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Sight & Sound

system in your facility by checking and recording the information with the help of an experienced person.)

    • Look for obstructions that might prevent safe operation. Is the batten hung up on a neighboring pipe or a curtain track? Is anything in the way of the arbor’s smooth running?

    • Look at the front and back purchase lines to determine the condition of the balance.

    • If the set is out of balance and you have NO CHOICE but to operate it as is, GET HELP from a competent person.

  • 2.

    Warn your coworkers. Before moving the batten or arbor, shout, “Batten number X coming in (or going out)!” Look to be sure that people and objects are clear of any moving battens. If you don’t have a clear view of the moving batten, ask another person to “spot” for you.

  • 3.

    Cautiously release the line. Release the oval metal safety ring that prevents the lock from opening accidentally. Then release the rope lock handle slowly until you know the condition of the balance.

    • If it takes excessive force to move the set, or if the pull feels different from normal, STOP immediately. Put the rope lock and safety ring back on, and find out what’s wrong.

    • If all is well and the line moves normally, move the batten to the desired position. Then engage the rope lock and the safety ring.

    • To always bring this batten to the same position, “spike” the rope by “stabbing” it with a string through the hand line. Don’t use adhesive tape to spike the line, as it will leave a sticky residue that may inhibit smooth functioning later.

Other Resources

  • www.churchrigging.com for information that will help you choose and operate your rigging safely.

  • Glerum, Jay O. Stage Rigging Handbook, Third Edition. Carbondale, Southern Illinois University Press, 2007.

  • www.rigging-safety.com for manuals and maintenance info.

  • www.sapsis-rigging.com/technotes.html for technical terms, safe rigging practices and more.v

Tom Young is the vice president of marketing for J.R. Clancy, Inc., a designer, manufacturer and installer of stage and studio rigging equipment. For more information visit the company’s Web site at www.jrclancy.com.

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September 2009 / Church & Worship Technology

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