Safety Procedures for Lighting and Grip Equipment by John Budde (Week 6 Handouts)

The convention is to have all similar items arranged, like military columns in rows extending from a wall out onto the floor. These usually include Century Stands, light standes with lamps heads attached (separate rows for each instrument type), and other items necessary.

Barn doors should be attached to the fron of the lamp heads. Scrims should be placed in pouches which are hung from a wing-nut on each instrument.

The purpose of this procedure is for reasons of efficiency, so that specific items can be accessed instantly as needed and so they are generally prepared and readied for application.

All lamphead power cables should be coiled and attached to the lamphead to the lamphead yolks until the lights are placed for lighting specific scenes.

All Stands should have their telescoping sections fully collapsed and locked until they are set up for shooting. This helps prevent the stand sections from slipping while being handled. the purpose is to prevent serious hand injuries.

Electrical cables, by their nature, have a tendency to coil. As lights are placed for actual shooting, the lamphead power cables should be uncoiled in such a way as to keep them as flat to the floor as possible. Extensions cables should also be treated. This is to prevent accidental tripping on unflattened coils.

Once a light is decidedly placed for the shot, the telescoping stand sections may be raised and locked into place by tightening the wing nuts on the stand sections. A sandbag should then be hung or placed on the stand near the bottom to prevent the stand from being accidentally knowcked over by a bump or by someone catching a foot or some hardware item in an un-flattened coil. Lamphead power cables should never be allowed to hang diagonally downward from an extended light stand. they should, rather, be hanging straight down to the floor. This prevents accidental tripping of snagging and consequential overturning of lights.

Leather work gloves prevent serious burns, and hand injuries (severe pinching and tearing of the skin) from a slipping stand section which is carrying the weight of a lamphead. They also help keep the hands clean,which can be so some importance when handling props, costumes, and other items which may be placed within the scenes.

Century Stands should be handled in the same manner, with one very serious addition consideration. Because Century Stands are used for holding mental-framed flags, nets, silks, cuckalorises, and open frames, oftentimes extended an an outward angle from the vertical stand, the potential for an upset is greatly increased.

It is therefore essential that C stands be properly sandbagged and …most importantly..that wing nuts on the knuckles of the head and gobo arms be orientated in such a way that they will only tighten if the extended weight they hold should cause the knuckles to begin slipping.

If this is done incorrectly, they extended weight can cause the knuckles to open, in which case the item being held, along with the extended gobo arm may come crashing down. Because these stands and arms are made of steel, there is a potential for serious or even fatal injury.

The correct procedure is to place your body behind the stand and to adjust all wing nuts on the head and knuckles  so that they are on your right side (from you perspective as you are working with the stand). This will insure they are holding, that same weight will serve to tighten the knuckles rather then lossen them. This is a most serious safety issue and one which must be understood and implemented for the well-being of all.

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