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Mechanical Lowering Truss


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Hi, Just a little question - I'm a student-to-be, so please don't shout at me for not knowing!


If you're working with a truss that can be lowered mechanically, as opposed to having to go up to it to rig, do you need any special health and safety training? (Like you do when using a talloscope)

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Certainly - if you're the one who's rigging the unladen truss to start with.


You need to know:


The correct way to attach the chain hoists both to the truss and the hanging points.

(That may also include trained use of MEWP or other access equipment depending on situation/venue).

What the load rating of the hanging points is/are.

What the load rating/spread of the truss is.

How to properly load the truss in a balanced way.


Just for starters - and I'm not a rigger!


What you hang on the truss is no different in safety precautions as a fixed bar/truss. You just get to do it MUCH closer to the ground.

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Or if the truss is permanently installed, with a powered up/down - then the actual mechanics get tested and are covered by legislation, so your concern as a 'loader' - is simply to rig the thing safely, in the same manner you would if you were up a scope or ladder. So it's safety bonds, checking wingnuts and clamps, cable looming and that kind of stuff - and that's specialised general knowledge (can you say that?). Training is usually somebody competent showing you, and then you becoming competent yourself.


It depends on what you mean by rigging really. As in rigging the actual suspensions - working maybe with components rated in 1000Kgs and above, or working with things attached to this, in Kgs?


Can you explain exactly what the context is?

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Do you need to know how to hang a lantern (for example) correctly? Yes, of course.

If you are rigging the truss in the first place do you need to be competent? Hell, yes.


Do you need 'special health and safety training'? No, yes, maybe, pardon? :huh:


You need to know how to do it safely. This will probably involve some form of training. But if it is just hanging the lanterns on the bar then that training might be an old hand showing you how to do it and watching you for a while. There would probably be a risk assessment and/or a method statement that you would need to read as well. (And if we want to be rigorous and pedantic then there should be a piece of paper that says you received the training and were competent to carry out the task)


So that would be training and it would ensure you were acting safely but I wouldn't call it 'health and safety training'.


You don't need 'health and safety training' to use a Tallescope. You need training in how to use it safely. You need to receive the training in order for the employer to comply with health and safety legislation. But it is not 'health and safety training'.


In my view we should call training in specific health and safety legislation and procedure 'Health and Safety Training' and everything else is just training - even if it includes a bit on the relevant H&S regs and local procedures.

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Ok, thanks people.


Well, the truss is already installed and everything and the relevant checks on the motors etc are regularly carried out. I didnt realise that just being told how to do things correctly and safely counted as proper training as according to health and safety.

I have, in that case, had that training, but I was just wondering if there was anything else that had to taken into consideration. Obviously how to lift things, particularly heavy moving-heads, so I don't injure myself (or anyone else), but I hadnt thought of the load on the truss, which I presume applies to fixed ones too. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

By 'special', I just meant specific to trusses that lower down.


Not sure if I've answered your question, paulears, but thats pretty much my situation...

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As Kit says above, you need to be 'Competent'.


Now, AFAIK, there is no definition in Law that defines what 'Competent' means, however in various Guidance Notes the HSE defines it as....


'possessing the appropriate mix of experience, training and education'.

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One thing you should be aware of when haning anything is maximum loadings for the truss if you are hanging things on there for yourself (If you are following the direction of a technical director/lighting designer/??? they should have calculated that the weights are safe). The actual ratings should be calculated by someone with the appropriate training/knowledge (as in a three point hang for example, 3 x 2 tonne points does not mean you can hang 6 tonne). Most permanantly installed rigging systems will have these weights readily available; they are usually fairly self explanitory.
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