Posts

Workplace Safety in Our Industry — An Awesome Primer from Sound Prospects

Another day, another reminder of how careful we all have to be when we’re out there defying the laws of reality:

indiana-state-fair-collapse-falling

It’s no secret in our business that there are people out doing shows RIGHT NOW that should not be doing work, and companies that are one disaster from screwing up our peace and serenity with their incompetence.  There are also a lot of people out there who have never had their hands on a piece of equipment but feel qualified to give the rest of us advice on how to do things.

The opposite of the two aforementioned groups are folks like the ones at Sound Prospects in Switzerland; Sound Prospects recently wrote a great piece on workplace safety, and I needed to cross-post that article so people hear the safety chant from people OTHER than myself, Erich Friend at Teqniqal Systems (and the awesome Theatre Safety Blog), Richard Cadena from PLASA and the Academy of Production Technology, among other people chanting the Gregorian chant of survival in our business.

Please check out the article at Sound Prospects, written by Alex Schoenknecht.  I recommend also checking out some of Alex’s other articles! — a few highlights from the Workplace Safety article:

Most Common Rigging Mistakes

1.) Unrated Hardware

It is essential that the Safe Working Load (SWL) of all components in a system is known and that the Safe Working Load for the weakest component is not exceeded. Hardware that does not have the SWL clearly forged into it is a “wild card”. Most industrial applications work on a SWL of 5:1. A component that will fail under a load of 5000 lbs. that is given a safety factor of 5:1 has an SWL of 1000 lbs. In the entertainment industry an SWL of 8:1 is the accepted standard.

2.) Incomplete Installation

Even though a component may have a sufficient SWL rating, it becomes a liability if it is not installed correctly. Installations should be neat and clean with hardware properly terminated. An installation that is neat and orderly allows for easier inspections and ensures that the forces on components, such as pulleys, are within the equipment’s design limits.

3.) Damaged Equipment

A piece of damaged equipment becomes the weak link and a liability to the system as a whole. Damaged components must be replaced immediately with ones that are of equal or greater rating. Replacing a broken part, even temporarily, with a substandard piece is putting the integrity of the system at risk.

4.) Wear and Tear

Even the best of systems wear out. This is why it is essential for maintenance to be an ongoing process. Most Countries require yearly inspections of all hoisting equipment. The owner must keep a maintenance and repair log. Since we are often lifting over head the operator must be aware of any changes in how the system is running and investigate the cause immediately to ensure that safe operation is not compromised.

5.) Improper Use

Using equipment for purposes that it was not designed for, or modifying equipment for other purposes, can easily result in overloading and failure. Many components also have strict guidelines as to how and where they should be used by the manufacturer. For example Spectrum 3 proof coil chain is suitable for suspending stationary loads, but if the load will be moving a Spectrum 8 chain is required. It is important to ensure that the components are appropriate for the application.

Thanks for the great article, Alex!

A Grim Reminder of the Latest Deaths in Our Beloved Industry Before Summer Work Kicks Off

indiana-state-fair-collapse-falling

HEY!  YOU! 

You there, with the rigging bag.

You there, with the crescent wrench and fearless attitude.

You there, sporting the “supervisor” face but looking at your cell phone when motors are moving.

You there, new guy and new girl, who are googly-eyed at the awesomeness but should be watching their own backs and paying attention to the work.

The summer season of outdoor music and theatre has started, and no matter if you’re doing corporate shows, theatre, music, or art production, this post needs to serve as a reminder.  Along with orgs like PLASA and the Event Safety Alliance, JimOnLight.com is doing everything they can to NOT have a summer like the last few we’ve had – and what I can do is provide a reminder of the hell that we as an industry have seen, not to mention the families of those killed in these accidents and disasters lately.  If I might reiterate, what we do is entertainment; it may pay the bills, but if you see something less than safe happening or took place in putting something together that you might not feel 100% about once it was finished, SPEAK UP NOW!

