American rigging Shipping American rigging gear for use in Europe
Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:16 PM
I am doing some advance work on a project at the moment that involves an American producer who want to bring there own rigging into the UK. I have outlined to them the main areas of regulation LOLER, PUWER and electricity at work regs and I have tried suggesting that they hire locally to avoid the bureaucracy but they are not very keen on this for budget reasons.
So the question is what would they need to do if the did ship their own kit to comply with European regulations? They have detailed records for the inspection of their motors but it is the rest of the tackle that is the problem as it is not individually identified or formally inspected. I am assuming a visual inspection and tagging of their kit along with the creation of suitable record of inspection. I also assume that details of the manufacturing specifications would be a must to go with this.
Has anyone else out there delt with a similar situation?
Posted 29 March 2012 - 12:39 PM
Posted 29 March 2012 - 03:15 PM
From a best practice point of view, the site safety standards and methods/regulations adhered to are often UK rather than local, almost like becoming a mini-state around the venue and it's environs.
All this is historically because, in part, Production Managers don't trust the local kit, local suppliers or anything else and also need to satisfy themselves that the working environment also fits within the codes of their own country, HSAW etc. This is why when running these gigs, they often work to "UK" standards - on the knowledge/assumption that they are at least as high as the locals ones, usually more so.
The reason this may be relevant is that we've all chosen to tour stuff rather than "risk" it than source at the final destination. And let's face it, Americans in general have a habit of assuming that everyone else is rubbish at stuff. In the UK, we do it to the Spanish, the Italians, the Portuguese and particularly the French, along with pretty much every other place we tour to.
Also, if they are a service and kit provider, how much money is to be made subbing other peoples kit? Just a thought.
What I would do if you want them source instead of truck it, is to mention PRG. They've heard of them.
Posted 29 March 2012 - 04:21 PM
I think that would depend.
If we were talking about shipping a rigging package alone for short-medium term, I'm sure you'd be right. Not so sure if what counts is the marginal cost of shipping the rigging along with everything else though - for example if leaving it behind meant a half-empty shipping container instead of a full one.
If its a world tour, it might also be the case that they'll be wanting the rigging package elsewhere. For example, I doubt they'd save anything by shipping production from USA - Europe - Asia and rigging from USA - Asia separately as opposed to keeping it all together.
Could it be that there are also financial/tax advantages to paying for the hire in Dollars inside the USA?
The economics of it all are way above my pay grade, but I do know it's not as unusual as all that to see complete American rigging packages touring Europe. In the last couple of years I've encountered kit from Five Points, SGPS and Ed & Ted's Excellent Lighting among others, as well as the ubiquitous Disney ice shows that travel in shipping containers even within the UK.
(I presume because they ship so frequently its not worth cross-loading to more conventional trucks, but could well be completely wrong about that.)
Regarding motors, there may be other practical reasons to want to keep their own. For example they may have beautifully prepped and labelled controllers and looms that they want to use (with Hubbell connectors, yuk.)
Might there be room for a compromise?
How about they use their own motors but hire a top-rigging package of steel, shackles etc. locally?
Edit to add caveat:
I really have no idea what I'm wibbling on about in this post, its quite likely that the above is utter tripe.
This post has been edited by Seano: 29 March 2012 - 04:27 PM
Posted 29 March 2012 - 10:15 PM
If it's straight GP trusses with 3 motors on each, it's highly unlikely that the tour will be able to ship things over for the same cost as hiring locally. Motors and truss aren't expensive and the ability to break things then send them back instantly makes local hire a lot more attactive than hiring overseas. But if it's specially fabricated truss, specific motors (speed? automation modified? C1/Cat A/etc?) and what not, there may just not be the opportunity to hire what they need locally.
I worked on a number of American tours last year with UK legs. Most of them hired all their kit from the USA really. The long hire fee plus shipping worked out cheaper than a short hire in one place and a short hire in another; or the kit was just too specialised for multiple use.
What I'm trying to say really is that rigging could mean a lot of things so it's really hard to judge whether your producer is making life unnecessarily hard or actually a bit easier.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:26 AM
Shipping costs are going to be marginal as we are expecting at least four container loads of kit so provided it does not involve an additional container there will be little additional cost. At this early stage I have few details,although from what I can glean it is a relatively complex rig and not your basic three straight sticks of truss. Seano your actually not too far of the money.
My main concern has been about ensuring that we are meeting UK regulations and the practicality of support from across the Atlantic. In the same way I have busked things as I have traveled around the world knowing that the kit meets UK standards, I am sure that there are many US productions which ship into Europe, get on the job, have no problems and so nobody is any the wiser.
In this case I would still prefer to source all or some of the kit from the UK but I also need to assess the practicality of shipping this kit in and everybody being covered if any licencing authority esquire or good forbid there was an reportable incident.
The quality of the kit which is likely to arrive is not the issue here, a normal pre-use visual inspection would soon identify any obvious problems. I am interested in how far we would need to go to be in keeping within the spirit of the regulations.
Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:28 AM
In any case, LOLER demands that regular inspection be carried out by a competent person. As such, it is highly likely that a LOLER-compliant inspection has indadvertedly been performed by the rental company in recent times anyway. So, providing those records are available, I would think that you have done a sufficient amount to bring that equipment into the UK and use it.
I would maintain that your best point of call is the venue, particularly their rigging HoD (if they have one), technical manager otherwise, and H&S rep. They may start a storm in a teacup or they may say "no problem". but in either case you'll have something in writing which you can submit to the Producer that will say "send em over!" or will say "hire something in the UK".
Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:58 PM
How do you know that? Just because it isn't stamped on the face the photo is taken from, it doesn't mean that either:
a) It isn't stamped the other side; or
b) It isn't accompanied by a document which states it's load rating.
There is no requirement for load ratings to be stamped on equipment, because by and large the rating of lifting equipment varies with the way it is used and printing that information onto the product would be difficult. Having a document that accompanies the product is adequate, IE on the flight case you draw it from.
Posted 28 June 2012 - 12:25 AM
Lolar is a European regulation and nobody lifts anything anywhere in the EU anywhere without it.(in theory)
for those who are interested, we came to a compromise. all the steel we will be hiring from local suppliers, but we have agreed that they can use there US supplied motors provided that they come with suitable inspection records.
Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:57 AM
You're talking about shackles here right? Not on your nelly - they need to be "clearly marked to indicate their safe working loads".
This post has been edited by Seano: 02 July 2012 - 02:12 AM
Posted 02 July 2012 - 02:40 AM
LOLER (Regulation 7) requires lifting accessories to be "clearly marked to indicate their safe working loads".
Correct. They must indicate it. They don't need to state it.
Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998, Paragraph 60.
60 The marking need not show the SWL if there are other ways of 'indicating' the safe working criteria for the equipment. In some cases a 'surrogate' marking may be acceptable, such as a capacity indicator on an excavator. Colour coding alone to denote SWL, whilst not normally acceptable, is a useful additional feature, eg of textile slings, and may be a key element in the marking of some equipment, eg access and rescue ropes.
As such, I maintain my original point that there is no requirement for load ratings to be stamped on equipment.
Posted 02 July 2012 - 02:44 AM
Sort of yes, sort of no. I think that whilst it was probably made in jest, Blue Room is as good place any to bust myths.
Not explicitly, but principally. But see my other reply - LOLER only requires that they indicate safe working load. They don't need to actually be marked with the safe working load. They could be marked with something that refers the user to a separately held SWL.