Sports Law • Risk Management

8 Tips for Safe Use of Bleachers in Sport

Lawsuits commonly arise out of injuries from falls on and around bleachers. One source has estimated that close to 20,000 people are injured from bleachers every year. Bleacher accidents can also cause death.

For any facility, organization, or event that utilizes bleachers, the following tips should be helpful in preventing injuries:
1. Install bleachers a safe distance but still with good visibility from the field. This will help prevent injury from balls, pucks, equipment, and athletes from causing injury to spectators.
2. Consider if the installation of slip resistant material will help prevent slip and falls in either dry or wet conditions.
3. It may be necessary to install rails on steps and around the bleachers to prevent falls. Check applicable building codes and ordinances for railing requirements and make sure that your bleachers are compliant. Railings should be the appropriate height and securely installed.
4. Inspect and repair bleachers or stands for loose nuts and bolts, cracks, splinters, sharp edges, protrusions, etc. Bleacher collapse can be caused by structural failure.
5. Clean and dry wet bleachers and walkways. Make sure that if bleachers have been cleaned or have become wet from rain, snow, sprinklers or other water sources that people are not allowed on them if they are slippery.
6. Make sure each step is well-marked to prevent trips hazards. Bleachers should also be well lit so that steps are visible. Reflectors or illumination should be used in poorly lit areas.
7. Ensure temporary bleachers are properly set-up and secured prior to use. Anyone setting up or checking the set-up should be properly trained and follow manufactures guidelines.
8. Ensure temporary bleachers are properly stored and secured when not in use. Bleachers should be stored in accordance with manufactures guidelines.

The above tips are just a small part of the educational comprehensive sports specific tips that will soon be available for purchase on this website.