YOUR DUTY:  It is your duty to the safety of others and your own personal safety to keep your head in the game once you are onsite.  This includes WEATHER concerns, Safety concerns,

To address an email I got from a guy out there who prefers to remain anonymous out there, who asked me what would happen if a person got fired for refusing to do something unsafe.  My response was something along the lines of:

  1. You are probably working for a company that is a time bomb of fail waiting to happen — don’t be the fuse, and don’t feel bad about not wanting to die at work.
  2. Regardless of Fact #1, you should probably consult an attorney before you go thermonuclear.  Most attorneys do so for free.
  3. Call people like OSHA, PLASA, USITT, anyone you can think of if something shady is going on.  So you lose your job – don’t for a second think that the industry won’t be behind you for saving lives.
  4. You can file unemployment in a case like that – a company doing shady safety work will sooner than later be discovered, it would not be in their interest to fight your claim.  But, your mileage may vary, and frankly, some people have better luck than others in life at these things.
  5. Feel good that you aren’t in that situation anymore, and get right back out there and find another gig if you lose yours.  Do the right thing.  Having deaths on your conscience is good for no human, no matter how little of a part you played in the process.

That’s my opinion, anyway.  That’s what I’d do.  An industry that won’t take care of people who keep it safe is not an industry anyone should participate in, regardless of the possible profits.  Money is less valuable than lives.

Here’s a reminder of sacrifices have been made to further the standardization of safety in our business – please forgive me if I overlooked one close to you, all you have to do is email me and I will append this post.

APRIL 5, 2013: 
RIGGERS, TAKE HEED:  Houston Dean Williams slipped and fell to the stage floor while moving around a beam in San Antonio at the AT&T Center.

RIGGERS-NOT-SKYDIVERS

MAY 6, 2013:
A man was killed when a PA stack fell on him
at a protest rally in Moscow.

russia-man-killed-protest

APRIL 17, 2013:
Boston Marathon Bombings claim the lives of three marathongoers, wounding several dozens.  Let’s not forget, this was at an entertainment function.

Boston Marathon Explosions TOPIX

March 15, 2013:
A video wall came apart and fell on stage hands
in Miami for Ultra Music Festival.  No one killed, fortunately, but several people were hurt.

ultra-music-festival-accident

June 16, 2012:
1 dead, 3 wounded at a Radiohead concert in Toronto, Ontario
.

radiohead-stage-collapse-toronto

December 15, 2011:
1 person was killed and 8 people injured when truss collapsed
in Trieste, Italy at a Jovanotti concert.

trieste-jovanotti-collapse

August 19, 2011:
5 people killed and 70+ injured when a storm blew over a stage
at the Pukkelpop Festival in Belgium.

pukkelpop-collapse-5

Perhaps the worst of them all lately…  August 15, 2011:
At the Sugarland show at the Indiana State Fair, a storm blew over an outdoor stage loaded with audio and lighting truss, killing 7 people and injuring 58.

indiana-state-fair-collapse-falling

May 13, 2010:
A young lighting tech in West Palm Beach fell to his death from a catwalk while working on a show.

andy-hollingsworth1.jpg

July 27, 2009:
A Pepsi Battle of the Bands in Guangzhou, China experiences a huge, sudden storm that tips over LED screens and injures several dozen.  Reports of people killed were removed from the web, so I think it’s fair that we can assume several people died in this accident.

pepsi-battle-of-the-bands-accident

July 16, 2009:
At a Marseilles, France tour stop for Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet tour, a stage roof collapsed, killing 2 stage hands involved in the load-in.

madonna-stage-collapse1.jpg

Let’s also never forget the Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake truss collapse in August 2003:

timberlake11.jpg

Just don’t forget.  Also, don’t forget that you are responsible for yourself out there, and when you’re putting equipment together, keep in mind that your diligence will mean the difference between you and others going home on the bus and going home in the ambulance – or even worse, getting a ride home with the coroner.

