Bleacher Safety1

Posted on 19 March 2009 by admin

by Michael Fickes

Every year, close to 20,000 men, women, and children fall out of bleachers and suffer injuries. Sometimes, a fall victim dies. Are your bleachers safe enough?

Here’s a scary thought: Experts in bleacher design and bleacher safety say that most facility directors responsible for bleachers probably don’t think much about bleacher safety issues — until someone has an accident.

That may be one reason why Googling“bleachers” on the Internet produces so many advertisements sponsored by personal injury attorneys.

In fact, research by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) suggests that bleacher safety should probably command more attention from facility directors, especially those managing equipment that is more than 15 years old.

CPSC research indicates that falls from bleachers killed 19 people between 1991 and 2003. Hospital emergency rooms treat an average of 19,100 injuries stemming from bleacher accidents ever year.

During 1999, bleacher accidents killed two children and caused 22,100 injuries. Approximately 6,100 of those injuries occurred when an individual fell from — or through — a stand of bleachers to the ground below. Children under the age of 15 accounted for about 4,910 of these incidents.

The deaths recorded in 1999 involved a six-year-old child who fell through a 13-inch opening between the footboard and seatboard and a three-year-old who fell through an opening in the guardrail.

The accidents set off a reaction in the U.S. Congress.“In July of 1999, we received a petition from two members of Congress asking CPSC to develop retrofitting guidelines that would help prevent falls and make existing bleachers safer,” says Patty Davis, a spokesperson for CPSC.

A Roundtable on Bleachers and Grandstands that included consumers as well as representatives from industry and government was convened to discuss hazards related to the equipment. The guidelines developed by CPSC are based on recommendations made by the Roundtable.

The guidelines appear in a free publication, entitled “Guidelines for Retrofitting Bleachers,” which may be downloaded free at the CPSC website. Aim your browser at www.cpsc.gov and click on CPSC Publications. Then go to Public Use Products. You’ll find the publication on this page.

“We encourage manufacturers, designers, and officials responsible for schools and parks to get a copy of this publication.” Davis says.

1 Comments For This Post

  1. Kelly Brown Says:

    Hi, very nice post. I have been wonder’n bout this issue,so thanks for posting

Advertise Here
Advertise Here

Door Safety Tips