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Event rigging: legal background

August 21st, 2012 Posted in ALUTRUSS, worth knowing Tags: ,


At live events or trade shows aluminum crossbars and trussings are as indispensable as spots or power cables. What many users don ́t know is, there are a lot of guidelines for handling truss systems which have to be regarded. Only an excellent quality and the right handling can ensure a clear conscience and your safety. Below is a little guideline.

Truss systems are defined as mechanical beams which are used for stabilization, fixing and connection. At exhibitions, shows and similar it is commonly used for mounting spots or speakers to it. So far so good. If you think you know the facts and how an aluminum truss system has to be handled by having read that quick explanation, you are on the wrong track. To install truss systems you need both an excellent quality and the correct handling.

Without the prescribed training (specialist/assistant for event technology/certified stage managers/head rigger/head of light crew) it might be possible that even the best quality can ́t help you to prevent accidents. A comparison should make that clear. We take a high-class car which is driven by a person without driving license. The driver knows nothing about traffic rules or the car’s behavior in curves which are taken with high speed. Braking and minimum distances are ignored which leads to serious accidents.

Although the type of danger is a different one, the danger of the wrong handling of the trussings should not be underestimated. It is not hard to imagine what happens if a 30 kgs speaker drops down from five meters and hits somebody. In order to prevent such accidents, the legislator laid down laws not only for alloys but for the handling as well. Alutruss has European partners which are responsible for the composite of the systems. For example, specifically trained welders guarantee highest quality. But the handling is up to you. Therefore we want to give you some help by an overview of the most important German regulations to guarantee the best safety possible for your set up.

There are numerous regulations (e. g. regulations for shops, places of assembly, restaurants, constructions and accident prevention et al) which have to be regarded for the installation of truss systems. Two points of the legal framework are mainly important for the installation as event technology:

– building law (regulated by the building laws of the state)

– accident prevention regulations

Both wordings of law aim to the respective aspect of stability of the system. That should be given by comprehensible and generally accepted criteria. These rules and the so called generally acknowledged technical standards have to be kept in mind. Those generally acknowledged technical standards are rules, which are practically matured and are part of the know- how of every person working in the respective field.

If it is about the set up of a single product like one spot, it will be enough to provide evidence either by the certificate from the manufacturer or by stress tests. For larger and more complex installations static verifications are needed. If the static has to be tested proven by evidence, it must be done by an engineering office and has to be checked by a publicly acknowledged expert. The most important guidelines of the safety requirements for the set up of aluminum crossbar systems are:

− BGV C1 Berufsgenossenschaftliche Vorschrift für Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit

−  DIN 4112 Fliegende Bauten

−  Maschinenrichtlinie

−  DIN 56950 Maschinentechnische Einrichtungen – Sicherheitstechnische Anforderungen und Prüfung

− DIN 1055 Einwirkung auf Tragwerke (Wind, Wasser, Temperaturen etc)

When do these regulations apply? To give an answer to this, you have to look at several different constructions. It is distinguished between an one-time or a frequent set up and those which are or are not subject to approval.

Classical types of the event branch are marquees, stands and stages which are allocated under the building law. In this case the expression „Fliegende Bauten“ (“flying buildings“) is often used. Those are defined by the respective state building regulations of the German federal state as: „… structural works which are suitable and determined for repeated set ups.“ Beside the aspect of flexibility the one of duration is important as well. If the duration time of more than three months is exceeded, the respective building authority is responsible for exact assignment.

Constructions being set up only once and for a temporary time frame only – although not being any different from flying buildings – are special constructions which need case-by-case decisions. These might cause stricter or lighter constraints.

If constructions are classified as subject to approval, a model approval is required. Although it does not apply for subjects free to approval, they have of course to be safe guaranteed. It is up to the respective building authority to demand an appropriate proof. According to the Bavarian building regulations flying buildings which are not higher than 5 meters and are not provided for visitors entrance don ́t have to have a model approval. For example, this is the case for stages which, together with their roof and their additional superstructures, do neither exceed the maximum floor space of 100 m2 nor the ground level of 1.5 meters nor the height of 5 meters.

If the flying buildings exceed those measures, a model approval is required. Therefore a construction drawing, a proven static calculation as well as a service description has to be submitted. A test run has to be inspected first before the approval can be given. The approval will then be noted in a test book. It is deemed to be nationwide and for a fixed time.

If constructions are set up only once and not for longer than three months, on exhibition or trade show areas, there is normally no need of an approval. For construction which run longer, several documents have to be provided and constraints have to be regarded – if demanded by the local building authority.

On approved fair and trade show areas constructions are officially no subjects to approval. But the respective operator has often guidelines and requirements of his own which need to be fulfilled. Those are often close to the generally known regulations.

If some of those regulations bother you, please be aware that those were not made for no reason and having nothing but your safety in mind, which everybody should take to heart. If you follow those guidelines and take additionally the top products of Alutruss you don ́t have to worry about unpleasant surprises and you will be well prepared for all upcoming events.

Count on Alutruss products by Steinigke and you count on quality products “Made in Europe”.

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