Be safe out there, Road Warriors!

 

The Daily Lamp – Hourglass Lamp, Which Needs NO ELECTRICITY, for the People of Moore, OK

Today’s Daily Lamp comes in the aftermath of the horrible tornado tragedy from Moore, Oklahoma — the EF 5 tornado was 1.3 miles wide as it tore through houses, killing at least 24 people, including 9 children.  A very sad time in Oklahoma.

When these kinds of things happen and power goes out, people should be prepared to experience days — if not several days — before they get light and power back after tragedies like these.  That’s why I picked this Daily Lamp to represent today.  Meet Danielle Trofe’s Hourglass Lamp, in both Table and Floor varieties.  From Danielle’s website on Hourglass Lamp:

The Hourglass Floor Lamp is powered by kinetic energy generated from the falling of sand. This off-the-grid lighting solution illuminates interior environments using LEDs. The four foot tall, lean hourglass is suspended and rotates on a hinge so that it can be flipped with ease to extend the life of the light. This creates a user connection and a greater awareness of the value and finite source of light energy.

Dim: 5 W x 6 D x 55 H “

Materials: Handblown Glass, Hand Turned Sustainable Wood, Sand from Recycled Glass, Welded Steel Stand, LED’s

Options: Dark Wood with Black Stand or Light Wood with White Stand

Kinetic energy – this means that YOU DON’T NEED POWER for this fixture to provide light.  If you’re in a place with weather that frequently if not at least infrequently kills power to your home, look into getting something that allows you to have light without having power.

hourglass-lamp-1

hourglass-lamp-2

My thoughts go out to the people of Moore, Oklahoma in this time of terrible tragedy.  Mother Nature always wins.

April 2013’s Top 20 Posts

April 2013 has not been a fully happy period in our industry, at least on the accidents front.  Unfortunately I have to report that a lot of the top 20 posts that were read in 193 countries all over the world were stories I reported where injury or death to our stage hand brothers and sisters.  At least their names will never be forgotten, at least by me.  Ever.  In order to go where we’re going, we have to remember how we got here.  It’s not all negative, but get ready to relive some disaster in our business.

The most read post in April of 2013 from JimOnLight.com:

A Rigger Dies after a 100 Foot Fall at AT&T Center in San AntonioRIGGERS-NOT-SKYDIVERS

April 2013’s Most Read Post #2:
The TO THE ARCHIVES link on JOL!
jim_jol1.jpg

April 2013’s Most Read Post #3:
San Antonio Rigger Falls 100 Feet to Death at AT&T Center
fall-arrest-harness

April 2013’s Most Read Post #4:
Lighting 101:  Luminance VS. Illuminance
250px-Angle_of_incidence.svg.png

April 2013’s Most Read Post #5:
New Footage of the Demolition of the Famous Texas Stadium
texas-stadium

April 2013’s Most Read Post #6:
Let’s Be Safer, At Least in the Entertainment Industry
ka-airbags-safety

April 2013’s Most Read Post #7:
A Time-Lapse of the Maroon 5 Overexposed Tour Load-In
maroon-5-overexposed-rig

April 2013’s Most Read Post #8:
Memorial Fund Established for Dean Williams, Rigger Who Fell at AT&T Center in San Antonio
indiana-state-fair-collapse-falling

April 2013’s Most Read Post #9:
UPDATE – Ultra Music Festival LED Wall Accident
ultra-music-festival-accident

April 2013’s Most Read Post #10:
Jim Hutchison Leaves CAST Software, Opens Lumen Buddha Studios, A Lighting Industries Think-Tank and Design Studio
lumenbuddha

April 2013’s Most Read Post #11:
INDUSTRY ACCIDENT – Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Video Wall Falls on Workers
ultra-music-festival-rig

April 2013’s Most Read Post #12:
Something Horribly Wrong is Going On at Wicked Lasers, UPDATED
new-wicked-lasers-shipping-schedule

