J Davis brings electrical safety awareness to Indian industry
INDIA: The two-day Entertainment Electrics Workshop for audio, lighting and video techs was organised in June at the Gateway Hotel, Bangalore by rental company J Davis. The two-day seminar was presented by Entertainment Technician Certification Programme (ETCP) trainer Richard Cadena, attracting 65 people from across the Indian industry.
The ETCP is a programme put together in North America which certifies entertainment electricians, and Mr Cadena has been teaching a prep course for 10 years. ‘The class I taught in Bangalore was similar to my ETCP prep class with an emphasis on electrical safety,’ he said. ‘From November 2014 to November 2015, there were three separate incidents where musicians were electrocuted on stage due to faulty earthing. I am on a mission to raise awareness of the problem and offer practical solutions, so that was first and foremost.’
Santana Davis, owner of J Davis, was instrumental in organising the workshop. ‘I’ve wanted to do this course in the US, but then I thought I’d bring it here and run it for my staff, then decided to do something for the industry and take it bigger,’ he said.
This was Mr Cadena’s first trip to India. ‘Everyone was very welcoming and eager to exchange ideas,’ he said. ‘Technologically, they are every bit as advanced as anywhere else in the world, and keen to raise their game and learn as much as they can about their craft.
‘In many ways, the industry in India is no different than anywhere else in the world. Although the voltages and connectors can be different, the natural laws of circuits still apply. In India, grid power is unstable, so most shows are on portable power, and the distribution and earthing techniques follow the UK, with some variation. The earthing techniques are a bit different and the kit can be in rough condition. Also, the crew can be a bit more relaxed than they probably should be about wearing proper protection like rubber-soled shoes, gloves, and head protection. So my goal is to raise awareness and make sure they understand how to recognise hazards and protect themselves on the job.
‘The attendees were really sharp, particularly concerning the maths of electrical power distribution. This industry is traditionally self-taught or trained on the job with very little formal education, so a lot of these concepts are foreign, yet they are so important to understanding electrical safety and how to troubleshoot problems.’
Mr Davis was pleased with how the workshop went. ‘We learned a lot of details which are important for safe working conditions, such as grounding techniques, load calculations, power factor, three-phase systems and AC and DC electricity,’ he said. ‘It was a good workshop which increased our knowledge on the subject.’ The workshop also covered best practices for power distribution in portable applications and permanent installations.
‘My sincere hope is that the attendees took away enough to be a bit safer,’ concluded Mr Cadena. ‘Santana has already started planning next year’s event, and I am very much looking forward to it.’