BROC U #14|Telescoping Bleachers Are a Large Place for Contention for Annual Inspections
It is hard to believe that we are at the end of another school year. Custodians and facilities crews are ramping up for cleaning schools and repairing and/or renovating building systems throughout the Summer. The structure of your school’s bleachers is often overlooked or placed low on the priority list for inspection, repair, renovation, or replacement. Bleacher inspection must me re-prioritized. There are three types of bleachers common to schools that should be inspected: portable, permanent, and telescopic. Portable units are smaller and can be moved, for example, from the soccer field in the fall to the softball field in the spring. Permanent bleachers are the classic, large structures on the side of a football or baseball field. Telescopic bleachers typically are used in a gymnasium and can be closed to utilize the entire gym.
History Tells Us All We Need to Know
The federal safety agency has reported that there were nineteen deaths involving falls from bleachers from 1991 to 2003; four of them were children under the age of fifteen. Serious injuries typically result from falls between seats and floorboards and between guardrails. Renovations to bring the bleachers up to code would have prevented many of those deaths and injuries. Repairs, renovations, or installation of non-skid surfaces on floorboards, stairs, and walkways would also have reduced slips and trips, two of the other leading causes of injuries in school bleachers.
Are your bleachers and stadium seating up to code?
There are new requirements for bleacher safety, and any facility with bleachers and public seating (indoor or outdoor), must be inspected annually.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends the following bleacher safety guidelines:
- Provide routine inspection and maintenance
- Install bleacher guard rails as a safety precaution and as an indication that the bleachers are fully extended
- A licensed professional engineer, registered architect, or company that is qualified to provide bleacher products and services should inspect the bleachers and provide a written certification that the bleachers are fit for use
- The option of replacing bleachers as opposed to retrofitting should be considered
Inspections should be put as a major priority on your list every year to ensure safety of your students, faculty, and spectators. These are only a few of the many reasons for inspections. BROC preaches this importance every day and is a value held close to every member of the team. Help us spread the wealth of information there is to be learned around making facilities safe.