April 2013’s Most Read Post #13:
Recommended Reading on JOL!
JOL-recommended-reading

April 2013’s Most Read Post #14:
Radiohead Stage Collapse in Toronto — 1 Dead, 3 Wounded
radiohead-stage-collapse-toronto

April 2013’s Most Read Post #15:
Gaffers and Grips — DIY Gaff Tape Key Fob
gaff-tape-key-fob-3

April 2013’s Most Read Post #16:
LER:  Luminaire Efficacy Rating
lifi-source-efficiency.gif

April 2013’s Most Read Post #17:
DARTH FADER
darth_fader_650

April 2013’s Most Read Post #18:
LED Freerunning:  Lighting Emitting Dudes
light-emitting-dudes_13

April 2013’s Most Read Post #19:
Mycena Lux Coeli — The Coolest Mushroom I Have Ever Seen!
mycena_lux-coeli11.jpg

April 2013’s Most Read Post #20:
Pilobolus’ Shadowland Review
pilobolus21.jpg

 

 

Let’s Be Safer, At Least in the Entertainment Industry

Update:  the image below is for free use, please download away and print to post in any place that you need to warn riggers to clip in.  Right click here and choose “Save As” to grab the image.
RIGGERS-NOT-SKYDIVERS

I was sitting on the couch yesterday with Laura, and I was writing some posts.  I remember turning to her and saying “babe, I hate writing about people dying.”

I was looking back at the posts I’ve written about our brothers and sisters dying on the job or at a show, and those posts have more traffic than anything I’ve ever posted on JimOnLight.com – the world’s thirst for death and blood never ceases to amaze me.

People outside the Entertainment industry have amazing reactions to the kinds of accidents we have in this business — a man falling 100 feet?  A roof structure falling onto a handful of people at a concert?  An LED video panel crashing to the deck onto people working below it?  These are serious accidents that attract the attention of people worldwide – and considering the number of productions and events that occurs every day compared to the number of accidents that end in bodily harm or death within our productions, we’re doing quite well.  Maybe not airline odds, but we’re doing OK as far as the stats are concerned.  But here’s the thing — what exactly is ok when it comes to the injury and death of our production and design professional brothers and sisters, wives and husbands, girlfriends and boyfriends, sons and daughters?

This lighting designer submits that zero is the number that is acceptable.

But:  as the government is responsible for making the rules and laws that we depend on “to keep us safe” on the job, it’s our responsibility to do what is necessary to remain safe at the gig, on the job site, and while the show is going on.  It is our responsibility to make sure that we can keep working safely just as well as it is the people who make the rules.  It is our responsibility as an active and involved industry to make sure that our people are safe on the job, and that they go home at the end of every day and night.

Collectively, we’re really bad at being 100% safe in our business, and you know what I mean.  I have been just as guilty in my life as the next man or woman in this business, where opening night is just as important a deadline to satisfy as a wedding day or Christmas.  When I say you know what I mean, I’m talking about the standing on the top step of a ladder, climbing truss to “just focus that one spot” without a harness, maybe climbing an AP boom to focus without being hooked up to fall arrest.  Also in this category falls the common Entertainment industry trends of removing the legs from man lifts, moving people around in man lifts with them fully extended, and on and on and on and on.  When I was young and still climbed trusses, I’m sure I’m guilty at one point.  It took me learning what my life was really worth to make me start remembering that safety is way more important than some stupid show, some deadline.  It’s something that I am reminded of every time I have to write about another Nathan Byrd, another Dean Williams.

