Lifts, Ladders & Scaffolding

It is often necessary to work on equipment which is inaccessible while standing on solid ground.  We use ladders, hydraulic lifts, and scaffolding to elevate our student workers above ground level.


Working at height above the ground is a potential fall hazard.  In order to ensure your safety, all student employees MUST abide by the following policy:

  • At no time may students utilize lifts, ladders, or scaffolding without direct faculty or staff supervision.  Specifically:  your direct faculty or staff supervisor must be present in Dillingham and aware of what you are doing.  If you are on the lighting or sound crew, the Lighting and Sound Supervisor must be aware of your activity and present in the building.  If you are on the carpentry crew, the Technical Director and/or Scene Shop Supervisor must be aware and present.  If you are on the scenic art crew, the Scenic Art Mentor must be aware and present.  Unapproved and/or unscheduled work calls are strictly forbidden - your supervisor must be notified and present.
  • At no time may students utilize lifts, ladders, or scaffolding alone.  Whenever working at height, you must have a partner.  In the event of an emergency, your ground crew can assist you or seek assistance.
  • All students who utilize lifts, ladders, or scaffolding are required to be trained in their safe and correct operation.  You will be trained in lift and ladder safety and required to complete and sign a checklist before being allowed to use lifts and ladders.  If the scaffolding is to be used, you will complete and sign a similar checklist regarding the safe and correct operation of our scaffolding.

Lifts, Ladders & Scaffolding

Lifts, Ladders & Scaffolding specifics below

Ladders are available in the back hallway of the Hoerner stage.  We have both A-frame ladders and extension ladders.  Some general guidelines for the safe and correct use of ladders:

  • Inspect your ladder prior to use to ensure there are no loose or missing parts or any damage to the ladder.
  • Always place ladders on level surfaces.  Never use boxes or unstable surfaces to extend the reach of a ladder.
  • Ensure that a ladder’s feet are correctly positioned before climbing the ladder.  A correctly positioned ladder should not wobble while climbing.
  • Work on ladders in pairs.  One person climbs the ladder, the other helps stabilize the ladder while climbing or working and can assist the person on the ladder by sending up tools and equipment via handline.
  • It is safer to climb a ladder and drop a line to haul equipment and tools than it is to climb up a ladder while carrying equipment.  Three points of contact (hands and feet) should exist between a worker’s body and the framework of the ladder at all times while climbing any ladder.
  • Never leave tools or equipment atop a ladder or on ladder rungs.  Never drop tools or equipment from a ladder.  Never throw tools or equipment to a worker on a ladder.

Ladder training is conducted through  All students in Theatre Production and Technical Theatre Practicum courses are required to complete two training modules:  the Stepladder Safety Training module and the Single and Extension Ladder Training Module.  A score of 90% or better will allow you to download a certificate of completion, which should be forwarded along to the Lighting and Sound Supervisor for your training record.

Lifts refers to hydraulic lifting platforms, such as the Genie AWP-25S.  Our lifts are stored in the loading dock/metal shop area between the scene shop and the Hoerner stage.  When finished with lifts, they should be returned to this area.  General lift guidelines:

  • Lifts should only be operated on level surfaces.  Never attempt to operate a lift that is not on a level surface.
  • Lifts may only be operated by trained personnel.
  • Personnel working in lifts must wear a personal fall arrest system anchored to the lift.
  • Never operate a lift alone.  Always have at least one ground crewperson available to assist in an emergency.
  • Never attempt to move a lift whose mast is extended.  
  • Inspect lifts prior to use.  Frayed or damaged electrical cords should be removed and replaced.  Leaking fluid should be immediately reported to a supervisor.  Any obviously missing parts should be reported to a supervisor.
  • There are two emergency stop (E-Stop) switches on each of our lifts.  One is located inside the platform (a.k.a. “bucket”), the other is next to the key on the outrigger readout panel of the lift.  In the event that the mast is in motion independent of the operator’s control, depress either E-Stop to cease motion of the mast.
  • Should the lift outriggers be properly engaged (all four lights on outrigger readout panel lit) and the platform remains unresponsive to operator controls, it is likely that one or both E-Stops are engaged.  Disengage both E-Stops and attempt to operate the lift.
  • In the event that the controls inside the platform are unresponsive to the operator and all systems appear normal while the platform is at height, a manual release leverl is accessible to the ground crewperson at the back of the mast.  Operating this lever will disengage the mast’s clutch and allow the mast to travel downward, bringing the operator to the safety of the floor.

Scaffolding is a mobile framework of supports and platforms.  Our scaffolding is stored in the loading dock/metal shop area between the Scene Shop and the Hoerner stage.  When finished with scaffolding, it should be dismantled and correctly stored in this area.  General guidelines for scaffolding use:

  • Scaffolding should only be utilized on level surfaces.  Never attempt to operate or install scaffolding on a surface that is not level.  Boxes or similar objects should never be used to extend the reach of scaffolding.
  • Fall arrest PPE must be used by any crewmember working on scaffolding.  Never work on scaffolding without using correct fall arrest PPE.
  • Scaffolding should never be used alone.  A minimum of one ground crewperson must be present whenever any crewmember is working on scaffolding.
  • Never attempt to climb scaffolding while carrying equipment which cannot be carried without the use of hands.  Only secured tools or handlines may be carried while climbing scaffolding.  Three points of contact (hands and feet) must exist at all times by any crewmember climbing scaffolding.
  • Always empty pockets prior to climbing scaffolding.  Remove hard hats prior to climbing scaffolding.  Secure all necessary tools when working on scaffolding platforms.