Sunday, July 25, 2010

20 Killed, 342 Injured as Crowd Panics at German Music Festival

Saturday, July 24, 2010 - Duisburg, Germany.  As approximately 1,400,000 (yeah, you read that right: 1.4 MILLION) people tried to attend the Love Parade techno-music festival, the crowd surged into a narrow tunnel leading into the show grounds.  Panic ensued and fans were crushed to death as they approached a security checkpoint to the event that had been closed.

Emergency responders trying to clean-up the mess.Picture courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

City officials were being criticized almost immediately because they had restricted entry to only ONE path that created a choke point.  People were still moving forward even though the entrance at the other end of the tunnel had been closed.  This lead to a mass panic and chaos as fans were unsure where to go in the claustrophobic environment.  The stampede started around 5 p.m. local time, shortly after police closed the tunnel because the festival grounds were too full.  Police told those in the tunnel over loudspeakers to turn around and walk out from the direction they came.

Crowd crush as patrons try to exit.  Picture courtesy of Yahoo!

German police union leader Rainer Wendt said in an interview on the Bild newspaper's web site that he warned Love Parade organizers more than a year ago that Duisburg was "too narrow, too small to handle this mass of people."

Ariel view of festival grounds.  Picture courtesy of Yahoo!

More pictures of the aftermath here:

The Wall Street Times news article here:

Yahoo! News groups article here:

To learn more about effective event planning and crow control issues ther are some great resources.  The International Association of Assembly Managers (IAAM) ( regularly discusses this topic as a key component of event planning and security.

A company that focuses on this issue is Crowd Management Strategies ( an their web site has a wealth of information and [sometimes gruesome] statistics.

Picture courtesy of Yahoo!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Protecting your hairy eyeball: Safety Glasses with Magnification

For those of use that lack perfect eyesight, wearing corrective lenses and safety goggles at the same time can be a real pain. Put on the goggles and you can't read the manual or see the fine detail of your workpiece, or try to wear them both and get dust leaks and/or fogging. Dang!  No good deed goes unpunished.  Until now.

Sperian Protection (, a world leader in personal protective equipment (PPE), announced that its flagship eyewear brand, Uvex, has launched the Uvex Stealth® Reader Goggle, the industry’s first safety goggle with reading magnifier lenses.  The lenses are available in five diopter strengths ranging from +1.0 to +3.0.

“The Uvex Stealth family of safety goggles . . . combines modern design with the best technology and materials,” said David Iannelli, senior product manager for Sperian Eye & Face Protection. “Now workers can enjoy the added benefit of magnifying fine details with comfort and safety.”

The Uvex Stealth Reader Goggle is available in a clear lens with Uvextreme® anti-fog coating, and its economical lens replacement system extends the life of the goggle.  Made in the USA, this goggle meets the ANSI Z87.1-2010 standard for high impact protection as well as the CSA Z94.3 safety standard.  Like all Uvex® lenses, the Uvex Stealth Reader Goggle offers 99.9 percent ultraviolet protection.
Works for those with unibrows, too.

The Uvex Stealth Reader Goggle’s low profile and wrap-around style delivers complete coverage and unobstructed vision on the job. Its wide, adjustable slide headband features pivoting clips for an easy-to-adjust fit for complete comfort, even when worn with hard hats.  Its soft elastomer body conforms to facial contours for a secure, gap-free fit to provide optimum all-day protection.  With multiple models to choose from, the Uvex Stealth family offers workers the protection they need and the selection they want, helping promote a culture of safety in the workplace.

More information about the Uvex Stealth family of safety goggles is available at:

A friendly reminder:  No spare eyeballs are available at this time.
You loose 'em, scratch 'em, or poke 'em, and you are S-O-L.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2010 LDI Show Schedule Available - Sign-up NOW!

