Ghosts of Rig-Mess Past: Scary Rigging Photos Show Value of Annual Inspections

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Have you seen the “Scary Rigging Photo of the Week” we post on J.R. Clancy Facebook page? Here are some we just posted—five of them, just in time for the holidays.

“O Electric Pipe”


O Electric Pipe, O Electric Pipe.
This is really scary.
Hung from chains, well that ain’t bad,
But look above, it’s really sad.

“Side-Load Bells”


Side-load bells, side-load bells,
Rigging gone astray!
Oh what fun it is to hide and hope this goes away!

“Good Taste”


Good rigging and good taste were gone when this was hung,
This was a disgrace and should never have been done.

“Cable, Cable, Cable”


Cable cable cable,
I made you out of steel,
Cable cable cable,
I pulled you off a reel.

“We Three Clips”


We three clips of orient are
Backwards ‘round and off by far.
Recursive reeving, so misleading …

Rigging System Inspections

Think we’re too cautious in our insistence that you have your rigging inspected regularly by a qualified professional? Look at these photos and think again. These potentially dangerous rigging mistakes may be lurking in your theatre at this very moment, especially if you use volunteers or untrained operators to run your rigging.

We strongly recommend that venues train their rigging systems operator and keep a close eye on their systems, and that a qualified professional perform an annual inspection. An ETCP professional rigger can help you be sure that no alterations have been made to the system by accidents, equipment issues, or human error.

We recommend these inspections for every system, whether or not J. R. Clancy designed or built it.

Why do it? The sooner you find what’s been jerry-rigged, altered, or damaged, the safer and more dependable your rigging system is to use.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) thinks so, too. In its published standard (ANSI E1.6-1 – 2012) for Entertainment Technology: Powered Hoist Systems, ANSI states: “Systems shall be inspected annually, or on a more frequent schedule, as determined by a qualified person.”

We do not require you to inspect your system annually. The one exception to this is if your system has our three-year warranty, for which an annual inspection is required. Your J. R. Clancy rigging system should operate perfectly for many years, even if you don’t have it inspected. But if your venue works with non-professional operators, or if you’ve taxed your system in unusual ways—for example, with a booked-in Broadway show that’s bigger than your normal production—then we join with ANSI in encouraging you to get your system inspected.

It’s not a requirement. It’s just a good idea.

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