One of the most important jobs during any event set up, regardless of how big or small they are is the safety engineer’s job of weight monitoring. This expert makes sure that the weight of the equipment being supported onto the structures can sustain themselves, even in case of heavy rain and wind. According to the safety engineer Andre Angelo de Jesus Junior, CEO of One Stage USA, the use of weight monitoring devices, also known as load cells can help engineers detect possible structural collapses and prevent fatal accidents.
Jesus Junior has a post-graduate’s degree in safety engineering and a bachelor’s degree in mechatronic engineering. He has worked in the field of entertainment for more than 20 years, he knows the importance of using systems of weight monitoring when erecting modular structures that will be supporting tons of weight from lights, sounds equipment and LED panels. “These load cells are pretty much the scale used in the assembly of any temporary or permanent structure. This system captures in real time, any shift in the weight sustained in each of the trusses, cables, shackles and so on. With big outdoor events, the risks of accidents caused by shifted weight are higher due to unforeseen climate change. Those are the times where information is key to assess the risks and prevent a possible collapse.”
He goes on to explain that the specialist on duty can monitor these weight shifts from a smartphone and know exactly when there’s an overload and prevent accidents. He says, “Visually when looking at the structure, it is impossible to predict a collapse is going to happen, and once when a collapse has begun it is impossible to reverse it.”
Jesus Junior explains that when a stage collapses, what is actually happening is a domino effect. An overload of weight being transferred from one structure to another, so even though the whole stage will eventually collapse, the cause of the accident could many times go undetected if there are no weight reports.
Jesus Junior is a member of the Safety Event Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting safety in events production. He said, “I truly believe in the future these reports will be imposed by states and insurance companies. Once the use of load cell devices becomes mandatory, we will see a decrease in accidents and an increase in profit revenue. Insurance policies will go down, and even in the case of a collapse, the weight reports being generated will provide critical information regarding where was the source of the overload, and how it could have been prevented.”