audio tips

20 Safety Tips for Live Sound Professionals

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High risk is involved in your chosen profession and as a live sound engineering professional you are supposed to take pertinent precautions.

It is been noticed Sound Engineers are not taking safety measures to protect themselves during their regular job especially in India.

Eventhough the number of accidents happening in the Live Entertainment Industry is less, safety measures are quite important to avoid any untoward incidents.

Being a professional if you follow some precautionary measures you can protect your audio gears too.

It is a fact that with sheer negligence your costly audio equipments might become unusable and those errors can be avoided if we simply pay attention to what we’re doing.

In our diploma course, the topic ‘Safety’ is being covered elaborately. Apart from that, safety for audio engineers and audio gears are dicussed in expert sessions conducted in the academy. In one of the recent expert session by Rahul Samuel, the presenter had shed more light into the importance of safety in the field of Audio Engineering.

Hope the security measures listed below will be an eye opener for Live Sound Engineering Professionals like you, and always keep in mind that ‘Health is Wealth’ whether it is an individual or an audio gear.

Tips for Sound Engineers

  • For Sound Engineers and Live Sound Technicians, ears are their livelihood, so its protection is a must.
  • Get help when moving heavy items.
  • Wear closed-toe footwear during the work or it is even better, go with steel toe boots.
  • Wear gloves when loading in/out, and especially when working with ropes, aircraft cables, or chain.
  • Keep a first aid kit in your vehicles, and one at the event site. Now is a good time to check your kits and restock any supplies.
  • Wear a correctly sized harness when working off the ground or operating lifts.
    Use safety helmets while rigging line arrays.
  • Lastly, as per records that people who perform ‘late night’ work are more accident-prone than people who work 9 to 5 in an office. Keep away from using alcohol and drugs especially after late night work.

Tips with regard to Venue

  • Never block a fire exit with equipment or cases.
  • Be sure all portable ladders are set up correctly and are stable before using.
  • Check fire extinguishers to make sure they’re in good operating condition. Repair, recharge or replace them as needed.
  • Be in touch with the venue recce or keep the contact information for getting immediate medical assistance.
  • Sufficient earthing has to be provided when a live performance is conducted in top floor of a hotel.
  • Better, get assistance from electrician of that hotel and don’t insert the earth rod on plant pots which are placed on the top floor.
  • It should go without saying that electrical installation should be done by a qualified electrician.

Tips for Audio Equipment Safetly

  • When working with the power feeders, always connect ground wires first, then neutral wires, and finally, hot legs and also disconnect the same in reverse order.
  • Protect power cords from damage and avoid creating trip hazards with cable covers or ramps.
  • When using a portable generator, make sure that a ground rod is in place and connected properly to the generator.
  • Make sure electrical power is off before connecting or disconnecting power and/or feeder cables.
  • Use flight cases when transporting heavy and costly audio equipments.
  • Be keen when stacking audio equipments on a truck and keep heavy items below and don’t keep on them on the rear side of the total load.

The live sound reinforcement and PA rental companies should take appropriate care in providing personal protective equipment for their employees and make sure that they are using it. Moreover the companies should provide adequate training in safe operation of equipments during the live shows.

We would love to hear your comments and advice on health and safety in connection with sound engineering. In particular, any real-life stories would be very welcome.

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