vertical-connect 2019

As I write this, the 2019 edition of vertical-connect 2019 is once again history.

Another event full of interesting meetings, lasting impressions and insights to mull over. The topics this year where Human Factor and Moving Loads. The former highlighted how central the human factor is to all of our actions, with various speakers examining different facets of the topic: from the fallacy of believing that our brain always feeds us reliable, objective information, sociological dynamics, to the possibility of using virtual reality to train operators to cope with hazardous environments or theatre scenes discussing communication and its pitfalls.

Thursday evening was the traditional vertical-connect party in the Sherlock Pub in Meiringen. Fun fact: Meiringen is where Sherlock Holmes allegedly fell down the waterfall with Professor Moriarty. Which hopefully taught them a lesson about mucking around steep drops without any PPE. I am happy to report that the gorilla suit was not forgotten this time round. This goes back to a presentation I did years ago about subjective mental blind spots, where one of the studies I referenced was Chris Chabris and Dan Simons’ Invisible Gorilla experiment. Don’t worry about the details, but long story short, they initially did the experiment with a pink umbrella but then decided to repeat it with the gorilla suit they had kicking around the psychology facility. And I was like… huh, what, everyone has a gorilla suit handy? Except me?!! Since then, that situation has be remedied:

Which is all fine and good, but resulted in a somewhat subdued start to the second day, where we were discussing the moving of loads in different industries and applications. A broad range of situations were considered such as using crane hooks as PPE anchor points, Richard Delaney reflected upon the interface between the use of PPE and rigging equipment, the Geneva high-angle rescue group did a hands-on demo of their procedural considerations when the mass being rigged is a casualty.

I cannot recommend this event enough, it is certainly one of my annual high-lights, I get to spend a week in beautiful alpine scenery with friends and like-minded folk, consider yourself warmly invited (did I mention we offer simultaneous translation between German, French and English), the dates for next year are 27 and 28 August 2020.