The Performer’s Guide Forums Safety Third Aerial Rig Protocol

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  • Krystin Railing
    Post count: 74

    Aerial SAFE-ty

    S – Safe Rigging

    A – Aerial Equipment 

    F– First-Rate Safety Mats

    EEquip and Prepare Your Body

    Portable Aerial Rig Logistics

    Request that the venue provide 30x30ft flat unobstructed ground area with 19ft height clearance. This standard setup will provide the aerialist with an 18.5ft rigging height and can allow for exciting aerial performances. 

    A lower set-up option is also available and requires a 25×25 flat unobstructed ground area and 15ft height clearance. This arrangement will provide a 14.5ft rigging height which provides ample clearance for lyra or dance trapeze. Silks  are limited at this height.

    Rigging Inside Logistics

    To rig on existing structures, an attachment point rated at least to 2000 lbs is required. A ladder, manlift, catwalk or other safe method of accessing this point is needed

    Ideally for aerial workshops, floor to ceiling height must be at least 18ft. Lower riggings may still allow for beginner classes

    All aerial equipment should be rigged safely using certified equipment. Any rigging points that you use to attach to should be checked and certified by a competent rigger, or a structural engineer.

    Equipment Checklist

    • Aerial Rig/ bolts
    • Waivers/ clipboard/ pens
    • Crash mats
    • Pulley
    • Aerial workshop schedule 
    • Aerial instructor contact list 
    • Apparatus 
    • Swivel
    • Carabiner

    Setting Up the Rig

    • The Aerial rig must be completely set up before event begins 
    • Be sure to stake down the aerial rig


    No Aerial apparatus should ever be used unsupervised. Always have a spotter who can help and raise the alarm if necessary. Ideally the spotter should be an experienced aerialist who can help you see problems before they occur – this is vital when trying new move, particularly if you’re performing wraps or drops.

    Any aerial equipment should always be used in a safe environment in which the requisite safety equipment (such as crash mats) is readily available.

    Equipment, including rigging components, should be checked before every training session to ensure they are connected correctly and are showing no signs of wear.

    Keep a log of the use on your apparatus and replace it once you cross the threshold (information provided on each piece of equipments safety sheet).

    Know the loads you will be applying to the apparatus and make sure they are appropriate for your rigging components and your aerial kit. Remember this should include both body weight and the weight of the equipment. Dynamic moves can increase momentary peak loads by anything from two (a mildly dynamic routine) to five times (for drops) the static load. The equipment and rigging needs to be strong enough to account for this as well.

     It is strongly recommended that you warm up and cool down before and after each training session.

    Always perform sober.

    Always wear appropriate, well fitting clothing for aerial training and performance, to avoid clothing getting caught in the apparatus you are using.

    Make sure that no potential sharps, such as rings, large earrings, bracelets, pointy necklaces, shoes etc that can damage the equipment are worn while using the apparatus.

    – Drops and wraps in rope and silk are not to be taken lightly,

     As a professional, it is up to you to soot the student until they are 100% comfortable and confident.  Always be aware of your surroundings

    Specialty Insurance: 

    Please note that Specialty Insurance DOES NOT cover “Aerial or fire performing instruction to others, rigging for other people”. 


    It is the responsibility of the rig owner to provide “release of liability” waivers for every participant to sign.

    Pulley System:

    It is recommended that you use a pulley system to help change out apparatus for a smoother more efficient apparatus change out. 

    You CAN NOT pull a person up and down with their apparatus using every type of Pulley System and their are multiple. 

    • A 1’1 Pulley is the most common and useful and it pulls the apparatus up and down without a person on it and it’s good to exchange the apparatuses out 
    • A 3’1 Pulley you can lift a person up and down but it wouldn’t be very fast with only one person on the Pulley end line. 
    • 4’1 Pulley is more expensive, takes more time to set up and is for heavier lifting. You can lift someone up and down also, and a bit faster but you need a couple people on the rigger end to lift the person
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