One might ask the question, “How relevant are the inspection of bleachers and grandstands?”
When I got my first car in the late ’70’s, it was a Mercury Capri which was imported from Germany. My dad had given me the ’67 Ford Mustang for use in college, but I felt it was time to upgrade. The car was not equipped with warning lights, not a single one to warn me that the oil was low, tire pressure needed adjusting, and a modicum of other warnings. It was up to the owner to periodically check the oil, water, tire pressure, and so on. Failure to follow these procedures usually meant that you would be stuck in a parking lot or along side the road. But that was okay, you could call for help. No, wait, cell phones were not in use yet.
To avoid such incidents, one would make sure all the important items were checked, inspected for wear and tear, low fluid levels, etc. This was done by the owner and/or a qualified mechanic. These safety checks reassured the owner, in the end, that they would not be stranded on some dark road on a rainy night.
In other words, safety first.
This holds true for bleachers and grandstands.
The standards for bleacher safety are found in the ICC 300-2012, Standard for Bleachers, Folding and Telescopic Seating, and Grandstands and in the NFPA 102, Standard for Grandstands, Folding and Telescopic Seating, Tents, and Membrane Structures. Both of these standards identify the requirements for inspection.
“The owner shall cause all bleachers, folding and telescopic seating, and grandstands to be inspected at least once a year in order to verify that the structure is maintained in compliance with the provisions of this standard…by a qualified person….“
These inspections would look for cracked seat/floor boards, missing or loose bolts, damaged welds or members, if portable bleachers are used, then the assurance that pins locked the seats and rails, and for any foundation issues for exterior bleachers. There are many more items that should be inspected and that is where a qualified person would insure the proper maintenance.
Just like in the old days, before warning lights in your car, these annual inspections are like those warning lights. As with past tragedies regarding bleachers and grandstands, the life and safety of the public comes first.
For more detailed reading, please download a copy of my white paper. In addition to this website, there is information on how to contact us for an inspection. We would love to help you out.