III. Working at Height


The catwalks, grids and building ladders are off limits to guests and visitors, only technicians are allowed to use them. Do not invite others to tour these areas. Injuries involve people falling, and things falling on people.

A. Catwalks and Pin Rails

The catwalks are used to access lighting and sound equipment and also the pin rails and loading rails. Because these areas are over the heads of others, be sure to lanyard any tools you may use to prevent them from dropping during use.
Watch your step! Many of these areas will have cable runs which are easy to trip on. The structure of these walks is made from solid angular steel forms and is not very forgiving. Watch your head when standing up or moving through these areas. Use handrails to guide your body through equipment sensitive areas—it is easy to knock an instrument out of focus as the pathways can become very narrow and congested.

B. Grids

Both the Main Theater and the Experimental Theater have a grid that is accessible for rigging and for lighting and sound equipment installation. When using these grids be sure that you clear out your pockets and remove any loose items from your person. Do not access these areas with ANYTHING on your person other than what is strictly needed for the task you plan to do in these spaces.

Watch your feet and watch your head! These areas are very congested and require your full attention when navigating. Whenever you access these areas, someone else should be aware of this fact. There should never be someone below who does not know that you are working above. Make sure a crew person on the floor has been assigned to watch the deck for stragglers and to warn others of your presence above.

In the event that something falls… make sure to yell “Heads” at the top of your lungs so that those below have a sporting chance of avoiding being hit.

C. Loading Rail/ Bridge

All of the rules and procedures that apply to the grids also apply to the loading rail with the addition of the following:
Because loaders must be outside of the guardrails to work, they must wear a properly fitted safety harness attached to the fall restraint system and always work in pairs. The assistant loader will hand to and receive weight from the loader.

D. Box Booms

The box booms are accessed from either the upstairs hallway or through the catwalk system. Both sides feature a double door that opens into the theater space.
WARNING! There is no fixed guardrail at these positions. These doors open up to a substantial drop. Be cautious when working in these areas.

E. Building Ladders
Building ladders come in two different forms. From the stage to the pin rail and loading rail are vertical ladders that feature a round metal rung every 12 inches. These ladders span some 50’ or so. The other ladder type is found in the box booms and the Experimental Theater grid; these ladders feature an alternating step type that may feel unnatural.
Avoid the domino effect! Do not access these ladders while someone is climbing overhead or below you, wait until their body is clear of the ladder section you are using before ascending or descending.