Lighting truss at St George's Hall Theatre, Bradford UK

Case Study: St George’s Hall

ClientSt George’s Hall, Bradford Theatres

Problem:

The concert hall’s engineering team reached the conclusion that, to provide a safe system of work, adding-in Guard Load Arrest protection to the system would be the correct solution. However, with St George’s Hall being an old concert hall, the pipe we had to pass the load arrestor’s cable through was extremely narrow and, when researching the project, no obvious answer became apparent to allow the cable, ferrule, thimble & shackle to pass through the pipe from the anchorage point to the truss below within the theatre.

Solution:

Guard Load Arrest deployed at St George's Hall, Bradford UK

The new configuration of the bottom shackles on Guard Load Arrestors means that the shackle can be easily removed from the cable (the pin fits through the thimble), thereby solving part of the problem.

Due to the pipe being so narrow, the standard thimble still wouldn’t pass through the pipe. However, with Guard Load Arrest being the product manufacturer (with a full understanding of the product’s technical file), we were able to change the thimble to a narrow gauge alternative. This allowed the thimble to fit through the narrow pipe and then the shackle be reattached through the thimble.

This solution was achieved by Guard Load Arrest being able to manufacture the solution in accordance with the technical file and provide a solution that worked precisely for the customer.

HSE logo

Why Do I Need a Load Arrestor?

Our range of Guard Load Arrest devices help to ensure our customers comply with any applicable local legislation pertaining to lifting equipment. In this article we explore how Guard Load Arrestors are employed by our UK customers to achieve compliance with UK legislation for lifting equipment.

1500 Guard Load Arrestor with multiple hoists

The Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) have been enforced in the UK since the 5th December 1998. Regulation 6 (b) (ii) within this legislation states that;

Every employer shall ensure that lifting equipment is positioned or installed in such a way as to reduce to as low as is reasonably practicable the risk from a load falling freely.

As with most legislation, this seemingly simple statement is open to interpretation, so in 2014 the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) published an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) to clarify and set out what companies should do to meet their obligations under LOLER. The ACOP elaborates on Regulation 6 (b) (ii) by stating;

"Various methods can be used to minimise the risk of the load falling out of control. These include:

(a) multiple ropes/chains;

(b) lifting mechanisms with a high factor of safety or strength;

(c) safety gear;

(d) check valves (for hydraulic systems); and

(e) safety nets for palletised loads.”

Installing a Guard Load Arrestor alongside your primary lifting equipment can mitigate the risk of the load falling out of control by providing an independent safety function with complete redundancy to ensure compliance with LOLER.

Regulation 8 of LOLER covers the Organisation of lifting operations and Regulation 8 (1) (c) states that;

Every employer shall ensure that every lifting operation involving lifting equipment is carried out in a safe manner.

The ACOP elaborates on this by considering this regulation in relation to working under suspended loads;

Where practicable, loads should not be carried or suspended over areas occupied by people.

Where this is not practicable you should establish a safe system of work which minimises the risks to people who may need to be below the load.

Where it is necessary to leave loads suspended you should ensure that access to the danger zone is prevented and that the load has been secured properly.”

A Guard Load Arrestor running in conjunction with your primary lifting equipment can help you to establish a safe system of work which minimises the risks to people who may need to be below the load.

Please feel free to contact us if you’d like to discuss any of the points raised in this article or have any questions about our Guard Load Arrestors.

EN 17206

EN 17206: 2020

Entertainment technology - Machinery for stages and other production areas - Safety requirements and inspections

“Utilising a load arrestor alongside a primary lifting hoist, delivers an independent safety function which provides complete redundancy.”

In June 2020, the new entertainment standard, “EN 17206:2020 Entertainment technology - Machinery for stages and other production areas - Safety requirements and inspections” was published in place of previous entertainment standards “EN 7906-1:2005” and “EN 7905-1:2001”.

The purpose of EN 17206:2020 is to produce European wide specifications for the design, manufacture and installation of lifting and load bearing equipment within the entertainment industry.  The standard applies to all machinery, machinery installations and machinery control systems which are used within assembly, staging and production facilities for events and theatrical productions. Such facilities include; theatres, exhibition halls; film, television and radio studios, concert halls, schools, bars, discotheques, open air stages and any other rooms used for shows or events.

EN 17206:2020 applies to permanent and temporary installations of lifting and moving equipment within the entertainment industry. Typical applications of the standard include; acoustic doors, auditorium elevators, compensating elevators, cycloramas, fly bar systems (manual and motor driven), lighting bars, movable lighting towers, movable proscenium arches, orchestra elevators, performer flying systems, point hoists, revolving stages and turntables, scenery storage elevators, side stage and rear stage shutters, stage elevators, stage wagons, tiltable stage floors and trap elevators.

EN 17206:2020 Annexes B & C define use cases reflecting common machinery risk scenarios (Table 1) as well as guidance on the safety functions to be implemented for each use case (Table 2).

Table 1:               Use cases for upper machinery

Table 2:               Recommended safety functions for upper machinery

For Use Cases 3, 4, 5, and 6, it is highly recommended that a safety function is implemented to maintain a safe state for the machine in respect of brake failure. Utilising a Guard Load Arrestor alongside the primary lifting hoist, provides an independent safety function which provides complete redundancy.

