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Rigging course is a success

A.C. Entertainment Technologies' Rigging Division's first two-day Rigging School of 2011 was completely sold out and, apparently, a great success. Fourteen pupils attended the course, representing a variety of different industry sectors.

A.C. Entertainment Technologies’ Rigging Division’s first two-day Rigging School of 2011 (previewed here in IE) was completely sold out and, apparently, a great success.

The Rigging School – a training partnership between A.C. Rigging, trussing and staging manufacturer Prolyte and the Wakefield based “Backstage Academy” – was hosted at the LS-LIVE Studio in Wakefield.

Fourteen pupils attended the course, representing a variety of different industry sectors including freelancers, rental company staff and venue riggers.

Independent rigging expert Eric Porter led the course, which covered a comprehensive range of topics including regulations and risk assessment, standards and guidance, PPE systems for working at height, ropes and knots, inspection and records, lifting principles, basic science, angled loads, truss assembly and slinging/floating, bridle work (theoretical and practical), bridle analysis (load calculations), chain hoists and rigging/de-rigging.

The truss theory content of the course was delivered by Marc Hendriks from Prolyte and made “fascinating listening” according to Eric Porter, adding that it made him think further on a number of issues.

A section also covered examples of common bad practices, as these aspects are equally as important to recognise and deal with as employing the correct working practices. Rescue plans were also on the agenda, allowing attendees to be fully prepared for dealing with realistic situations should they occur.

“Demand was very high, so we managed to accommodate two extra people on the course, which normally offers 12 places,” said Adam Beaumont, head of A.C. Rigging. “The feedback we have received has been excellent, and it’s clear that everyone gained a great deal of knowledge. We expect a high demand again for the next Rigging School in June.”

The style and format of the course followed that of AC-ET’s 2010 Rigging Schools, although this was the first time the course has been run in conjunction with the Backstage Academy, which offers a variety of industry based training initiatives.

“Working with an organisation like Backstage Academy really gives the Rigging School additional kudos,” noted Beaumont, adding that Eric Porter’s position as a committee member for PLASA’s National Rigging Certificate (NRC) further raises the profile and recognition of the excellent standards presented by the Rigging School.

Working in partnership with Prolyte also enables AC-ET to contain the costs, making the Rigging School an affordable and viable proposition for everyone including freelancers and independents.

“Training is a vital aspect of our work at A.C Rigging,” continued Beaumont. “We supply many specialist products, so it’s important to invest the time and effort in ensuring that the knowledge is out there and available on how to use them properly.”

The Rigging Schools are also a good opportunity to show the newest technology available in this industry field. The latest Prolyte trussing products and CM Entertainment Lodestar chain hoists were in action for the event, including the LS D8 and D8+ versions, all of which are available from AC-ET. Also demonstrated were the advantages of using Load Cell monitoring on an active rig, along with the latest rescue systems.

“The excellent feedback confirms it went well from the attendees’ point of view,” said Eric Porter. “ I always enjoy running training courses, and as I’m not doing it every week, it stays fresh and I encourage as much dialogue as I can to make it as relevant as possible to the trainees and their experiences. Having Adam Beaumont available is great because a change in the presenter can bring new and different angles to specific products and applications.”

Freelance lighting technician/designer and rigger Dave Hughes signed up to consolidate his skills and knowledge. “I was amazed with how much we crammed into two days, and I learnt a lot about the engineering and calculation side of rigging, especially about truss from Marc at Prolyte,” he said. “It was a great revision of skills and Eric shared many tips on achieving an efficient workflow. The area of fall prevention and arrest was particularly interesting and provoked much discussion. Huge thanks to The Backstage Academy – a really good course and a great new facility!”

The next AC-ET, Prolyte & Backstage Academy Rigging School takes place on 8th/9th June.
To request further information when available, please email [email protected]  or call +44 (0)113 255 7666.