RTA student Barri-Lee Adamson, hit by a falling piece of lighting equipment

RTA student hit by falling equipment

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By Jackie Burns

A third-year radio and television arts student is suing Ryerson after she was hit in the face by a falling piece of equipment.

Barri-Lee Adamson was standing under a light in studio A at the Rogers Communication Centre on Jan. 7 when the metal flaps on the side of the light fell off, leaving her with a concussion and facial lacerations.

“It hit me in the face. It dazed me, and I had to sit down,” said Adamson. She said there was no professor in the studio at the time of the accident. An hour later a fellow student took her to hospital.

Adamson has since been back into the studio to finish the project she was working on at the time of the accident, but said she is more aware of the danger.

“I don’t trust anything that’s up there,” she said.

Adamson bruised her eye, cheek and forehead, but said it’s too soon to tell if the damage will me long term. She plans to see a specialist this week.

Robert Gardner, chair of RTA, said he was distressed about the incident.

“Everyone is really very concerned for the young lady. It was pretty dreadful,” he said. But Gardner said this is the first such accident in two or three decades.

He said the university responded very quickly and is doing a complete safety audit of the facility. The supervision level in the labs will be increased, although this may not be enough, said Gardner.

“To guarantee absolute safety in those studios is almost impossible. If we were to do that, we would almost have to deny students access to many of the functions they carry out now,” said Gardner. He added when working with lights or electrical systems, there is bound to be some danger.

“What we’re trying to do is ensure students aren’t placed in any danger and at the same time still give them the experience that will permit them to function as they move into the industry,” he said.

Tim Grimes, a second-year RTA student, said his studio class was told about the accident.

“They really emphasized the safety features of the lighting,” he said, adding the department has since done a good job of giving students safety training.

“As long as there’s no idiots around, I feel safe [in the studio],” he said.


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