The LDI International trade show has grown over the years to include much more than just stage lighting. You will also find sound, rigging, staging, video, projection, special effects, and thousands of tools to do your job more efficiently and safely. This year's show in Las Vegas (aka: Lo$t Wage$) runs Monday, October 18 thru Sunday, October 24 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Of particular interest is the growth of show production safety workshops being presented by ETCP trainers:
  • Stage Rigging Fundamentals - two days (L27)
  • Ohm's Law and Order: Essential Electrical Training - two days (L28)
  • Left Brain Rigging: An A-Z on Math and how it applies to rigging - two days (L29)
  • Left Brain Rigging Calculator - build your own spreadsheets for critical repetitive calculations (L30)
  • Tomcat USA: Safely Building the Beast - truss system design, fall arrest systems, ground supported systems - two days (L31)
  • Keep your Stage Rigging Happy & Healthy AR01)
  • Math for Riggers (Made Simple) (AR02)
  • System Integration Trends in Automation (AR03)
  • Is your GO Button Putting You at Risk? - Motor Control Technology & Risk Mitigation (ES01)
  • SIL Explained: Understanding European and Control System Safety Standards (ES02)
  • Fire Safety Curtain Systems - Closing the Door on Smoke (ES09)
  • Hook Up and Go! - Is Climbing on a Portable Structure Really That Easy? (ES10)
  • All About the ETCP (FS01)
  • ETCP paper & Pencil Exams at LDI - actually take the test(s)!
And of course, there will be lots of blinky lights and glittery things both inside and outside the convention center. Be There. See a Show. Have Fun. Learn Something.

More info at:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Honesty is always the best safety policy: CM Steps-up to the Challenge

Well known electric chain hoist manufacturer Columbus-McKinnon (Commonly known as 'CM') issued a statement reminding customers about a known safety issue with some of their hoists.  This Safety statement pertains to questions about brake retaining pins on the company's hoists.

The company statement follows:

"There has been some information circulating recently within the Entertainment Industry in reference to brake retaining pins on Columbus McKinnon Hoists. This issue goes back to 2006 when Columbus McKinnon issued the attached notice concerning a small number of brake retaining pins for the following hoists: Prostar, Shopair, Shopstar, Shophoist, Model CPS, Budgit Series, Coffing SLC, Little Mule SLM and Yale SAL powered chain hoists built between February 2005 and April 2006. The serial numbers that were affected had the last two letters of RP, RQ, RR, RS, RT, RU, RV, RW, RX, RY, RZ, SA, SB, SC and SD.

"Columbus McKinnon did notify at that time every distributor that purchased the affected hoists and sent out replacement pins. Our distributors did a good job of notifying their customers and having the pins replaced. However it has come to our attention that some end users of the affected hoists may not have replaced the brake pins. If you have a hoist model and serial number listed above and the brake pin has not been replaced, please contact Columbus McKinnon directly at the number below.

Dean Sullins or Lee Gregor

Support manufacturer's that support your safety (and the gear above your heads).  CM LoadStar Hoist School is a great way to get first-person training ( regarding the hoists used by many of the touring show professionals around the world.

Visit CM's Entertainment Industry hoist web site ( for more information.  These are versions of their commercial hoists that are specifically tailored to the unique needs of the show production industry.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pink Gets Banged-up In Fall From Flying Harness. "Steel barrier-1 Pink-0"

July 16, 2010, Nuremberg, Germany.  According to Pink (30-year-old Alecia Beth Moore), she was "a little embarrassed" and apologized to her fans who had shown up to see her perform. She said that the reason she fell is she was incorrectly clipped to a safety harness.  She went on to say that she had no serious problems, no broken bones, just a pretty bruised ego.

The star slipped out of a harness which was supposed to carry her across the crowd.  Instead, she was dragged off the stage and into a into a crowd control barricade.  There is a video clip shot by an audience member ( of her two assistants helping her into the harness just before the incident, but their costumes blocked the view of the procedure.  As she was about to be pulled into the air over the fans, she raises her arms into the air to make an "X", possibly a 'no-go' sign for the fly crew.  She is then pulled forward and you can here her say "no-no..." and then the harness comes loose and drags her off of the stage along with two assistants that appear to be entangled in the fly lines.  You see her stage right assistant being flung off the stage and into the audience.  There is no news available regarding injuries to the assistants or audience members.

