To reinforce the need for safety in the use of rigging systems in all kinds of performance spaces, J.R. Clancy, Inc. is now offering instructional signs, batten end caps, index cards, and arbor labels to remind operators to take every precaution and use counterweight rigging in a safe, professional manner.

The signs and labels are available free of charge to any facility with counterweight rigging, notes Tom Young, J.R. Clancy’s vice president of marketing. “We’ll send you actual signs on sturdy plastic stock, or you can download files to print your own signs,” he explains. “Each sign has guidelines for operating the rigging system safely. While many operators are seasoned professionals with years of experience using a rigging system, it’s important to have visible reminders to be sure that operators complete every step.”

The index cards have a surface that accepts grease pencil or dry erase markers, and are used at the locking rail to label the set. Each has a warning that meets ANSI requirements, reminding users that sets may be operated only by trained and authorized personnel. The index cards are available for sets on 6” or 8” centers, and may be purchased from J. R. Clancy dealers in packages numbered from 1–30, 31–50, and 51–70.

The precautionary signs, cards and labels are particularly important in high schools and colleges, where students may not be trained to use the system by rigging professionals. “Preventing accidents in schools is one of our highest priorities as a company,” says Young. “Simple reminders help students learn to operate the system properly, while reinforcing that counterweight rigging can be hazardous when used incorrectly. ”

Signs warn operators about injury hazards from falling counterweights, providing a bulleted list of steps to take to ensure backstage safety:

  • Lock arbor collars on top of counterweights.
  • Place spreader plates between counterweights every two feet.
  • Keep set in balance.

“These are basic steps, but they can make the difference between safe operation and injured crew members or actors,” says Young.

In addition to the signs and labels, J.R. Clancy offers bright yellow plastic batten end caps to users to cover the ends of standard pipe battens, increasing their visibility in dark backstage areas. The end caps include set capacity information, so that users know exactly how much weight each batten can hold—and when the batten is over capacity. “Far too many users have no idea what their set capacities are,” Young says. “By making these new end caps available, we hope to reduce the number of hazardous situations created by overloaded battens and out-of-balance loads.”

Clancy also offers free replacement manuals for its counterweight systems, allowing a new facility manager or teacher to instruct a crew more effectively in the proper use of rigging. “We provide a comprehensive, project specific operations manual for every complete rigging system we sell,” Young notes. “Generic operations manuals are available on our website, for anyone to download. If your manual has been lost or if it’s just disappeared, we will replace it free of charge. There’s no need to be in the dark about how your system works.”