I recently read an interesting article by Anthony Coppedge titled, AVL Safety Needed in Churches. This article spoke to me on two topics in particular.

Draper's Scissor Lifts get the projector down to a safe height for maintenance.

Draper’s Scissor Lifts get the projector down to a safe height for maintenance.

First of all, it brought to mind  the use of lifts, specifically our scissor lift, for installed projectors in very high ceilings. The purpose of a scissor lift is to lower the projector to a safe and serviceable distance from the floor. The goal is to use a standard 8 foot ladder (or less). Instead, we often see projectors installed where ladders or scaffolding must be precariously perched between pews or, even worse, the AV guy is walking the ceiling rafters or inching through the attic space to replace a bulb. While a lift does add cost upfront, it will save time and money in the long run, not to mention keep your people safe!

The second way this hit home relates to the use of portable screens. We see portable screens that are too small for their intended purpose, so they are raised on the legs to a height that is beyond factory recommendations, making the screen a huge tip hazard. We also see screens used outside, where they become sails, and there is no weight anchoring the legs. Then there are those screens that are quite large being set up by too few people. This is one most of us have probably seen. There is that moment when they try to lift the assembled screen. They wobble, and they realize they’re never going to make it.

Never raise portable screens above manufacturer-recommended heights.

Never raise portable screens above manufacturer-recommended heights.

These two things – the use of scissor lifts to make servicing a projector easier and safer, and correctly using a portable screen – are not often discussed when trying to design, implement, use, and maintain a system. If your church is like mine, we have amateurs, usually a church member, running our system.

Perhaps we should all take a bit more time to make sure those people safe.

To read Anthony’s original blog post on rAVe, click here.

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