Young production professionals and students of Entertainment Production and Design programs across the world, listen up:
While it’s important to work hard and get the show or event done and ready on time, it is not important to jeopardize your safety to get something on a work list done at the expense of risking your safety.  Quite frankly, that last sentence should read “YOUR SAFETY IS NEVER EVER TO BE JEOPARDIZED FOR A SHOW.”  Just because that top hat is kind-of in there and you can only reach it by stepping off of the lift for just a second doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.  You must think of what can happen if you fall – who takes care of you?  What happens if you’re paralyzed if you’re “lucky” enough not to die?  How will you work and take care of yourself and family?  Just because you’ve done it before and you’ve succeeded in being fast at your job because you cut corners instead of coming down to re-position the lift or ladder does not make you “good at your job.”  It makes you a dumbass.  That’s right — it makes you a dumb ass.

How do you tell a kid learning how to do this kind of work that it’s so very urgent to get it done by the deadline and at the same time tell them that you can’t cut corners for their own safety to get it done?  I used to say this to students, and it always seemed to be a real eye-opener:
What do you think is going to happen in most cases if you fall in some theatre or working for, let’s say, a production company doing a concert or event?  If you hurt yourself, the money to take care of you has to come from somewhere, right?  Taking care of someone who can’t urinate on their own anymore, let alone eat or walk, is really expensive – in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars a month.  What’s going to happen first and foremost in most cases in most situations, the company that controls the place you fell (if you’re lucky enough to have lived) is going to make sure it’s your fault, somehow.  We’re talking about a lot of money here, kids, they’re not going to just pay out without a vicious, nasty fight.  However, the chances are that you’ve already signed a waiver of holding the company responsible for damages you sustain on the site.  So once you fall and hurt yourself forever, you’re screwed.  This also means your parents are screwed; your wife or husband, if they stick around, is screwed.  Your kids, if you have them?  Screwed.  Your career?  Well, it’s screwed because you obviously didn’t care about it anyway to be careful enough to continue doing it.

In chatting with a friend about this exact subject, the observation was brought up that the people hurt or killed in the accidents we’ve been having lately have been seasoned professionals, people who knew their job and did it frequently.  That’s all fine and good, but one thing is certain – if the seasoned professionals who have died were doing exactly the right thing, the chances are better that they would have survived.  Questions pop up in the most recent case of Dean Williams, who fell from the primary steel at the AT&T Center in San Antonio — why did Dean fall?  According to the news stories, [Dean Williams] had been wearing a harness connected to a safety line, Berry said, but he disconnected it to step around a beam, where he intended to reconnect to another safety line on the other side.”  Was Dean not wearing a double lanyard?  Why was he completely disconnected from the safety at any time up there working?  Do you see what happens now when even the most seasoned of professionals slips up, even for one second?  I bring up this accident in hopes that some young tech out there owning the road will see that you’re not going to win against time and risk.  I hope that maybe this also hits some older, more seasoned guys who are cutting corners with their future.

If you were hurt on the job because something happened and you were hurt without breaking a rule, that’s something completely different.  I am not talking about that here.  This post is for the know-it-all kids out there with the eagerness of a puppy and a fear level lower than a Navy Seal who can scale vertical structures with the speed of Spidey and can climb out on a beam with no tremble whatsoever.  Let Dean Williams be your example of what can happen when you let down your guard for one hundredth of a second.  By all accounts, Dean was a pro.  He let his guard slip for a half a heartbeat, we all do it.  Let’s all quit letting down our guard together, as an industry.

We’re awesome, we can do anything we want to do, as long as we do it together.  Please share this with your friends and family on all sides of the industry, let’s get this in everyone’s ears and eyes.

INDUSTRY ACCIDENT – Ultra Music Festival in Miami, Video Wall Falls on Workers

ultra-music-festival-accident

VIDEO:

Breaking news from Miami — a video wall fell over on stage Thursday night and trapped stagehands working on the rig in Miami at this year’s Ultra Music Festival.  No deaths were reported, but some workers suffered “life-threatening injuries” and others sustained broken legs, says the Miami Herald.  From the article at the Herald:

Two of the men suffered what fire rescue officials said were life-threatening injuries, including one with two possibly broken legs.

