State of the Rigging Industry
Almost three years after COVID-19, the majority of people are mentally exhausted thinking about the pandemic, including those in the rigging community. But it’s impossible to ignore its impact. It changed the way people look at life, and is still altering the state of the rigging community. After seasons of lockdowns and delayed jobs, the industry is still trying to find its footing again. We talked with ARC Rigging Subject Matter Expert Bogdan Gaita about the shifts he has seen in the industry in the last few years.
Rigging has advanced from testing projects on pen and paper to a computer-based approach. This allows the engineers, project managers, and superintendents to fully understand the concept and see what needs to be done in order to have a successful project. Recently, 3D modeling and animation have become popular tools in the rigging industry. 3D models are used to clarify designs and for interference checks. It details the general working area, specific target rigging area, lifting equipment, rigging, the equipment that will be handled, and other miscellaneous objects. Meanwhile, the animation will create moving storyboards based on the 3D model.
These tools have proven to be a huge asset during the bidding process, but also through all the other phases of a project. By providing the client with a 3D model of the project before the proposal presentation even begins, you can capture their attention and go into the bidding process with the client already engaged. Animation is the best choice to present the final solution so the client can fully see what the contractor will perform, to the highest detail.
Another area where 3D modeling and animation come into play is during personnel training sessions. Having the ability to show your implementation crew, client management team, subcontractors, and all others working on the project exactly what the process will look like, sets the team up for success. It defines expectations and provides clarity to those working on the project.
Though training requirements can still improve, it may be one of the most important changes we have seen in recent years. Proper training has become more valued than ever before. As training becomes more popular for an individual or team, the risk of a safety incident decreases. Some companies are even going as far as to create training facilities to offer essential safety courses and other specialized ones. As the industry advances, more people are implementing the 70-20-10 rule – even when it comes to safety protocols. When it comes to learning, 70 percent comes from experience, 20 percent comes from other peers and 10 percent comes from formal training.
There is still room for improvement when it comes to safety within the industry. With rigging engineers not being required to obtain a specialty-designated license, this can be a hazard for those on the job site. If a rigging engineer would be required to obtain a specialty license, it would minimize the risk of accidents and ensure those in the field are experienced workers.
The rigging industry has seen a shift in the last decade. As young people head toward college and dismiss careers in trade industries, seasoned workers are heading into retirement. This is leaving the industry with a lack of experienced, knowledgeable workers. When a young person does choose a career in rigging, they have a hard time finding a seasoned worker who is willing to share their expertise. As a result, the industry is having to rely on less experienced workers. This challenge must be addressed as we prepare for the future. Mentorship has never been more important to the rigging industry.
Though the industry still has room for improvement, one of the most notable changes Bogdan Gaita has seen in the industry is communication. Since COVID-19, he has seen riggers work together to improve their work and better serve those they work alongside. Improved communication benefits relationships with employers, coworkers, and clients and ensures the job is completed safely and successfully.
A Bright Future
We are excited about the future of the rigging industry and to continue to see improvements in how technology is leveraged, safety is prioritized, and training is brought front and center.