Bleacher Safety – What’s Your Risk | Part 2.4 – Common Failed Items During Inspections: Keeping it Safe & Sanitary

Outdoor Bleachers


In keeping with the theme of Safe and Sanitary, let’s take a look at outdoor bleacher and grandstands and some common safety hazards.

At Your Own Risk

Bearing Surface: You want to make sure your understructure is free of combustibles from unruly vegetation to stored materials. If you do have stored materials that are combustible, you want to be sure to have proper sprinkler systems in place to prevent a fire from starting, spreading, and harming your patrons. Remember, a disaster like this is less noticeable when the grandstands are full of a cheering crowd and with smells of summer and fall mixed in; smoke is not as easily detected. Taking the proper precaution to keep patrons safe is a priority.

Ground Attachment


Additionally, you want to make sure your bleachers are on a level surface.  If portable bleachers do not have properly installed mud sills or ground bucks, or if foundation column supports are damaged, the unit may sink and/or become unstable.

Missing hardware



Structural Components – Hardware & Deterioration: Changing of the seasons causes expansion and contraction of aluminum and/or steel that can loosen hardware and sometimes cause end caps to come loose. End caps should all be attached to the planks with hardware to eliminate the sharp edges of the aluminum planks. You want to check for loose hardware periodically because it’s what holds your structure together. Missing bolts in the right spot can weaken the structural integrity.

Rusted hardware


You also want to watch out for rust as it causes deterioration and weakens the steel structure. Rust spots should be sanded clean or sandblasted, primed, and repainted or coated with cold galvanizing compound to maintain the structural integrity. All rust damaged hardware should be replaced.






Take a look at the fencing on your guardrail system. We preach constantly about the importance of closing off all openings that do not prohibit the passage of a 4-inch sphere. But what you also need to keep an eye on is loose hardware around your fencing. When installed properly, the fencing is tied down around the edges. If one of these ties is broken and someone leans back they could fall through. Chainlink fencing that is not properly attached just pushes out and can still allow enough room for someone to fall through. Fencing that is not properly attached also gives a false sense of security.

Up Next…. 2.5 Accessories (Pressbox, Media Platform, etc.) & Portable Bleachers