Ken Staley, Ltd.

Gym Bleacher and outdoor bleacher Safety Inspections

Bleacher Operation

Procedure and Guidelines for Bleacher Operation

 

PREFACE

Many schools have experienced repeated and costly bleacher repairs, due in part to the lack of written procedures for proper bleacher operation and maintenance. More important than the expense and inconvenience of bleacher break downs, is the hazard to life safety that can go undetected. When operators fail to discover or fail to report poor or unusual operation or conditions, accidents and injury can occur. All bleachers must be free of any defect before use. All bleachers have been designed to open and close straight and support loads in the open position ONLY! Most problems, damage and accidents are traced to bleachers that are operated and used incorrectly by untrained and unauthorized personnel. The purpose of this document is to provide important bleacher operation information.

 

AUTHORIZATION

Only maintenance and custodial personnel, who have been trained, should be allowed to operate bleacher equipment. Coaches, athletic directors, teachers or any other personnel who have not been trained should be specifically forbidden to operate bleachers. Power operated bleacher controllers or keys to wall switches should be secured by the authorized, trained personnel only. At no time should students or other non-school employees operate the bleachers.

 

OPERATING BLEACHERS - OPENING

A) Make certain that all people and objects are well clear of the space needed to open the bleachers. Dust mop the floor area to minimize dirt and debris from being ground into the bleacher wheels, power system drive rollers and flooring surfaces. The floor traction power system rollers depend on clean floors. Most traction problems are traced to dust and accumulation on the rollers.

 

B) When opening manually operated bleachers (with or without using a portable tractor), pull at the center of the bleachers even and steady. Slow your pace as the last row or two is opened so the bleacher rests against the stops without too much force. With some bleachers, you can use the momentum of the bleacher to finish opening. Aggressive opening will damage stops, row locks and anchor systems. Open the first section and check for straightness and full extension. Correct any problems. 

 

* If the bleachers are in good working order and cannot be easily opened by a single person with control and no straining, it is recommended that a portable tractor or integral power system be used. Using multiple persons requires precise coordination to operate the sections; this can cause uneven operation and serious bleacher damage.

 

Before opening the next section, make sure the floor pads are locked down and holding the bleachers from rolling back. Open the next bleacher section with the same procedure be careful not to cause contact with other sections. Verify each section aligns with the other at each row and the gap between sections is as small as possible.

 

When operating integral powered bleacher banks, pay attention to the performance as it opens. The bleacher should travel steady and straight, staying parallel with walls or floor stripes. If the bleacher does not open even, check to see if the drive system is operating correctly, see if the drive rollers are slipping (floor friction systems) or if there is a problem with the chain drive (mechanical chain systems).

 

 If the floor friction unit(s) is (are) not operating: check the fuse, the wiring to the unit and possible             debris caught in the drive mechanisms. If the bank runs against a wall: stop immediately, retract the bleacher away from the wall and determine what is making the bleacher drift to the wall. Correct any problem before proceeding. If there is a problem with a mechanical chain drive, (kinked chain, binding chute or reel) correct the problem before proceeding.

 

C) Make certain that the bleachers are fully extended. Check under the bleacher. The understructure must be pulled out to the stops and the row locks, if equipped, must be engaged. (The row locks are the automatic gravity levers that lock each row in place.) Check each side of each section for full extension. Make sure no rows are over extended from damaged or missing stops or that no row upright wheels are out of alignment. correct any problem before the bleachers are occupied.

 

D) Immediately install all drop-in end and aisle rails. Check all rails for proper operation, missing or loose fasteners and bent components. Correct any problem before the bleachers are occupied.

 

E) Inspect all seating area boards (wood seats, plastic seat modules, VOS seat panels) for defects, (cracks, splinters, etc.) missing screws and bolts. Correct any problem before the bleachers are occupied.

 

F) It is NOT recommended to partially open any bleacher section. Partially open bleachers are unstable and unopened rows can be damaged easily. Your liability is increased due to personal injuries from row movement and individuals climbing on closed rows. Damage can occur from the sections moving and becoming misaligned. Note: If bleachers are partially opened, they must be fully extended before closing. This will help align the section and reduce the possibility of damage when closing.

 

CLOSING BLEACHERS

 

A) Before closing the bleachers, walk the rows and remove any debris or objects left behind. Clean floor underneath the bleachers. Check for debris or objects hanging from the understructure framing and on power system components and remove debris.

