Feb 8, 2012
Today it was reported by several media outlets that Mid-American Sound Corporation was being fined $63,000 by Indiana OSHA. A stagehand and security guard were killed when the roof collapsed with officials saying the workers deaths prompted the investigation. Ultimately seven people died in the accident.
Mid-American said they would issue a statement later today.
What this terrible disaster has shown us is how loose many of our events truly are. There are factors in putting on a show that may lead to a rash decision with not necessarily the staging and production company having a direct decision but possibly the fair or promoter, director or owner of an event making the final call. I am not removing the culpability of the production in this case but at what point will a structure of this type withstand such devastating winds.
Much time and resources goes into an event and much may be on the line causing an error on the wrong side as in the case of the stage collapse the loss of two lives and several injuries.
Another topic that hasn’t been brought up “was there an engineering statement requested by the fair of the production company or did the production company provide such a statement to the fair during contract negotiations or through the bidding process?”
Artists attitudes toward the desire to see an engineering statement changed dramatically after the incident. Anecdotally we have heard that many of the staging and production companies have not had the proper statements but will be positioning themselves with the appropriate paperwork before next summer.
Buyers be aware that attendees, laborers and artists safety should be one of your top concerns. Make the engineering statement part of your program now.