Dear Members of the TC,
A very happy and productive 2006 to all of you!
The last few weeks, I’ve mailed some of you individually about the work of the TC.
I asked you for information, or to do some work for the commission, and I hope you will all answer me.
You also received the draft of the minutes of the meeting in Taipei, if you didn’t, please let me know.
As you probably remember from my last mail, 30th of November there was an information and discussion meeting about the CWA LESEI (CEN Workshop on Lifting Equipment for Stages within the Entertainment Industry)
The meeting was hosted by the organisation of the JTSE fair in Paris, France.
Not less than 7 countries participated, Great Britain, Poland, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Holland and France, and included TC colleagues Bert Determan, Erik Westerlund and me, and Reinhold Daberto, chair of the Architecture Commission.
Olle Söderberg, who some of you know from the videoconference in Taipei, opened the meeting presenting the actual situation.
At this moment five European countries have specific standards for stage machinery.
Jens Schröder presented the new DIN 56950 norm.
He stressed the open rules and the adaptability of the rules.
The DIN norm is the basis both the Swedish SS 767 1501 norm and the Austrian norm are crafted from.
The British BS 7905 and BS 7906 standard was explained to us by Jeffery Philips.
These standards are divided in specifications and codes of practice.
There are no standards for under stage machinery.
The French are of course following the European rules, but are adding some, specific for theatre.
These rules are mostly more strict than the CE version and are made by the Committee National de sűreté et de sécurité (part of the ministry of culture).
The meeting agreed that a European norm would help clear up a lot of unclear areas in the national laws.
The general feeling was that the existing norms were similar in so many points, that with doing the effort to compare them, and narrowing down the few differences we could come very close to a common standard.
Next John Ketchell and Gaid le Gall of the CEN explained us the difference between a CE norm and a CEN Workshop agreement.
Basically, a CE norm is a European law, and it takes plenty of time and money to make, CEN Workshop agreement does not overrule the national laws of the member countries but can be a consensus of quality and safety for the users in the field.
Not only European interested parties can join, but people and companies worldwide can join.
After the CEN Workshop agreement is communicated it can be a faster way to make it into a regular CE norm, which makes it European law.
Gaid le Gall gave us a powerpoint presentation on the subject that I include here.
Our time was up at the JTSE, so the meeting moved to the close by “Hippo Bar”.
Needless to say discussion became more easy that way, and our international company came to the following conclusions:
- Every country will look for money and interested parties, and stress the benefits of the agreement to their local companies.
- The intention is to turn the CEN Workshop (CEW) into a CE norm in a later stadium.
- The idea of starting from the DIN norm is rejected as it was dissuaded by mr Ketchell.
- There will be a kick off meeting on 8 and 9 February 2006 at the offices of the CEN in Brussels.
More information about this meeting you van find on www.cenorm.be and look at "New Workshops" at the first page and we are there. Go to "CEN Workshop 25" and there you can registrate for the meeting.
Can the TC members who intent to go to Brussels notify me, because I would love to join you there, and have a small informal meeting there.
In the draft of the minutes of the meeting in Taipei, I can see several opportunities.
I think we can divide the items in “gathering and comparing information” and “exchanging ideas”.
In the “information” part I see items like risk assessment and costing forms, two examples of things that are not that easy to just look up on the internet somewhere.
In the “ideas” section I can imagine items like the problems of changing economics, Martin talked about, the sample solutions for theatre design, Sandor proposed, our role toward emerging countries in the field of theatre technology, and of course our presence on the OISTAT website.
The result of the information workgroups could be a collection or a synthesis of existing possibilities, the result of the idea workgroups could be a paper, to be presented at the TC meeting and to be publicised on the OISTAT website, thus increasing visibility of the commission.
So if you would please all think about these items:
- CEN Workshop on Lifting Equipment for Stages within the Entertainment Industry
- Risk assessment for theatre productions.
- Costing forms – ways to make up a production budget
- The changing economics and the responsibility of the theatre technician.
- Sample solutions for theatre design
- Support to practitioners in economically challenged and emerging countries
- The TC section on the OISTAT website
I expect you all to think about these items, and share your thoughts on them with me and the rest of the TC.
I hope to receive a lot of mail from all of you, and I will try to make a synthesis of it in our next newsletter.
Chair Technology Commission