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.
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.