety regs and laws are often formed by emotions and legislator mob rule…not by reason or placing risks in perspective.
The crap that surfaces “in the name of safety” often scares me……… politics and personal agengas hide behind the safety flag alot.
So when i see folks chiming in on safety, I get antsy unless there's certainty involved.

Anyway, this is my raw nerve/issue, and not something I should have dumped  on the forum…please accept my apologies.


OK, I’ll try to at least briefly touch base to posts where i was addressed..…

Answering  the OP’s original question…'What would you do?'
Yeah, I agree with the number of folks who said if you see something unsafe that moves you, only take it up with the most responsible person you can.
That simple.

If nothing changes and you’re still moved to correct the situation, contact whatever authority is deemed appropriate. 
But IMO, that is tantamount to calling the cops on someone, or taking them to court, ….so I have to be damn sure that there’s probable risk to others….
(And ask myself if maybe I’m doing anything as equally, probably, unsafe... that I should fix …… )

Someone asked if I don’t see the rigging issues in the picture…
Yep, I see them, and at  least one more that concerns me as much as those mentioned. The horizontal pull on the speaker mounting bolts looks like it’s already bent them a little.
Some folks aren’t aware how a vertical load, creates a  horizontal pull, magnified by trigonometry. At least the horiz angle in the pict isn’t severe…may be ok.

Before the above mentioned life eras, I was a union elevator constructor.  We did a lot of rigging and hoisting.
It gave me the experience to hang 280 lb mains and dual 18 subs from the ceiling in a big rec room I built.
My kids were totally safe directly underneath.
I’ve put lots of stuff overhead in a number of structures.
And yep, I have experience with the vibration ….you wouldn’t think so, but my observation is vibration issues seem to be less when hanging…??
(Frankly, I have far more qualms with speakers on sticks, than with hangs I can inspect. But I digress…)

And I still have to say this, unless I could actually get up on a ladder and take a close look at things, I wouldn’t simply declare this hang unsafe.
It just isn’t that heavy…who really knows without a close look....??

Peace brothers…

PS….Hey Tim, thanks for the perspective!
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: David Allred on January 06, 2019, 05:55:37 pm
The right eyebolt appears to be bent from the loop through (which is a no-no).

What do seat belts have to do with this?  One is the safety of others, and one is the safety of self (personal responsibility).
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Frank Koenig on January 06, 2019, 05:59:11 pm
I can see that my post was really about the ongoing ire I have with what I call "safety politics".

Mark, I think I understand where you are coming from. I often have feelings along the same lines. They are difficult to articulate. What gets my goat is when I perceive people using safety or security as a means of self-empowerment or self-aggrandizement. Often folks with limited technical knowledge but some level of institutional power (and often a profound lack of curiosity) enforce safety dogma because it's the power they have. In my younger days I had run-ins with security guards, the keepers of stockrooms, and others whom I felt were being unreasonable, or untrusting of me. I'm sure they all thought (correctly) that I was an elite, arrogant prick.

I've learned to recognize these situations and to let it go (I hope). Let them preach and have their day. I'll go on and make my own decisions, right or wrong,  and take responsibility for the outcomes.  If I'm doing something iffy, I don't sing about it on an Internet forum, nor do I get on too high a horse about what others do. If I see something that looks acutely dangerous I'll call it out because of the moral obligation to do so, but I choose my battles. (I have, in my darker moments, imagined the emergency responder who will shoot me dead, for my own safety of course, should I decide to, say, enter an "unsafe" building.)

--Frank
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Mark Wilkinson on January 06, 2019, 06:57:02 pm
Thank you Frank,
   
I think you do a nice job of articulating the frustrations that can arise... along with a  wise way of handling them.
Title: Re: What would you do? (Bad rigging issue at local restaurant)
Post by: Sam Costa on January 07, 2019, 07:01:23 pm
Mark - another old codger here - in all the decades I've been on this forum or following pro sound issues, I've seen catastrophic sound system damage due to high wind, fire, flood, tsunami, vehicle crashes, landslides, tornado, hurricane, improper tent construction and warfare - those are the only ones I remember specifically.  I've never seen or heard of speakers such as the one on this thread actually falling.  It's sloppy and probably illegal, but I think the actual danger is grievously overrated.  I think the OP should make some calls and then get over it.

Cheers,
-Tim T

" I think the OP should make some calls and then get over it."

Thanks Tim... dont worry, I'm over it. Emails and calls sent. Rest assure, I won't be placing any of my audio gear anywhere near that shitty install.  ::)