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Secretary-Treasurer’s Message

Aloha Members,

I recently got out of the office and visited the former set/construction area for Lilo and Stitch. The show is rapping up and all of the off-production departments are packing up, cleaning up and moving forward.

Roaming around the warehouse and set areas brought back some memories, as it was nice to see the efforts that our members have gone through to make this show work, work areas where clean, neat and organized with well-marked safety equipment available.

I watched as some of our brothers were tossing some wall flats into a dumpster, nothing new here, we do this all the time. However, what surprised me was that the operator of the ariel boom lift ( AKA condor) was not wearing a safety harness and was not attached to the machine. OSHA rules state when working at or above 6 feet in height workers must be wearing and utilizing proper safety equipment. Over the course of my career, many disturbing injuries and deaths have occurred simply because a worker did not utilize correct safety guidelines and protocols. Recently a member of Local 728 in Hollywood was killed on stage when he unfortunately fell to his death. This was a tragic accident that could have been prevented if the proper safety protocols where used.

Safety rules and guidelines are for your protection and the protection of others around you. It only takes a few minutes to put on a harness and work safely. I know from experience that many times due to schedules/ time pressure we think ahh no big deal it will only take a second to hop in the lift and move a light or change a rigging point but a second is all it takes for an accident to happen.

Lift machines can and do fail, take a minute to make a pre shift inspection, check the fluid levels, look for leaks, remember that operator manual check list, go over it before using the machine. The time spent doing this could prevent an accident.

Safety is a concern to all of us, if you see something don’t hesitate to speak up. Not sure who to report a safety concern to? Start with your Department head, best boy or your lead person in your department. Don’t forget you can always mention your concerns to your shop steward.