Monday, June 21, 2010

Concert Rigging in Michigan Collapses During Setup - 10 Injured, 2 Hospitalized

During the set-up of a concert stage in the Silverdome stadium in Pontiac, Michigan, 10 workers narrowly escaped death as tons of sound, lighting, drapes, scenery, and trussing collapsed.  Emergency responders from the Pontiac Fire Department were called to the Silverdome around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19th, 2010, before the show started.  The initial call indicated that the domed roof had collapsed, but upon arrival they found that the concert staging framework had caved-in.  Workers recall seeing trusses being hoisted that appeared to be overloaded just be for the mayhem broke loose.  Two workers spent the night on a local hospital for observation.

Some of the most complete coverage if the incident can be found here:

There was no damage to the concert facility as the collapsed rigging was ground supported.  The concert was to be A R Rahman's Jai Ho Concert: The Journey Home World Tour.  Rahamn is best known for his musical score for the movie Slumdog Millionaire.

The concert was cancelled and will be rescheduled.  OSHA was on-site almost immediately to assess the damage and determine the cause of the accident.  With over 150 workers on or near the stage at the time of the collapse, it took some time to determine if anyone was buried under the tangle of wrecked scenery.

The summer tour season is a busy time of year for many stage hands, so for all of you out there bustin' your butt to make a living - keep a close watch on your co-workers and guests.  Don't hesitate to recognize potential hazards and notify the proper authorities if you see unsafe conditions.  Your life depends on it!

Procedural items to remember:
  • Preplan your show - Know your rig - and all the weight that is attached to it.
  • Verify your show - Use load cells to measure truss hoist loads.
  • Have spotters on radios monitoring (this means listening, too) all viewpoints during lifts.
  • Always clear the stage and call for quiet during lifts.
  • Have a gathering point (muster point) pre-arranged just in case there is an emmergency like this.  Don't have people wondering around afterward until you have a clear head count.
  • Where bright clothes during set-up and strike (it makes it easier to find the body) - save your blacks for the show.
  • Wear your PPE:  Boots, Hard Hat, Safety Glasses, Gloves, at a minimum, knee pads, and fall protection harness as required.
  • Don't work when you are worn-out or heat exhausted.  This seriously impairs your judgement.  Stay hydrated.

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