19 Dec 2014

Aluminum Bleachers can Cause Injuries – Consumer Commission Recommends Replacing Rather than Retrofitting – Consider Bleachers with Safer Guardrails

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wood bleachers

Replace worn unsafe bleachers with modern aluminum bleachers.

According to a study by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, old and worn wooden bleachers and metal bleachers can be hazardous and should be replaced with more modern seating such as aluminum bleachers with adequate guardrails.

In their research, the CPSC found that from 1991 to 1999 there were reportedly 19,100 injuries related to bleachers that warranted visits to the emergency room.  The commission conducted a more in-depth survey in one year and discovered what they estimated to be 22,100 bleacher-associated injuries. Many of those injuries, about 6,100, were caused by falls.

One main reason for falls is when guardrails are missing from the backs or open sides of bleachers. This type of injury can also occur when gaps between the different parts allow a person to pass through. Those openings can take place between components of the guardrail and between the footboard and seatboard.

When it comes to bleachers, including aluminum bleachers, the CPSC has these recommendations


  • Check bleachers for signs of wear, damage or instances where the parts are not aligned.
  • Conduct routine inspections and maintenance at least quarterly. Keep records of these activities.
  • Follow the product manual closely.
  • Only allow trained staff to open and close bleachers according to the manual. Do not allow students or untrained personnel to perform these functions.
  • Install bleacher guardrails. These guardrails can also be used as an indicator on whether the bleachers are fully extended properly.
  • Document all incidents and injuries.
  • Contact a licensed professional engineer, architect or inspection company to thoroughly inspect the bleachers at least every two years and provide written certification to be kept on file.
  • Make sure the bleachers are compliant with International Building Code requirements.

Other suggestions in general are:

  • Post signs letting participants know running on bleachers is strictly prohibited. Let people know how this can result in serious injury. Have a staff person periodically check activity taking place on the bleachers.
  • Also add a sign, “slippery when wet.” While aluminum bleachers are sturdy and lightweight, they can become slippery from rain, sprinklers or spilled drinks.

Many organizations try to retrofit their bleachers to make them safer. The CPSC produced a set of guidelines for retrofitting bleachers.

elevated aluminum bleachers

Elevated aluminum bleachers

But in its document, the CPSC also recommended “the option of replacing bleachers as opposed to retrofitting should be considered.”

The safety of students and fans is always a top priority. Also, in this litigious environment, an organization needs to be very careful and diligent when it comes to bleachers.

At AluminumBleachers.com, our bleachers are compliant with International Building Codes and guardrails are included with most products and can be provided with others.

We also offer installation services as well so you can be sure your aluminum bleachers are installed properly by knowledgeable professionals.

Fans can get overly excited when attending games. Older parents and grandparents who have difficulties getting around frequently want to attend student events. At other facilities if alcohol is served, then you have that factor with spectators to consider as well. Seats are the gathering point for all these activities. Make sure you have the most up-to-date, compliant structure available and certainly new aluminum bleachers are a solid option to consider.

To see the CPSC report go here.







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