There are in fact several different European Standards and various codes of practice that have been written specifically to cover lifting operations within the entertainment industry, where loads are suspended overhead (static loads) or moving above people (dynamic loads) without the needs for additional safety arrangements.
In the UK we have British Standards BS7905 – 1 Specification for the design and manufacture of above stage equipment and more specifically BS7906 – 1 Code of Practice for Installation of said equipment. In addition to our own British Standard, our European counterparts have also adopted the German safety standards BGV D8, BGV D8+ and BGV C1.
We have highlighted below some points to consider when choosing the type of equipment required and have compared the relevant German and British standards that are generally followed.
Standard rigging hoists to the BGV D8 specification or a standard hoist meeting the BS 7906-1 Category B may be used for static suspension of loads, however it is essential to have a secondary suspension via safety steel, inertia reel or load arrestor.
Category B hoists are units that are not intended by the manufacturer for lifting or suspending loads above people. Rigging hoists to the BGV D8+ specification or a hoist meeting the BS 7906-1 Category A type may be used for static suspension of loads over people.
Category A hoists are units that are intended by the manufacturer for lifting or suspending loads above people.
Where the suspended load is required to move above people there are different requirements for mechanical and electrical safety. The British Standard BS 7906-1 adequately covers this situation for use in the UK although the German Standard BGV C1 will often be adopted within Europe.
The use of standard BGV D8, BGV D8+ or a Category B hoist is NOT permitted in this application.
Hoists that comply with BGV D8, BGV D8+ or BGV C1 requirements must be clearly identifiable and should be marked as such.
Download our table of reference for Rigging Hoist Standards providing key information which includes safety factor, electric limits and brake position, amongst others, for each rigging hoist specification available:
We offer a range of Stagemaker SR electric chain hoists and rigging hoist controllers: