Lawmakers Reviewing Stage Equipment Safety
Safety experts told a bipartisan group of state lawmakers that more procedural and structural changes are needed to prevent tragedies like the Indiana State Fair stage collapse last year.
Thornton Tomasetti's Scott Nacheman says the state needs clearer definition about exactly who's responsible for securing entire outdoor structures and equipment. He also told the Outdoor Stage Equipment Safety Committee that stages like the one at the State Fair need stronger systems to anchor and bruce structures. He said they also need a technology and engineering-based design guide for structures and systems.
State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson says stages have been regulated for years, but the committee is focusing on the nuances of staging equipment and rigging. Greeson says the state already has the emergency rule in place regarding structures. That rule was adopted in May. However, lawmakers are looking at approving more formal and comprehensive legislation regarding outdooor stage equipment.
Committee Chairman State Sen. Jim Merritt says he's confident that current rules are strong, but adds they may need some revision before being formalized into state law. The committee is not expected to reach formal reccommendations until their next meeting.