Pink was reported to have argued a bit about leaving during her concert, but was obviously in pain and knew that all medical precautions had to be taken (smart girl!).  She climbed back up onto the stage so that fans could see she was not injured seriously, and was then taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital for observation.  The concert in was halted.

On the way to the hospital she twittered: "To all my nurnberg fans - I am so so so sorry to end the show that way. I am embarrassed and very sorry. I'm in ambulance now but I will b fine,".

"Didn't get clipped in2 harness correctly, drug me off stage, fell in2 barricade. Getting xrays. I hope it at least looked cool!!!"

Later, she wrote on Twitter: "Nothing's broken, no fluid in the lungs, just seriously sore."

She also apologized to fans for having to cut her concert short.

She later tweeted: "Full steam ahead people.  No pain, no gain. or is it no brain, no pain? either way, I will be on that stage, even if I have to crawl."

Carey Hart, Pink's husband, blogged to fans: "Fyi, @pink is out of the hospital and all good. Just got the sh** kicked out of her by the barrier. Steel barrier-1 Pink-0"

Stagehand Killed By Fall at Rochester Castle Outdoor Concert

July 15, 2010 - Rochester Castle Event Grounds, Medway, Kent, UK.  A man in his 40's fell from the stage and died later at the hospital from the injuries sustained to his head and neck.  The incident occurred about 5:30 PM as the open air concert stage was being prepared.  The Emergency Medical Team received the call at 5:41, and was there within 6 minutes.  They reported that "the patient was bleeding and going into cardiac arrest and was conveyed to the Medway Maritime Hospital."

Police cordoned-off the area around the incident to allow further investigation, and the show featuring Will Young was delayed about 90 minutes.

2002 Pop Idol winner Will Young reportedly said at the end of the show: "Someone's had an accident tonight so let's give him a round of applause and hope he gets better."  He did not know that the man had died and later said he was "shocked and saddened" upon learning of the man's fate.  "I was unaware of the seriousness of the incident until after I left the stage.  My deepest sympathy goes out to the bereaved family."

The cause of the fall and the reason why guard rails did not prevent the injuries are under investigation by the Health and Safety Executive board (HSE) (

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Brady Label Company Offers Free Handbook on Photoluminescent Marking

Free.  That's always helpful.  Even more helpful is the handy handbook that Brady has published that discusses the International Building Code (IBC), NFPA Life Safety Code, and LEED requirements for Emergency Egress signage and markings.

This objective guide outlines the various code sections, provides some graphics showing placement examples for photoluminescent items, and is very light on advertising hype.  Wow.  Real info not obscured by marketing schmooze.  That's refreshing.

Get yours at:

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wind Gust Uplifts Festival Tent - Six Injured, 1 Broken Leg

What do they tell you?  "Break a leg!"  Not really a good plan for most of us.  The summer music festival season is in full swing and the weather in Tornado Alley can bring-in fairly large storms on short notice.  Tuesday, July 6th had crews setting-up for a Yes and Peter Frampton concert at the Lucky Star Casino in Concho, Oklahoma (about 20 miles west of Oklahoma City) when the skys opened-up and poured down rain with a strong downdraft.

Witnesses say the wind came in under the sides of the tent and pressurized it to lift it up and tear-out the anchor lines.  The wind toppled the sound towers and the overstage truss system as well.

Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman newspaper

Fortunately, the incident occured before there were any audience members present.  The show was cancelled and will be reschedule.

TV Interview with injured crew member:

NewsOK web site article:

Arial footage showing tent site and mangled stage gear:

A walking tour of the stage and mix tower after the event:

This video reveals alot about the original set-up.  It shows that the truss bases were not anchored and did not have any ballast weights.  The rig was set-up as if it was an indoor show with no regard to the wind that could blow through and topple the gear if the tent was breached.