Two other workers were also struck by the falling equipment; one was in stable condition, and the other was treated at the scene. The seriously injured workers were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The 8 p.m. accident, which occurred on the eve of what is billed as “the largest electronic dance event in the world,” will force a section of the large concert area at Bayfront Park to be closed off to the thousands of concert-goers who are expected.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/03/14/3286599/part-of-lighting-collapses-at.html#storylink=cpy

The AP was also reporting on this story:

Carroll said the LED screens were about 30 feet above the stage, and that one section – several squares connected together – fell.

“For whatever reason they came crashing down on workers on the stage,” he said,

He said the workers were struck by a section that was about 7 feet in height and that extended three-quarters the length of the stage.

I’ll be reporting this back as I get information.  Let’s hope that the lives of these guys setting up a video wall are spared and their injuries are just injuries.

Here’s an image of the rig I found from Facebook user Habs Akram:

ultra-music-festival-rig

As far as the show goes, it’s supposed to be a big one, with weekend tickets at a three hundred dollar starting point.  I don’t really care about who’s playing, but if you want to know, click this image below:

full-lineup-34

UK Streets Might Get Mood Lighting

Heyooooo! JimOnLight’s UK correspondent here, coming at you with hot off the press news!

The conversation to dim streetlights during very low traffic levels has been initiated, and it’s causing quite a stir! The Press Association reports:

” Norman Baker, the local transport minister, supported the move as long as safety was not compromised.

In a parliamentary written answer he said: “The level of light reduction will be based upon internationally agreed standards and made in consultation with the UK’s Institute of Lighting Professionals.

“It is right that lighting authorities consider, in the interests of cost-saving and the environment, whether lighting can be sensibly dimmed or turned off, consistent with proper safety assessments.” “

The roads in question are the A roads, the major thoroughfares connecting cities which are not motorways. The Californian side of me would describe A roads as “highways,” while motorways are “freeways.” Kapeesh?

So we like saving the environment, and we like saving money. Why is this such a massive discussion?

Numerous fears including increased crime, automobile accidents, are mixed with financial worries. The conversion would cost a significant sum, and people aren’t sold on MAKIN IT RAIN!

The Telegraph reports:

“…While authorities across the UK are saving £21.5 million per year by turning off nine per cent of lights, the schemes to reduce street lighting cost a total of £106.3 million.

The bill for installing dimming technology or converting lights to part-night operations, which is five times greater than the saving, means some councils will not start seeing the benefits for up to eight years.”

This follows other UK locations, such as the Welsh county of Gwynedd have already experimented in dimming street lights between midnight and 5:30 am. There seems to be much more support of dimming street lights than turning them off. Kirklees and Derbyshire are amongst numerous experiments in turning off street lights, both completely and in selection (1 in 10 seems to be a common cutting ratio). Fears of isolation ensued.

What do you think? Turn ‘em all off and make everyone wear headlamps, selective black outs, dimming, ALL OF THE LIGHTS! @ FL or something else?

 

If you found this interesting, I also posted about the delightfully unexpected results of blue street lights in Glasgow as well as Japan here. I’m imagining these cobalt lamps as urban super heros, stopping crime and saving lives! Neato burrito.

Indiana State Fair Collapse Report Blames Mid-America and IATSE?

Update 11:53am:  audio of the news conference releasing the IOSHA report that happened Wednesday, February 8, 2012.  heads up, it’s a direct link to the .WMA file the State released.

I’m a bit at odds with how to write this article because it is news, after all.

Governor Daniels and his people from the State departments tasked with finding out who to point the finger at with regards to the disaster in Indiana this summer at the Indiana State Fair finally put out their report.  Finally.  The report finds that Mid-America Sound and IATSE Local #30 for the issues.  Something I find confusing and disgusting is that:

  1. Governor Daniels has not acknowledged that the State has any blame;
  2. the PRODUCERS of this event haven’t had any blame placed on them, either.

