Redefining rigging regulations in India

As the EESA commissions India’s first-ever internationally recognised rigging certification masterclass, TPiMEA catches up with President of the organisation, Felix Remedios, who explains the significance of the progress being made.

India’s Event Equipment Services Association (EESA) has always promoted initiatives that empower its members with knowledge and resources to raise the standards of not just individual businesses, but the entire events industry. Recognising the alarming increase in accidents at events due to negligence and a disregard for safety standards and protocols, the organisation decided to take action, planning and commissioning a comprehensive line-up of educational endeavours aiming to raise the safety standards of across the disciplines of rigging and trussing in the country.

The starting point was the organisation of India’s first ever internationally recognised rigging certification masterclass, aiming to equip participants with in-depth knowledge and skills necessary to rig stages and equipment safely and efficiently for events of all scales and applications. The initiative was conceptualised by EESA members Anil Balakrishna from Graflex Inc, Mankaran Singh from Men-At-Work-Stagecraft, and Avishkar Tendle of Natura Outdoor Education & Training Solutions.

“India does not have any proper school or academy for rigging training – something that is a basic and primary requirement for all companies that are working with equipment at a height, be it in in lighting, trussing, flying speakers or LED screens,” EESA President Felix Remedios told TPiMEA. “There have been numerous incidents caused by simple lack of knowledge – not only in India, but worldwide – and by conducting these training programmes, EESA is helping to raise the level of education and knowledge in this very important field.”

Curated and presented by globally respected industry veteran Harold Waldack, Managing Director of ICRCsarl France, ICRS Middle East, and Asiarig Co. Ltd, Thailand, the multi-city masterclass was spread over the course of five days each in Mumbai and Bangalore. Catering exclusively to registered members of EESA, the course covered crucial topics such as Risk Assessment, Rigging Basics, Calculations, PPE, Hoist Technology, and Controllers.

“The feedback has been amazing; every single individual who attended the training has remarked how this has completely elevated their knowledge levels in the field of rigging,” reported Remedios, who noted that the participants learning about international standards in safety protocols and best practices while constructing ground structures, and while working at heights and around heavy equipment.

The intensive training schedule culminated in an exam, with participants who achieved a passing grade earning a certificate of completion authenticated by Waldack, granting them the distinction of being one of India’s first internationally recognised certified rigging professionals.

The event was supported by Global Truss and Broadweigh, which acted as Lead Sponsor and Premium Sponsor respectively. “Their commitment to enhancing rigging standards and fostering professional development is truly commendable,” Remedios shared.

“The support of our partners is extremely important. Bringing in a trained and experienced teacher like Harold is not cheap; there are lots of logistical costs including accommodation, travel and hospitality – both for the venues and the teacher – so, every bit of sponsorship went a long way to help cover our costs.”

The President also placed on record his gratitude to Waldack for taking the time and effort to share his invaluable knowledge and expertise with EESA members, as well as each participant who attended the masterclass – “each of them is now at the helm of leading a positive revolution within the live event fraternity in India when it comes to safety and professionalism,” he added.

Hot on the heels of India’s first-ever internationally recognised rigging certification masterclass, EESA worked with ChainMaster to offer a comprehensive educational seminar on the topic of ‘Chain Safety in Electric Chain Hoists’.

Curated and presented by Adam Beaumont, Product Manager at ChainMaster, the session was conducted online and saw an impressive turnout of over 48 different event equipment service providers from across India.

During the session, Beaumont explained some of the various nuances of chain safety, the importance of regular inspection of chains, and other intricate aspects concerning the overall maintenance of chains.

“EESA remains committed to promoting excellence and safety in event services, and the fact that we followed up the industry re-defining first ever rigging certification masterclass with such a high-quality education session on chain safety represents a significant step towards achieving that goal,” Remedios stated. “We are grateful to our EESA Platinum Partners ChainMaster and to Adam Beaumont for taking the time and effort to put together such a wonderfully informative curriculum, which I’m sure has benefitted all the companies who attended the session.”

With the first course limited to just 20 people per city, Remedios hopes that some of the more experienced professionals in the EESA will now pass on their learnings. “If they can train not only the other members who could not make it, but also members from other associations like EEMA [Event and Entertainment Management Association], this will go a long way to make the training more widespread and increase the level of knowledge in the industry,” he concluded.

“The EESA hopes to conduct at least one or two in-person training programmes by experienced and trained professionals every year from now on. The feedback has been extremely positive, and we hope that it will help to improve the level of technical understanding in our day-to-day operations.”

Photos: EESA