Always tie off with lanyards when working off the ground. Wearing a harness does no good if you’re not tied off to a good anchor.
And check anchor points before relying on them with your life!
Only qualified people should design rigging systems or perform rigging.
That said, anybody who sees any problem with rigging (or any other safety issue for that matter) can call “stop” and point out the issue so it can be addressed and corrected to avoid an accident or injury.
Only properly trained and certified persons should operate lifts and material handling equipment like fork trucks. Be especially careful when operating machines around people.
Many machines have dead spots where the operator’s vision is hindered. Use a spotter to help guide machines when needed.
And when working outside, always check for overhead power lines before raising a load, ladder, or lift!
Stay hydrated when working, especially when outside in the summer heat.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and drink it even before you even feel thirsty, because by the time the feeling of thirst kicks in, your body might already be low on fluids.
Pay attention (to yourself and others) for signs of heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. Again, stay hydrated, take plenty of breaks, and cool off periodically in the shade or inside to avoid heat induced problems.
Don’t forget the most important safety equipment that we possess: our brains!
Get a good night’s rest so you can be fresh and alert at the gig the next day. Drowsiness and inattention to details cause of a lot of accidents and injuries on shows.
And finally, if you see something unsafe on any event you are working, stop and make sure the problem is corrected, even if the problem is not audio related.
Even though many different trades work on a show, we’re all a team and safety is everybody’s job.
Craig Leerman is senior contributing editor for Live Sound International, and has worked in professional audio for more than 25 years. He is also the owner of Tech Works, a regional production company based in Las Vegas that focuses on live corporate events.