Does anyone else find this disturbing?

Here are the blame documents and the safety violations with fines attached.  I downloaded the originals posted today.

  1. ISFC News Release
  2. IOSHA Inspections FACT SHEET
  3. Safety Order for the Indiana State Fair Commission
  4. Summary Sheet for the Indiana State Fair Commission
  5. Safety Order for IATSE Local #30
  6. Summary Sheet for IATSE Local #30
  7. Safety Order for Mid-America Sound
  8. Summary Sheet for Mid-America Sound

From a post at the Indy Star:

Lori A. Torres, Indiana Commissioner of Labor, said IOSHA’s role was not to determine what caused the stage rigging collapse but to look for workplace safety violations.

Torres said the State Fair Commission did not protect employees from hazards and had an inadequate plan for emergencies. Fair officials were slow to make appropriate decisions, Torres said.

IOHSA cited union riggers for failing to check soil conditions before securing guide wires. The construction was not “competent” by industry standards, the report said.
One stagehand, Nathan Byrd, was among those killed in the collapse. At least nine other union members were injured in the collapse.

The IOSHA investigation is only one of several investigations into the stage rigging collapse.

The State Fair Commission also hired Thornton Tomasetti, an engineering firm based in New York City, to investigate the rigging collapse.

Gov. Mitch Daniels later hired Witt Associates, a public safety and crisis management consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., to conduct a “comprehensive, independent analysis” of the fair’s preparedness and response to the disaster.

I feel it’s necessary to post the text from these summary sheets. See it listed below, it’s short. If you’re in the industry, look at this stuff. Once it becomes legal precedent, things are forever different. It’s our responsibility to watch how this unfolds in our industry.

Summary for Mid-America Sound:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET:  FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Mid-America Sound Corporation, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Knowing Violation 1:

  1. a)  Mid-America Sound did not develop and implement an Operations Management Planpertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  2. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not prepare proper layout drawings, engineering documentation, and Operations Management Plan for each use.
  3. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not develop a risk assessment plan and make workers aware of the hazards pertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  4. d)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not conduct periodic inspections by a qualified person, with appropriate documentation, on the structure constructed at the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand.
  5. e)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not keep records for each structural component pertaining to the 2011 structure.
    A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Knowing Violation 2:

a) Mid-America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not provide cross-bracing as recommended by the manufacturer.

  1. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into consideration the soil conditions at the location.
  2. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not designate a competent person.A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Knowing Violation 3:

  1. a)  Mid-America Sound did not have current engineering calculations, design notes, and test results for the structure constructed at the 2011 Hoosier Lottery grandstand.
  2. b)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not have adequate knowledge of the engineering documentation pertaining to the construction of the 2011 structure.
  3. c)  Mid America Sound, contracted to construct the Load Bearing Roof Structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into full consideration weights of all equipment including but not limited to follow-spot chair, temporary personnel occupancy and reactions from fall protection systems pertaining to the 2011 structure.A $21,000 penalty has been assessed.

Total penalties assessed: $63,000.

Abatement is required on all violations no later than 03/06/2012.

The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Knowing violation is $70,000.

Mid-America Sound Corporation was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

Summary for the Indiana State Fair:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET
FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Indiana State Fair Commission did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Serious Violation: The Indiana State Fair Commission did not conduct a life safety evaluation which included an assessment of all conditions and the related appropriate safety measures, of the Indiana State Fairgrounds concert venues, such as but not limited to the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand, for events being held at the 2011 Indiana State Fair.

Abatement is required no later than 03/06/2012. A $6,300 penalty has been assessed.

The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Serious violation is $7,000.