 

B) If the bleachers are still fully extended, check that all row locks are engaged. Correct any problem before proceeding.

 

C) Remove any drop-in rails and aisle rails before closing. If the bleachers are manually operated, lift skirt board or release first row lock (if equipped) and push the section closed, steady and evenly from the center of the section. Observe the operation of the sections for binding, uneven closing, or other problems. Do not force the section closed if a problem occurs. Find the source of the problem and correct before proceeding.

Call for service to the bleachers if the problem cannot be corrected. If the problem has misaligned the section or rows, extend the bleachers and close the section again. If the bleachers are powered, remove any drop in rails and aisle rails. Make sure all personnel are clear underneath the bleacher area and close the bleachers.

 

Correct any problems as you would for manual operated bleachers.

 

D) After the bleachers are closed, DO NOT ALLOW ANYONE TO CLIMB OR SIT ON THE CLOSED BLEACHERS!! Any additional weight added to closed bleacher rows will damage the

 understructure and cause decks to bind, board damage and premature wear. Strict supervision and awareness of these bleacher problems are crucial for all individuals involved with gymnasium activities.

 

TRAINING

All personnel deemed by the school as authorized to operate the bleachers must be familiar with and fully understand bleacher operation procedures. They must be able to identify components and functions as previously described. Recognizing potential safety hazards, mechanical failures and improper bleacher operation is essential! Any problem that cannot be corrected by the operator should be reported to the maintenance department or to a bleacher service company. Bleachers must be maintained (a requirement in most state codes and in the NFPA code) and operated correctly at all times. Any repair to the bleachers MUST be performed by a qualified bleacher repair service with skilled and experienced personnel only. AT NO TIME should any student or other unauthorized personnel operate or assist operation of any bleacher!

 

NEVER COMPROMISE SAFETY! 

Bleacher Operation

Intended for Educational & Awareness Purposes * Written by Ed Rockwell * Millard Public Schools * Revised by BR Bleachers * Copyright B&R Erectors, Inc. June 2007

 Uses:

Also called spectator seating, the main use of "bleachers" is to provide seating at different events. Bleachers can be used in gyms, outdoor stadiums, softball, baseball and soccer fields and even at rock concerts!

Types of Bleachers:

Telescopic Bleachers: These are the most common type of bleachers found in gyms today. They can be opened and closed as needed and come in a variety of row heights and section lengths. Most are anchored to wall.

Portable Bleachers: This type is similar to telescopic bleachers, except they are not anchored to the wall. This type of bleacher can be moved from one location to another and has rollers attached. (See Tip-n-roll bleachers)

Fixed Seating: Stationary seating that does not open or close, such as in Stadiums, arenas and mounted to concrete slabs.

 Inspections: The key to keeping bleachers in proper working order is a regular maintenance schedule and the Best Kept Secret is a BROOM!!

To assure longevity and safety, have your bleachers inspected annually or at the very least, every two years.Every inspection must include a detailed report. This report should provide a general description of the over-all condition of your bleachers and goals and a detailed list of repairs, if needed. Any uprgrades available for your type bleacher should also be included in this report.

Repairs: Review the inspection report/quote and establish approval (board/supervisor) then issue a purchase order to begin the scheduling process. Scheduling can vary depending on type of work involved, location and time of year.

DO HAVE YOUR BLEACHERS INSPECTED ANNUALLY

DO HAVE YOUR BLEACHER UNDERSTRUCTURE SERVICED ON A REGULAR BASIS 1-2 YEARS

DO COMMIT TO UPGRADING OUT-DATED EQUIPMENT

DO CHOOSE A REPUTABLE BLEACHER SERVICE FIRM

 

DON'T ALLOW UNAUTHORIZED INDIVIDUALS TO OPERATE BLEACHERS

DON'T OPEN BLEACHERS PARTIALLY

DON'T LEAVE DEBRIS UNDER BLEACHER WHEN CLOSING OR OPENING

DON'T ALLOW STUDENTS TO SIT ON BLEACHERS IN CLOSED POSITION

DON'T ALLOW NON-CERTIFIED INDIVIDUALS TO REPAIR BLEACHERS (THIS CAN VOID YOUR WARRANTY ALSO!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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