As more circus schools open and more people choose to do circus as an alternative sport or to become professional, the demand for more circus equipment grows. Since circus equipment is very specialised and cannot really be bought in large outlets, people new to circus arts will rely on internet searches to find what they want. In some cases, you might only be able to buy your specialised gear from an overseas supplier, leaving you no choice but to buy from them. But, as the old adage states: “caveat emptor” or “let the buyer beware…”. Living in Australia has its benefits, one of them being the high safety standards that the government have put in place for personal safety. This means that any equipment that you use, to be suspended in the air, needs to satisfy criteria that have been calculated to make sure that it will not fail. If you buy your new gear from an overseas supplier, you must be sure that it has been manufactured to the same standards. It’s not just for your own safety, but if you use this gear at a public venue, you could be asked to show proof of engineering. If you have insurance cover, your insurance provider will want this proof of safety as well.
In Australia, the companies supplying the demand for specialised equipment should ensure that they adhere to these rules. If not, their insurance will not cover them, and, in case of an incident, you could be left without support for your medical bills and ongoing expenses. If you buy name brand equipment, such as Petzl or Rock Exotica (both of which we stock), you are covered by both the insurance of the manufacturer (such as Petzl) and the insurance of the equipment seller (such as Trix Circus). When I buy equipment, I want to see a big-name brand on it, so I know it is not a “rip off”. I might be paying more, but it’s peace of mind and it’s paying for ongoing innovation in the industry. Knock offs with pretty branding won’t have the multiple layers of public liability insurance and true safety certification. Here at Trix Circus, we put your safety first. We are not interested in cheap knock offs that might make more sales. We have no interest in being sued or putting your life in jeopardy so we only stock and supply the highest quality rigging and circus equipment.
If you own a studio, certification and manufacturer’s proof of public liability insurance is even more important. It is the right of every customer and student that walks in your door to be kept as safe as possible. For your own future and the future of your company it is obligatory. As our engineer, from Jade Engineering in Brisbane, says “You need this paper trail. It will keep you out of jail!”. Don’t take chances with the safety of your students, buy from reputable Australian organisations that put certification above cost cutting or manufacturing ease, who have a proven track record of safety and who can supply you with proof of public liability insurance.
Always ask for proof, for documentation, ask others around you if that proof is adequate. Contact us if you have any concerns. As Australian advanced riggers and with the up-skilling we have received from École National de Cirque and Cirque du Soleil, we are always interested in your questions and providing you with solutions. Research is your best friend. You are entitled to ask questions and you are obligated to do your research because it is not only your safety and your life which is dependent on that gear, but anyone else who might use it.