Anchor your Rigs!  Watch the weather!  Don't wait for it to hit before you react!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

SchoolDude announces upcoming webinar on Managing the Risks Associated with Community use of School Facilities

As a part of their Facility Masters Webcast Series, SchoolDude is hosting an interactive webinar that will discuss the liability exposure that Schools can have when they rent or loan facilities to outside user groups.  You must protect your school from liability issues and manage the risks related to community use of your facilities, such as personal injury and participant health/safety, as well as potential damage to facilities and mechanical failures. Additionally, you should be tracking and recovering the costs associated with community facility use, such as additional utility expenses, custodial overtime and building wear and tear.

This webinar will identify best practices and proven processes for managing the risks associated with the use of school facilities by community groups, including:
  • Establishing fees and invoicing to recover facility use costs
  • Importance of consistent rental policies and procedures
  • Managing insurance certificates
  • Knowing when and by whom school facilities are being used
  • Preventing mechanical failure
  • Avoiding overbooking
  • Leveraging technology
Making school facilities available for use by the community requires more than simply unlocking the door and allowing people in.  Be prepared with knowledge and planning.
Presenters are:
  • Bethany Kerr: District Scheduler – Clarkston Community Schools, MI
  • Lee Gaby: Executive Director – Public School Risk Institute
  • Roger Young: Principal Member – Roger Young and Associates LLC, MA
  • Justin Turner: Applications Engineer –
Webinar Info:
Community Use of School Facilities: Managing the Risks
Thursday, July 22, 2010, 12:00pm-1:15pm Eastern Time

Register Now at:

For a more complete guide to previous seminars and resources on this subject, visit the SchoolDude web site:

NFPA 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Protective Openings

Does this apply to your theatre?  If you have Fire Doors and/or Fire Curtains, then it most definitely applies if your locality has adopted this Fire Code.  This standard describes all of the requirements for testing and maintaining these critical fire and smoke containment elements.

How many times have you found stage doors physically propped-open with stage weights, chairs, desks, road cases, speakers, flag poles, kick-down door stops, rolled-up carpets, duct/gaffers tape, rope, or some other object?  This is clearly defined as a violation of the Fire Code and you should be able to instruct your staff as to why this is illegal and dangerous.

Do you know that Fire Doors and Fire Curtains must be inspected annually?  When was the last time yours were inspected?  What are you looking for when you do the inspection?  Which doors count as Fire Doors?  Overhead, hinged, sliding?  How fast (or slow) must the Fire Curtain close?  How often do they need to be tested?  What markings and signage are required?

Although the standard does not cover all of the aspects of Fire Doors and Fire Curtains - it does place most of the pertinent information in one location.  Like many things that the NFPA regulations cover, sometimes the answers are scattered across several different standards:
  • The routes that lead to the Fire Exits are discussed in NFPA 101: Life Safety Code.
  • The EXIT signs are addressed in NFPA 70: National Electric Code.
  • The Smoke Vents over the stage that work in conjunction with the Fire Curtain and Fire Doors are addressed in NFPA 204: Standards for Smoke and Heat Venting
  • The Fire Detection and Alarm System that may release electrically held Fire Doors, Fire Curtains, Smoke Vents, and Duct Shutters is addressed in NFPA 72: National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
  • The smoke suppression system in the air ducts are defined under NFPA 90A: Standard for the Installation of Air-Conditioning and Ventilating Systems
Other related Codes:
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers are regulated by NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • The Fire Sprinkler System is defined by NFPA 13
  • The Standpipe and Fire Hose requirements are in NFPA 14
The NFPA ( publishes the standards and the books that discuss them, and they also present webinars to further educate people that have to understand and know how these items work. They have an upcoming webinar regarding NFPA 80 that you can sign-up for here:

You can subscribe to e-mail notices from the NFPA at: