Should Bleacher Maintenance Happen Just Once a Year?

Posted by Matt Roberts

Feb 11, 2015 11:05:00 AM

bleacher seating in louisville, ky

In 2012, there were an estimated 26,700 bleacher-related injuries, with 5,620 of these involving children under 15 years old. Five of these children died as a result of these falls. All of these incidents resulted from a person falling from or through bleachers onto the surface below. Federal legislation to tighten safety guidelines has not been universally supported, meanwhile, bleacher-related injuries continue to mount.

In order to guard against the dangers of faulty bleachers, an annual yearly inspection is required. The Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC) guidelines recommend conducting regular inspections no less than four times a year with documentation included that provides a date and signature of the supervisor performing the inspection.

According to the CPSC, the objective of regular inspections is to "identify any structural damage or degradation that could compromise safety." Keeping spectators safe by having regular bleacher maintenance and inspection performed is a first step in preventing accidents and liability issues. Toadvine has an experienced and knowledgeable team of inspectors who know code expectations, and guidelines for inspecting bleachers. Prevent accidents and injuries by having our experienced team of inspectors take care of your bleacher inspections and maintenance year-round.

To ensure that your seating is safe, Toadvine will perform routine maintenance on the following areas:

  • Make sure stairs, ramps, and aisles are dry, clean, and free of debris.
  • All stairs should be equipped with handrails and tread to prevent falls.
  • Loose flooring should be fixed to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Seats should be free from splintering wood and loose screws and hardware.
  • Safety rails should be installed on the back of bleachers to prevent falls.

If your bleachers are overdue for routine maintenance, contact our maintenance department we'll set up a time to come to your facility. Toadvine Enterprises is here to help your schools and organizations provide a safe environment for fans, spectators and players.

Topics: Bleacher maintenance, grandstand maintenance, bleacher safety

Is Your School Liable for Bleacher Accidents

Posted by Matt Roberts

Nov 17, 2014 10:19:00 AM

bleacher seating in louisville, ky

Bleachers are the most affordable form of mass seating and are used by schools around the country. However, this type of seating can come with a larger price tag if not maintained properly. With schools getting older and budgets sometimes getting smaller, bleachers in gymnasiums and stadiums are oftentimes ignored and do not go through necessary safety and maintenance checks. While the seating in your school remains the same, safety requirements continue to change.

The Problem Exists

Over 15,000 children under the age of 15 are injured each year by bleacher seating. This has prompted many state lawmakers to publish guidelines on retrofitting and updated existing bleachers to help lessen this number and prevent children from injury. These guidelines include a required maintenance inspection every year to ensure that your indoor or outdoor seating is safe and up to current regulations.

Is Your School Liable?

The truth is that if a school has not had its bleachers inspected by a certified service technician or has not done the required maintenance, then that school is likely to be found liable for any injury. The problems that cause these injuries are not always easy to see. Some of the issues that create a liability for schools include:

  • Gaps in the floor or sides
  • Poorly secured guardrails or handrails
  • Lack of required guardrails or handrails
  • Lack of required safety signage
  • Poorly secured bleachers
  • Failure to obtain maintenance inspection
  • Slippery areas either dry or wet
  • Debris or overhanging trees

If an accident were to occur on your indoor or outdoor bleacher seating, your school could be found liable for negligence. If a public school has events, such as sporting or music events that require school seating to be used, then the premises of the public event could be found liable. In a case where a school is privately owned, the owner of the property could be liable of an accident.

What Can Your School Do

In order to protect your school from liability issues and, more importantly, ensure the safety of your students, you have to make sure your bleachers are regularly maintained. When was your last inspection? Are you due for another one?

Toadvine Enterprises offers a maintenance and inspection program that takes the hassle of maintaining bleachers off of schools. Toadvine also offers yearly contracts to ensure that you never miss a required inspection. Learn more about our Vine & Branch maintenance and inspection program here.

Topics: bleacher design, Bleacher maintenance, bleacher safety

Start This Football Season With Bleacher Inspection

Posted by Matt Roberts

Sep 5, 2014 10:29:00 AM

bleacher seating in louisville, ky

Robinson High School in Tampa, Florida will not play its first football home game at home later this month. Due to some corroding screws and other issues recently uncovered with the football bleachers on their home field, Robinson's first home game has been moved, with plans to return to their home field still uncertain.

After an inspector at the school recently found corroding screws and some other issues of concern, it was determined that games would not be played at home until they were inspected and deemed safe for spectators.

"At this point, we have shut it down. We are not going to allow anybody into the bleachers until we know that they are solid and safe," said Stephen Hegarty with Hillsborough County Public Schools.

This major safety concern has parents worried and wondering how bleachers could get in this condition. The bi-annual inspections have apparently not been frequent or thorough enough to keep school bleachers safe. Luckily for this school, the issues were uncovered before any accidents occurred. Other schools and facilities have not been so fortunate.

In 1999, one study showed that an estimated 22,000 bleacher-associated injuries were treated in the ER. Approximately 6,000 of these injuries were a result of the person falling from or through the bleachers and onto the surface below. Of those falls, about 5,000 involved children under the age of 15.

Bleacher hazards can occur due to older design problems, incorrect manufacturing or installation, or lack of routine maintenance. Routine maintenance is important to help pinpoint any structural damage or hazards that may compromise the integrity of the bleachers and threaten public safety. All hazards and deficiencies need to be corrected immediately and in some cases, bleachers may need to be rendered inoperable or taken out of use until they are repaired and deemed safe.

Toadvine Enterprises has a maintenance and safety inspection program that provides service to all indoor and outdoor seating and equipment. Vine and Branch is our fully staffed maintenance program which provides a certified service technician who performs annually-required maintenance inspections on all equipment and seating to ensure the safety of your facility. Technicians provide service in these areas:

  • Visual inspections of your facility and/or designated equipment
  • A full listing of defective equipment or upgrade requirements
  • A written report of the inspection noting any safety or standard violations and recommendations for corrective action

Contact Ben Toadvine: ben@toadvine.com or Matt Roberts: mroberts@toadvine.com to schedule your next bleacher inspection so that your football fans can cheer on their home team with the confidence that their bleachers are safe and secure.

Topics: Bleacher maintenance, bleacher inspections, football bleachers

Athletic Director's Survival Guide

Posted by Matt Roberts

Aug 28, 2014 7:48:00 PM

bleacher seating in louisville, kyAs the new academic year swings into action, many student athletes will begin swinging bats and field hockey sticks, shooting basketballs and spiking the volleyball net. It is important as to be compliant as a school and an organization with state standards and regulations to ensure the safety and well-being of your students, school personnel and your loyal fans.

As an Athletic Director, you are responsible for overseeing and monitoring safety and compliance through regular inspections and proper upkeep, routine maintenance and keeping an awareness of changing regulations. By downloading our content offer, the Athletic Director's Survival Guide, you will receive key information to help you stay on top of legal and safety aspects of maintaining your facility, along with useful tips on extending the life of your school equipment, so that you can enjoy a maximum return on your investment.

At Toadvine Enterprises, we not only provide you with quality athletic seating and equipment options, we also care about safety. For more information on maintaining safety in your school equipment, check out our Vine and Branch program.

Topics: Bleacher maintenance, Athletic Directors, bleacher inspections

The Importance of Bleacher Inspection

Posted by Matt Roberts

Jun 20, 2014 4:56:00 PM

bleacher seating in louisville, ky

A search on the internet for bleacher safety will bring up multiple attorney listings and assistance for bleacher related injuries. Families today are exposed to unsafe spectator seating in a variety of settings and injuries relating to these accidents continue to call attention to the need for accelerated safety measures.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) examined bleacher injury associated data from 1991-1999 and revealed that there were an average of 19,100 bleacher-related injuries that were treated in the emergency room. In the year 1999 alone, 22,100 injuries were treated in the ER. Of those injuries 6,100 of them resulted from a fall from or through the bleachers onto the surface below. Because of the severity of these incidents, it is essential for organizations and schools to develop a plan to inspect, repair and maintain their seating systems to prevent incidents like these.

At Toadvine Enterprises, safety is a priority and because we believe in keeping your establishments safe, we have developed a maintenance and safety inspection program for all of your indoor and outdoor seating and equipment. Our Vine & Branch program offers manufacturer certified service technicians to ensure the safety of your seating. Here are some of the services our team will provide in order to keep your facility safely maintained:

  • A thorough visual inspection of your facility and/or designated equipment.

  • A full listing of defective equipment or upgrade requirements.

  • A written report will be provided to you upon completion of the inspection, noting any safety and/or standard violations, and recommendations for corrective action.

We perform annually-required maintenance inspections on all equipment and seating and yearly contracts that work around your needs. Please contact Ben Toadvine: ben@toadvine.com or Matt Roberts: mroberts@toadvine.com or use our online form to request a regular maintenance check regarding the safety of your facility seating. Toadvine is happy to assist you in maintaining the safety of your facility and your family.

