Building Safety Month: 5 Safety Products You Need In Your Gym | PSS Guest Post

Hussey Telescopic Bleachers


5 Safety Products You Need In Your Gym

Guest Post by Performance Sports Systems

Equipment Locks & Safety Straps

Locks and safety straps are designed to prevent ceiling-hung and wall-mounted gym equipment from falling in the event of a cable or winch failure. If the equipment were to malfunction and start to fall, the lock or strap would engage and stop the unit from creating more damage and possibly injuring players, fans, or facility personnel. Safety straps should always be installed with non-stationary ceiling-hung and wall-mounted basketball systems, and equipment locks should always be used with mat storage systems and electrically-operated divider curtains.

Padding

Padding is an inexpensive and effective way to make your gym equipment safer by preventing injuries when athletes come in contact with sports structures. Backboards should be padded to prevent head and hand injury. Volleyball uprights and referee stands should also be covered with pads to lessen the chance of players getting hurt when bodily contact occurs. In addition, walls, columns, and beams should be padded, especially if they are in close proximity to the play space or are located in heavy play environments.

Tempered Glass Backboards with Breakaway Rims

If your facility uses glass basketball backboards, make sure that you’re purchasing boards manufactured with tempered glass. Tempered glass is defined as toughened glass that has been treated by heat or chemicals to increase its strength. Tempered glass also reduces the risk of injury to players due to its nature of breaking into small circular pieces instead of sharp jagged shards, in the unlikely event of a board shattering.

It is also strongly recommended that you use a breakaway rim with your glass board, in conjunction with a “direct goal” attachment. A direct goal attachment means that the board, rim, and backstop are all connected together at the same location on the unit. This will help disperse a large portion of the load put on the system away from the board, helping to prevent breakage of the glass if excessive dunking occurs on the rim.

Mast Retainer Safety Bolts

The mast retainer safety bolts are located on the single post mast of a ceiling-suspended basketball structure and are a crucial component of the system to ensure the safety of players and personnel, as well as to prevent damage to the equipment. The safety bolts are located at the bottom of the mast behind the backboard, underneath the bottom mast clamp U-bolt. A quick look by a manufacturer’s representative can determine if the safety bolts are present on your mast, and they should also be able to recommend a local certified installer who can install the bolts if needed.

Floor Sleeve Cover Plates

Traditional indoor volleyball systems are typically installed in floor sleeves that are installed into gymnasium flooring. Depending on the post size, the sleeves can create holes with inside diameters of anywhere between 3” and 4” and depths of 12” or more. Ideally, cover plates should be purchased and installed in conjunction with the floor sleeves in order to cover the sleeve holes whenever the volleyball uprights are in storage areas or otherwise not installed in the sleeves. If installed properly (flush with flooring and locks are closed), cover plates can prevent tripping or limbs getting stuck in the floor sleeve holes.

As always, it’s important to have a certified installer routinely inspect your sports equipment to assess its condition, make recommendations regarding replacements, and determine if there are any safety concerns that need to be addressed.

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Where There is a Will, There is a Way: Telescopic Bleacher Buying Options

I’m sure if we were to sit down with you and discuss your current telescopic bleacher situation, the first thing you would say is, “Well, that sounds nice, but we don’t have the funds for that.” Capital improvement projects are an investment, and investments take time so if you don’t already have funds set aside, have a donor prospect or dedicated fundraising team with time to prepare, your options may seem limited.

Seem is the key word.

You do have options.

You can streamline the process so it’s more efficient. Rather than soliciting with your own Request for Proposals (RFP), Sourcewell, previously NJPA, is a national cooperative purchasing agent that has already done the work for you. Going with a purchasing agent like Sourcewell means they’ve already vetted out the bidding process to bring you the best value to fit your needs.

“Cooperative purchasing is “Procurement conducted by, or on behalf of, one or more Public Procurement Units” as defined by the American Bar Association Model Procurement Code for State and Local Governments.
Sourcewell's analysts streamline the procurement process by developing RFPs and IFBs for national, competitive solicitations that meet or exceed local requirements. Our rigorous process is continually refined to best meet member needs and allows us to offer exceptional products from nationally acclaimed vendors.” - www.sourcewell-mn.gov

Hussey Seating Company, our featured Telescopic Bleacher provider, is an approved vendor for Sourcewell providing you access to the best value pricing for more than just you bleachers, including:

  • Seating Solution Design Services
  • Telescopic Bleacher Seating
  • Telescopic Platform Seating
  • Stadium Seating
  • Arena Seating
  • Fixed Auditorium Seating
  • Clarin by husseyseating Portable Chairs
  • Grandstand Seating Planks & Covers
  • Safety Inspections, Parts & Services

Did you see that? Even Safety Inspections, Parts & Services is on this list – giving you the advantage of combined buying power and the ability to cost effectively do your due diligence we mentioned in our previous post.

Another option: Grants

The grants we hear about most often stem from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Safety Grants. If your bleachers are unsafe, for either you (staff and set up team) or your patrons, you’ll want to look here and see what is possible. The application process can rigorous, but it can be helpful when it comes to replacement, upgrades, and repair.

“Wait, what does a device to move bleachers have to do with safety and security?
Turns out the rules for the grant program were written to include a broad definition of “safety” for students and employees.
So not only are metal detectors and trauma kits covered, but also floor-cleaning machines, cutting/slicing equipment and “safe” food fryers.” - What is ‘safety’?, The Columbus Dispatch

So what does a device to move bleachers have to do with safety?

Bleachers with an Integral Power System have the advantage over manually operated bleachers by not only reducing damages to your equipment but they provide a more safe way for your staff to open and close the bleachers. There are no ergonomically correct bleacher operating moves for manual bleachers. You’re usually walking backwards pulling when opening and pushing all bent over with your head down when closing with no way to keep your back straight during either. Regardless of the type of bleachers, you have to bend and pull and bend and push.  When you are pulling the bleachers open or pushing them closed, you end up reaching the open or closed position by getting a big slam to a halt, causing impact to your back, legs, arms, shoulders and neck as well as the possibility of crushed fingers or smashing your face into them from slipping and falling just to name a few.

There have been some unique devices that have been fabricated and provided here and there but nothing reduces injury hazards like adding integral power to your bleachers. Just a reminder, only properly trained personnel should operate the bleachers to further keep safety at the forefront.

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