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Common work at height tasks at events

This page gives examples of generic good practice in the planning and assessment of tasks requiring work from height during an event. More tasks will be added to this list as appropriate.

Lighting grids

Questions to ask include:

Task

What tools or materials will you need for the work? How will you get them up and down safely?

Make sure that no loose items are taken into the grid, eg by use of pocketless overalls, tie-lines on tools and equipment etc. You may also need to create an exclusion zone below the working area, eg by erecting a barrier.

In order to enforce this, you may need some form of warning system when the grid is occupied. Everybody working in the area should be clearly aware of the system being used.

Types of access

When looking at what you need to do the job, think about the following…

From the ground
  • Can production crews install the majority of rigging points, hand trusses, lamps etc from the ground?
From the grid
  • If you need to work from the grid, does it have guardrails or other equipment that will prevent a fall?
  • If no, can this be installed?
From a platform
Fall protection
From a ladder

Make sure that you know what the job entails and that the people who will do the job have the right experience and training to do it safely.

Plan the work properly before you start. Include in your plan what you will do in an emergency, or if someone falls. Involve the workers who are doing the job in your planning and consult them about the right equipment to use.

Check that the grid is strong enough to support any weight you put on it.

Make sure that nothing can fall off the truss work and injure someone. If there is a risk of this, make sure no one comes into the area below the work.

Take frequent breaks, especially when working from a ladder – do not work from a ladder for longer than 30 minutes at a time.

If you use a ladder, keep three points of contact wherever possible.

If you are hiring access equipment, make sure you are competent to use it safely and know how to install and dismantle it safely – ask the hirer for instructions or assistance if you need them.

Any lighting fixture or other suspended lighting equipment should have a suitable safety chain or safety wire fitted. The weight of any flown lighting equipment should not exceed the safe working load of the securing points. No flown or suspended equipment, including lighting bars and amplification equipment, should rely solely on one suspension cable, clamp or bolt. Each means of suspension should be secured to independent fixing points on the flown equipment and the structure.

Updated 2016-01-05