Topics: bleacher inspections, Bleacher maintenance, Toadvine bleacher seating in Louisville

Severe Weather Can Be Damaging and Costly for Bleachers

Posted by Matt Roberts

Sep 13, 2013 8:06:00 PM

toadvine sports equipment

Severe weather and exposure caused a host of problems for South Point High School stadium in Belmont, North Carolina. After an intense inspection, the bleachers showed signs of distress from weather damage and were deemed unsafe. This determination threatened graduation ceremonies last year and cost the school district in excess of $500,000 to make repairs.

Regular inspections of those bleachers could have caught that damage before it became threatening to the safety of spectators and sports fans. Instead, an unforeseen inspection by the district's insurance company shut down the stadium for graduation and even created uncertainty that the repairs would be complete in time for football season to begin.

Kentucky and Southern Indiana also experience severe weather patterns similar to those in Belmont each season. We’ve had flash flooding, damaging winds, and severe thunderstorms. That severe weather could be bad news for outdoor sports equipment and grandstand seating.

In order to protect your facility's grandstand seating, Toadvine Enterprises not only provides and installs your grandstand seating, we also service it. If you have a question about the safety of your bleachers, contact us for a complete safety inspection. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are a number of ways you can get in touch with us and set up an appointment:


We look forward to making sure your seating and equipment is safe and in good working condition.

Topics: Toadvine Enterprises, Bleacher maintenance, bleacher inspections

Are Your Bleachers Safe? A Quick Checklist

Posted by Matt Roberts

Jun 19, 2013 2:25:00 PM

bleacher and seating inspection and maintenanceBleacher and stadium seating liability continues to be an issue due to the rise in lawsuits from bleacher accidents brought against schools. Keeping spectators safe by having regular bleacher maintenance and inspection performed is a first step in preventing accidents and liability issues. 

The checklist below lists action items you can do to ensure your seating is safe in between scheduled maintenance. Please contact Toadvine Enterprises if you need your bleachers or stadium seating inspected and maintained

  • Make sure stairs, ramps, and aisles are dry, clean, and free of debris.
  • All stairs should be equipped with handrails and tread to prevent falls.
  • Loose flooring should be fixed to prevent tripping hazards.
  • Seats should be free from splintering wood and loose screws and hardware.
  • Safety rails should be installed on the back of bleachers to prevent falls.


Toadvine Enterprises is here to help your school provide a safe environment for fans and players. Contact us today if you need a seating quote of if you have questions about the safety of your school's bleachers. 

Topics: Kentucky athletics, sports facility maintenance, Bleacher maintenance, Seating inspections

Bleacher Safety Concerns Date Back More than 20 Years

Posted by Matt Roberts

Apr 16, 2013 2:08:00 PM

After six-year-old Toby Lee fell between a 13-inch gap between the footboard and the seat of a bleacher set at a community sports area in Minnesota and died of his injuries, legislators decided to pursue greater scrutiny in the area of bleacher safety. 

high school bleacher inspectionsIn 1999, after the the tragic death of Toby Lee, Congress petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue national safety standards for bleacher and grandstand facilities due to numerous injuries to children at basketball and hockey arenas resulting from falls between the gaps of bleacher seats and guardrails.

Congress stated in a letter to the CPSC that uniform national standards were needed to help efforts at the state level to prevent injuries and deaths due to poorly designed or out of date bleacher facilities. The recommended national standards to be implemented were to include:

  • Minimum spacing requirements for gaps between bleacher guardrails and between seats and footboards for new construction

  • Side and back safety features

  • Guidelines for retro-fitting older facilities

Although Congress emphasized the importance of watchful parents during sporting events, they also stated the responsibility venues have to insure that their facilities are safe. The desire for safer facilities not only locally, but nationwide, created the desire to press for strengthening safety standards legislatively in order to quickly inact the establishment of safe bleacher standards.   

House Bill H.R. 836 was created in 1999 and entitled, “The Bleacher Safety Act” proclaiming that new and safer standards would be adopted within six months. Minnesota was the first state that required the issuing of this federal standard.

To help your school meet those required safety standards, Toadvine Enterprises has created Vine & Branch, a maintenance and safety inspection program for all your indoor and outdoor seating equipment. Our maintenance and safety program can help you maintain your required annual inspections and can also help you with any upgrades or written records. For more information on keeping your school bleachers safe, fill out our Maintenance and Safety form and a member of our staff will get back to you. Let Toadvine help you keep safety the name of the game.

