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Tallescope prosecution


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Just spotted this on the HSE website and can't see it anywhere here:




Stafford Borough Council was today fined after an incident at a theatre in which a worker suffered fractured bone in his back.


Stafford Magistrates' Court heard two Stafford Gatehouse Theatre employees were using a tallescope (a telescopic aluminium manually operated work platform, used for one-person spot access) to undertake high level work to stage curtains and projector.


One of the workers, Mark Elkin, 33, was in the caged working platform at the top of the tallescope, approximately 4.5 metres high, as his colleague manoeuvred it around the stage to relocate it when the apparatus overturned...

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Interesting that there's no mention of there being a published SWP, but they do say:

The court heard a suitable risk assessment had not been carried out for the use of the tallescope at the theatre. If it had, the manufacturer's instructions on a warning label on the apparatus stating it should not be rolled with men or materials on platform should have been highlighted.

When one buys the 'Upgrade' kits (I.e, the extra outriggers, wheels and upright frame extension bits), does it come with a new label? Or was the tallescope in question a very old one?


Without wishing to start a new tallescope thread, the sooner these things are replaced in venues, the better IMO. I'm sure they were God's gift to theatre 30 years ago, and even more recently than that, but now that small footprint MEWPs are becoming more prolific around work-places, I think tallescopes for focussing have had their day, although I will admit they do have their place, and will happily use one when I can deploy it as designed (i.e. static one-person access to somewhere high up).


I toured a show as Production Electrician last year around some fairly high profile venues, that had a floor completely unsuitable for moving a tallescope around on (think uneven planks set on top of a 2' high by 30' wide skateboard half-pipe), yet every venue that had one tried to convince me it would be quicker to use a scope than a Zarges.


Not only did I know from experience it wasn't, because to do it safely would require so much adjustment of wheels and outriggers, as I say, the floor was completely unsuitable for wheeling on even just by looking at it, but the 'moving the tallescope is quicker' mentality seemed to be so ingrained in some venue technicians heads, it often took a fair bit of persuasion on my part to convince them otherwise.



(Aged 29!)

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I'm sure they were God's gift to theatre 30 years ago, and even more recently than that


I don't know about God's gift I always though they were God awful. I first used one in 1972/3 and hated them from the first meeting. Unless it was utterly unavoidable I always used a platform ladder or willingly built the tower. I'll climb anything else (but TBH I have never tried a TWG) and go on whatever bridges you like to mention but I never liked the scope and was always glad to get back to ground level.

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Strangely, the first time I used a Tallescope was when I got a job at the Stafford Gatehouse Theatre. I wasn't expecting anyone to get hurt from falling off when moving, but expected the injury to come from lifting the thing up from auditorium level onto the stage. If you got the move right (with 4 people) it was an easy job, but if any one person got it wrong then it could easily become a disaster. (I should explain that it was the small size talle where the whole ladder section drops down so it will fit through doors easily. Lifting it onto the stage was done in this low format.)
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