Have you thought about Bleacher Safety lately?

December 26, 2013

There’s nothing like watching your favorite team up in the bleachers at a sporting event. The energy, the crowd and the excitement taking over a venue is awesome! Spectators are able to enjoy the game without thinking twice about their safety. It is our job as facilitators, directors, supervisors and installers to make sure everything is up to code and safe. Rules and regulations have been put in place by the International Code Council which are used in New York, New Jersey and across the United States.

Highlights of the requirements within IBC and ICC-300 include:

  1. All existing bleacher seating installation shall be inspected and evaluated at least once a year by a qualified person for compliance to the safety and operational requirements of this Code.
  2. Where deficiencies are identified, the owner is responsible to abate the unsafe condition to satisfy the code. Approval and enforcement is the responsibility of the local building code official.
  3. An area in particular requiring close inspection is the design and use of guardrails. ICC-300 requires that open-sided walking surfaces located more than 30” above the floor below utilize guard rails such that a 4” sphere cannot pass through any opening. Be aware that the original guardrails on many bleachers installed prior to the mid 1990’s do not meet this guardrail requirement and require immediate attention.
  4. Openings between seatboards and footboards located more than 30” above the floor shall be closed with construction such that a 4” sphere cannot pass through.

Facility Check List

  1. Are bleacher aisles defined?
  2. Are steps even?
  3. Are handrails present and up to date?
  4. Is the bleacher ADA compliant?
  5. Are curtains present on either side of your bleacher to prevent unauthorized access to bleacher understructure?
  6. Are end rails existent and if so are they compliant with the 4” sphere requirement?

Has your bleacher been inspected this year? Outdated bleachers leave your school or venue susceptible to accident liability. Nickerson has a team of dedicated service technicians who can work with you from inspection to recommendations to job completion. Together we can ensure a safe spectator experience one bleacher at a time.