Topics: Toadvine Enterprises, stadium seating, seating maintenance, Bleacher maintenance, bleacher inspections

Protecting Your School From Bleacher and Sports Seating Accidents

Posted by Matt Roberts

Apr 4, 2013 3:10:00 PM

Each year thousands of people, many of whom are young children, are seriously injured or killed in falls from bleachers. These tragic events occur for a variety of reasons ranging from poor maintenance to a change in code that didn't require stringent rules surrounding guardrails or smaller openings around the footboards. Schools and universities should be held to a standard of care to proactively maintain their equipment, reducing accidents and legal risks by improving safety for students and community members. Here are some suggestions that will help reduce risk and improve safety. 

Inspect bleachers before and after they are used

Inspections should be made every time telescoping bleachers are rolled out and put away to ensure proper working order. Any noted damage or repair should be repaired immediately. 

Regularly Perform Thorough Inspections

Thorough inspections should be conducted on a regular basis, at least once a month, or once a week if they are heavily used. Use a checklist to make sure key components are not overlooked. Checklist can serve as a routine for future inspections and a record of issues and repairs.

Toadvine Enterprises maintenance program for bleachersConduct Annual Inspection With a Certified Technician

While you and your staff can regularly inspect bleachers and grandstands, it is also important to have annual inspections performed by a certified technician. If you are considering installing new bleachers, ask the company to include a 10-year annual inspection service in the contract. Send an employee to shadow the inspection to give you insight into what can be done to keep bleachers up to code.

Clean Underneath Bleachers Regularly

Outdoor bleachers can accumulate a lot of debris and trash if not cleaned regularly. Keep the surrounding area free of trash to help reduce risk and improve safety. With indoor bleachers, trash and debris can potentially clog parts and cause operating problems. A powerful blower is helpful to make sure areas are clean underneath after indoor bleachers are used.

Post Safety Signage

Although mandatory, signage is often overlooked on bleachers. Post warning and safety signs to help ensure proper treatment and use of bleachers. 

Train School Staff

Maintenance staff and designated school staff should be trained to properly operate indoor bleachers. There should, however, be a limited amount of people authorized to operate the bleacher system. Teach operators and controllers how to spot issues when operating, so problems can be reported immediately.

Institute a Preventative Maintenance Program

Having a preventative maintenance program in place will allow schools to track and schedule items that are not in immediate need of repair, to be scheduled for maintenance. Using an automated, computer-based system is especially useful as projects can be created and work orders can be tracked.

Toadvine Enterprises offers maintenance services that ensure your stadium seating and bleachers are working as they should be. Learn more here and use the contact form to get in touch with us about our maintenance program. 

Topics: Toadvine Enterprises, Bleacher maintenance, stadium seating, maintenance on bleachers, grandstand seating maintenance

Insuring Your School Against Liability

Posted by Matt Roberts

Mar 29, 2013 11:39:00 AM

Before the first buzzer of the game sounds and players begin to hustle on the court, they have been made keenly aware of the risks that go along with playing organized sports. Just as those risks are legitimate, schools and sporting facility managers are becoming even more alert to risk off the court. Great attention has been brought lately to the risk involved to spectators and fans sitting on the sidelines. More focus than ever surrounds the liability that sports facility owners and schools face due to faulty or stray equipment and accidents that can occur while attending a sporting event. 

In order to protect your school or facility against devastating injuries or accidents, strong consideration should be paid to obtaining liability insurance. Liability insurance in sports acts like an umbrella protection for everyone involved in the sporting event, including spectators who may get hit by a wayward ball or fall on your property due to an unstable bleacher issue.  

kentucky athleticsBesides the benefits of providing medical and legal protection if an incident should occur, liability insurance includes sports equipment insurance which gives support for repairs on equipment and facilities that may have been damaged during a game or practice. Facilities can request reimbursement for repairs or purchase brand new machines or equipment. 

The insured can also take advantage of this insurance to request repairs or renovations done on bleachers, fields, sound systems, lights, and food services. Liability insurance also covers repairs, renovations, and replacements on damaged sports equipment and facilities after a fire, flood, or earthquake. 

Insurance is often referred to as one step in the risk management process. By securing liability insurance for your sports facility, you are managing the probability that risk will come your way and taking steps to protect your employees, players, and owners from further damage.

Topics: Toadvine Enterprises, Bleacher maintenance, bleacher inspections, Insuring Your School Against Liability, Stadium seating maintenance

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