The State Fair Commission was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

Summary for IATSE Local #30:

Media Contact: Robert E. Dittmer, APR, 317.234.3793 Indiana Department of Labor – IOSHA Division

SUMMARY SHEET
FATAL INJURY INVESTIGATION OUTCOME: Indiana State Fair (workplace)

IOSHA found that the Local 30 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees including Theatrical Payroll Services did not establish and maintain conditions of work which were reasonably safe and healthful for employees, and free from recognized hazards that were causing or likely to cause death or physical harm to employees. Therefore, the following safety violations are issued:

Serious Violation 1: IATSE’s head rigger, required to make determinations on the construction and guy wire attachment points and placement of anchors on the load bearing roof structure on the 2011 Hoosier Lottery Grandstand stage, did not take into consideration the soil conditions at the location.

A $3,500.00 penalty has been assessed.

Serious Violation 2: Employees working at the Indiana State Fair Grounds, erecting the load bearing roof at the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand for the 2011 Indiana State Fair were not provided with fall protection from their employer for employees working 4 feet or more above ground level.

A $3,500 penalty has been assessed.

Serious Violation 3: The employer did not conduct a personal protective equipment hazard assessment of the work site to determine the personal protective equipment required when erecting the load bearing roof or any other jobs they perform at the Indiana State Fair grounds.

A $3,500 penalty has been assessed.

Non-Serious Violation 4: (SO #2) The employer did not maintain the OSHA 300 and did not have records of an OSHA 300A for the years 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

A $1,000 penalty has been assessed.

Total penalties assessed: $11,500.
Abatement is required on all violations no later than 03/06/2012.
The maximum allowable penalty under Indiana law for a Serious violation is $7,000.
The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees including Theatrical Payroll Services was notified of the findings if this investigation prior to the media briefing.

What do you think?  Is this fair?  Is this sufficient for you?  Is this harsh?  Is this unjust?

Please post in the comments.  Share this with your groups.

BLAZE – Laser Safety Sign Projection for Your Bicycle

Ok, first – this is so effing cool that I am excited to try to DIY my own for those times when I’m out biking in the dark.  My good buddy Erich Friend from Teqniqal Systems in the Dallas/Fort Worth area sent me the initial article about this thing below – Erich is a technology and safety consultant for our industry, and he’s one of the smartest and innovative people I know in this business.

Ok, check this thing out – so freaking cool.  This is called BLAZE, and it’s been invented by a student at the University of Brighton.

Emily Brooke is the inventor of the BLAZE unit, from a press release sent from the University of Brighton:

 

The final-year product design student said: “I wanted to tackle the issue of safety of cyclists on city streets by increasing the visibility, footprint, and ultimately the awareness of the bicycle.”

BLAZE is a small, battery-powered device that is attached to the handlebars of bicycles, motorcycles or scooters, and which projects a laser image ahead onto the road. A bright green bicycle symbol travels ahead of the cyclist, alerting others to its presence. It has the option to be flashing, maximizing perception, and the image is visible even in daylight.

Emily said: “Eighty per cent of cycle accidents occur when bicycles travel straight ahead and a vehicle manoeuvres into them. The most common contributory factor is ‘failed to look properly’ on the part of a vehicle driver. The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets.”

She said: “Even when lit up like a Christmas tree a bicycle in a bus’s blind-spot is still invisible.

“With BLAZE, you see the bike before the cyclist and I believe this could really make a difference in the key scenarios threatening cyclists’ lives on the roads.”

The image says it all for me above – if you’re riding your bike in town, perhaps especially at night, and you get into someone’s blind spot – that’s it for that bike ride, if not any other bike ride again.  BLAZE is a product that projects a “HEY!  HEADS UP!” sign way in front of you, enough so that people will realize that they’re about to take away your birthday, so to speak.  Or “blow out your candle.”  Or “pee in your cheerios.”  Any of them.

We commend you, Emily!  Awesome innovation!

A Demonstration in High Power Badness

I ran across this video of a high power demonstration in Florida – I bring this up because the Spring storms are getting worse, and after last year’s winter time fun in Oklahoma City (as with other parts of the country) we can all use a reminder how deadly electricity can be.  Check out the video: