LEVEL 2: eSET Rigging examination

eSET Level 2 - Rigging

The online exam is a set of 100 questions randomly chosen by the system from a larger pool. The questions are multiple-choice and true/false questions covering topics such as:

  • Name the Equipment Illustrated
  • Standard Procedures for Preparing and Using Wire Rope
  • Basic Rigging Math and Load Ratios
  • Knowledge of Fall Arrest Systems and Procedures
  • Proper Procedures for Operating a Counterweight Rigging System
  • Proper Procedures for Using Chain Motors



Go Live Information
Go Live Date:
February 25, 2020
Examination Policies

eSET Level Rigging

Honesty Policy: By starting any exam, you attest that you are taking the exam for the purpose of confirming your knowledge of the content and will not accept outside input, whether from another person, book, web search, etc, for the purpose of scoring higher on this exam.


Accommodations: If you require assistance to take the exam or require accommodations to allow for an accurate assessment of your knowledge of this content, please contact info@usitt.org to make arrangements before starting the exam.


Attempt Limitations: Please be aware that limits have been imposed on the number of times any one person can take any eSET test. An "attempt" is any time the test is started, whether complete or incomplete, pass or fail. There are four attempts allowed.

Candidates must take and pass the Level 1 Basics & Safety Exam before attempting a Level 2 - Rigging online exam. Those holding a Level 2 certificate will be eligible to take the Level 3 - Rigging practical exam.

Speaker Information
eSET Rigging Working Group  [ view bio ]
Curriculum Guide and Resources

Reference Materials

eSET Rigging Lexicon. PDF with terms and definitions available with order. eSET app also available for download from iTunes and Google Play


The Backstage Handbook: An Illustrated Almanac of Technical Information; Third Edition, Paul Carter and George Chiang (Illustrator), Broadway Press, New York NY, 1994

Entertainment Rigging: A Practical Guide for Riggers, Designers and Managers; Harry Donovan, Rigging Seminars, Seattle WA 2002

Handbook for Riggers; Second Edition, W.G. (Bill) Newberry, Newberry Investment Co, Ltd., Calgary Alberta, 1989

Wire Rope Sling Users Manual; American Iron and Steel Industry, Wire Rope Technical Board, Stevensville MD, 1990

Wire Rope Users Manual; American Iron and Steel Industry, Wire Rope Technical Board, Stevensville MD, 1990

Stage Rigging Handbook; Third Edition. Jay O. Glerum, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale IL, 2007

The Complete Rigger’s Reference Handbook; Mike Riggs, RiggSafe Solutions, 2009.


NFPA 80: Standard for Fire Doors and Other Opening Protectives 2016
ANSI E1.4 - 2014 Entertainment Technology - Manual Counterweight Rigging Systems
ANSI E1.6-1 - 2012 Entertainment Technology – Powered Hoist Systems
ANSI E1.6-3 - 2012 Selection and Use of Chain Hoists in the Entertainment Industry
ANSI E1.22 - 2009 - Fire Safety Curtain Systems
ANSI E1.39-2015 Selection and Use of Personal Fall Arrest Systems on Portable Structures Used in the Entertainment Industry 

Curriculum Guide and Resources

Examination Topic






1. Calculate conversions: SI (metric) - imperial (e.g. length, weight)



2. Apply mathematical formulas, including:




a. Algebra




b. Geometry




c. Trigonometry



3. Apply general principles of forces, including:




a. Force / weight




b. Vectors




c. Two components of force




d. Point load




e. Uniformly distributed load




f. Indeterminate load




g. Static load




h. Dynamic load




i. Shock load




j. Environmental (e.g. wind, rain, snow, seismic)




k. Tilt a 2-point object



4. Apply general principles of rigging, including:




a. Breaking strength




b. Object weight




C. Safety Issues



5. Calculate sling length and forces, including:




a. Single point connection




b. 2-way bridle




c. 3-way bridle




d. High/low bridle




e. Breast-lines




f. H-bridle





1. Apply general principles of rigging, including:




a. Design factors




b. Working load limit




c. Efficiency (e.g. terminations, materials)




d. Strength of Materials




e. Service factor




f. D/d ratio




g. Fleet angle




h. Center of gravity




i. Load distribution (e.g. beam formulas, simple span)




j. Indeterminate structures




k. Fall protection and rescue design procedures




l. Inspections




m. Risk managment (e.g. OSHA/OHSA)





1. Identify and resolve hazardous situations



2. Conform rigging plot to building load limitations or obstructions



3. Interpret facility plans (e.g. electrical, HVAC, structural steel)



4. Interpret show plans



5. Interpret hanging plot



6. Generate hanging plot



7. Perform layout - determine if adequate electrical power is available



8. Verify assembly / integrity of objects to be lifted using stamped engineering drawings



9. Verify assembly / integrity of objects to be lifted using allowable load charts






1. Layout, including:




a. Assign tasks to riggers




b. Mark floor/grid




c. Determine safety guidelines (e.g. fall protection, rescue)




d. Establish communication procedures



2. General powered system requirements (e.g. dead haul, power assisted), including:




a. Verify voltage




b. Verify phasing




c. Verify electrical connections




d.Determine electrical system capacity





1. Rigging attachments (e.g. blocks, sheaves, anchors, points), including:




a. Assemble rigging attachment hardware (e.g. hitches, pipes, clamps, anchors)




b. Inspect assembled hardware (e.g. wire rope, slings, terminations)




c. Attach hardware to overhead structure (e.g. clamps, hitches, eyebolts, blocks)




d. Attach objects (e.g. lights, sound, scenery)




e. Install fall protection if required



2. Attach assembled hardware to drop/hand line with:




a. Knots (e.g. bowline, clove hitch, figure 8, sheet bend)




b. Cable puller




c. Carabiners



3. Attach items to lifting device, including:




a. Inanimate objects (e.g. truss, lights, sound, scenery, video)




b. Taildowns




c. Attachment hardware




d. Anchoring locations




e. Safety equipment backups





1. Lifting/lowering operations, including:




a. Float objects




b. Inspect entire system




c. Perform pre-movement inspection of entire assembly




d. Assign movement tasks (e.g. spotters, operators, communications)




e. Establish lifting/lowering zone




f. Perform bump check




g. Level objects




h. Raise/lower objects, periodically rechecking level




i. Verify load distribution (e.g. load monitoring devices)




j. Bring load to controlled stop




k. Verify trim



2. Confirm operation of control systems and hoists, including:




a. Emergency stop mode




b. System commissioning (e.g. start-up and shutdown procedures)



3. Complete system, including:




a. Verify travel path




b. Verify trim heights




c. Raise and lower loads






1. Select what is needed for safe access, including:




a. Personnel lifts




b. Ladders




c. Rope access




d. Fall protection




e. Personal protective gear





1. Determine rigging materials, including:




a. Trusses




a. Other support structures (e.g. beams, pipe, platform)




b. Lifting devices (e.g. hoists, block and fall, lever hoist)




c. Chain hoist




d. Other lifting devices (e.g. drum hoist, block and fall, lever hoist)




e. Hardware (e.g. shackles, slings, wire rope)




f. Manufacturers recommendations




g. Components of specific systems




h. Track Systems (e.g. video, scenic, curtain)




i. Properties of system design

Individual topic purchase: Selected
United States Institute for Theatre Technology
Learning Units: 1.00
eSET Rigging examination
USITT Price:$45.00