BS7906

BS 7906-1:2005

This standard covers the use of lifting equipment for performance, broadcast and similar applications.

Part 1: Code of practice for installation, use and removal of above stage equipment (excluding trusses and towers)

“Chain hoist categorizations must be considered when selecting electric chain hoists for the listing or suspending of loads over people, and under certain circumstances it is essential to implement an inertia reel load arrestor as a secondary suspension. The load arrestor provides an ideal, independent, fully redundant, secondary suspension in these scenarios.”

BS 7906-1:2005 provides recommendation for the safe use of lifting used to lift and traverse equipment and personnel for the following applications:

  • film;
  • television;
  • theatre and similar entertainment events;
  • conference and exhibition.

The recommendations cover the supply, installation, use, maintenance and removal of components and systems, documentation, periodic inspection, and thorough examination.

Section 8.19 of this standard details all considerations for the selection, maintenance, installation, and operation of chain hoists within the entertainment industry. Chain hoists used in the entertainment industry fall into two categories: Category A and Category B.

Category A hoists are declared by the manufacturer as intended for use by the entertainment industry for lifting and suspending loads over people and meeting the requirements of BS 7905-1 or DIN 56925.

Category B hoists are not intended by the manufacturer for lifting or suspending loads over people.

Chain hoist categorizations must be considered when selecting electric chain hoists for the listing or suspending of loads over people, and under certain circumstances it is essential to implement an inertia reel load arrestor as a secondary suspension. The Guard Load Arrest products provide an ideal, independent, fully redundant secondary suspension in these scenarios.

The table below provides additional guidance on the selection of electric chain hoists.

ABTT Bronze Logo

Guard Load Arrest become official ABTT supporters

Guard Load Arrest are proud to announce they are Industry Supporters for the Association of British Theatre Technicians (ABTT), a membership organisation with backstage and theatre buildings at its heart.

Guard Load Arrest has just launched, offering durable load arrest solutions to the entertainment and industrial sectors. The product range offers protection from 150 kg to 1500 kg, and developments are already underway to expand the range even further. Guard Load Arrest is eager to support organisations within the industry so were keen to sign up for this opportunity with ABTT.

The ABTT is a membership organisation which sets and upholds standards in technical excellence, safety and compliance for theatre and live performance. The organisation is an excellent resource for supporting members, through the provision of information and advice on good practice, safe working, and enforcement within the theatre industry. They advise on safety, planning, and good practice.

Amongst other things, this partnership will assist Guard Load Arrest in highlighting the importance of high safety standards in the theatre industry, especially with regards to equipment that is suspended at height.

To find out more about Guard Load Arrest please visit www.guardloadarrest.com or contact the knowledgeable team.

A range of three Guard load arrestors

Guard Load Arrest Launches

Guard Load Arrest has just launched, offering durable load arrest solutions to the entertainment and industrial sectors.

The product range offers protection from 150kg to 1500kg, and developments are already underway to expand the range even further.

One of the most common uses of load arrestors is as a secondary safeguard for chain hoists. Patrick Evans, Managing Director, explains more:

EN 17206 stipulates that two independent safety solutions are required when installing electric chain hoists. Whether a hoist’s secondary brake provides the necessary level of safety comes down to your risk assessment, but we’re finding more and more that installers are deploying Guard units alongside hoists to provide a separate safeguard, should the primary system fail.”

Of course, electric chain hoists generally feature a safety brake that kicks-in if the primary brake fails. But what’s the back-up if the hoist’s chain or anchor fails? Patrick goes on to say:

“There are a few options available, one of which is to simply attach a fixed steel cable as a secondary safety solution. This would be extremely safe. However, increasingly users are abandoning this method due to the large cost of sending a rigger to detach and refix every time it is needed. Guard load arrestors are an alternative cost-effective option which overcomes this problem by providing a steel cable that automatically extends and retracts, following the movement of the load, without having to be detached.”

If the primary load bearing equipment fails, the Guard load arrestor will automatically stop the load falling, thereby preventing damage to the equipment and, more importantly, protecting the audience/performers below.

 

It’s not just the entertainment sector where Guards are being increasingly installed. Many industrial applications benefit from load arrest. Patrick elaborates:

“There are a huge number of applications where load arrestors provide an ideal safety solution. Do you lift or suspend equipment or materials that cannot be allowed to drop? If so, you should consider installing a Guard load arrest device as a safeguard in case the primary lifting equipment fails.”

“Production lines cannot afford lengthy shutdown periods to repair fallen equipment. A great example is how some car manufacturers depend on Guard load arrestors to protect key points in the production line; their engineers identified a risk of heavy equipment shutting-off during use, which could result in an uncontrolled fall to the workshop floor. This is where Guard Load Arrest steps in. A Guard load arrestor positioned at the right spot will automatically catch falling equipment, stopping it hitting the floor. Our products are so versatile and dependable, they’re even deployed as a safeguard for lifting radioactive materials in a certain UK nuclear power facility!”

Guard Load Arrest’s list of customers is already impressive, including O2 Academy Group and Jaguar Land Rover.

The new Guard range is available now.

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