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Bleacher Construction Codes

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Bleachers and Grandstands are now part of American life and they are present at our sporting events, parades, graduations, and many other activities.  In an effort to make them safer, Bleacher and Grandstand Construction Codes were updated to give guidelines for both new construction and the retrofitting of existing facilities.  These construction codes can be found in documents of the International Building Code (IBC), International Code Council (ICC), and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) which are commonly referred to as “IBC 2006/ICC 300 and UBC 1994 Codes.”  These codes can be purchased at the following web site:


The impetus for an update in Bleacher and Grandstand Construction Codes

began in the late 1990s when concerned citizens and officials with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) observed a number of injuries and deaths associated with bleachers and grandstands. Unfortunately, thousands of people every year were being injured in bleacher falls.  Many of victims were children and between 1980 and 1999 the CPSC was aware of 10 fatalities.  In 1999 the CPSC estimated that there were 22,100 people injured in bleacher incidents.  Of this total, approximately 6100 were the result of a person falling from, or through, bleachers onto the ground below.   Of the approximate 6100 falls in 1999, 80% were children under the age of 15.  Therefore new codes were written to address the issue of people falling from or through the bleachers and grandstands.


Bleacher and Grandstand Construction Codes


The updated Bleacher and Grandstand Construction Codes are voluminous and lengthy but three main areas of concern were guardrailing, openings between seats and foot planks, and aisles. Guardrails are barriers that surround elevated surfaces and it was determined that any bleacher more than 30 inches above ground level must have a 42 inch high guardrail system.  The guardrail system should prevent the passage of a child under or through the guardrail.  The standard is that there should be no opening in which a 4 inch sphere can pass.  This size is used because 4 inches is smaller than the head diameter of an average four month old child.  Since most children do not start walking until after one year of age, this size standard will prevent them from passing through openings.  The guardrail system should also discourage children from climbing them.  Usually this is done with vertical slats that are no wider than 1.75 inches, which prevents children from getting a foothold.  Bleachers and grandstands can meet these requirements with common components such as chain link mesh or vertical picket guardrailing.


The updated Bleacher and Grandstand Construction Codes stated that any opening between the components in the seating, such as openings between seats, footboards, and risers, should prevent the passage of a 4 inch sphere.  This applies only to bleachers that have footboards 30 or more inches above ground level.  It also applies to any bleacher opening that would allow a fall of 30 inches or more.


Bleacher and Grandstand Construction Codes


XPB Lockers carries a wide variety of steel metal lockers, commercial lavatories, USPS mailboxes, and stainless steel commercial restroom equipment delivered nationwide. If you can not find what you are looking for call us toll free at 1-877-483-9270 and we will find it for you. Our home office is located in New Braunfels, Texas with warehouses located throughout the United States that enable us to service all 50 states including New York NY, Los Angeles CA, Miami, FL. Chicago, IL. Denver CO., El Paso, Texas, Dallas TX, San Antonio, TX, Austin, TX, Boise ID, Atlanta GA, Albuquerque NM, Raleigh-Durham NC, Washington DC, Albuquerque NM, Huntsville AL, Fayetteville AR, Norfolk VA , Madison WI., Corpus Christi, TX, Plano, Texas, Garland, TX, Laredo, Texas, Lubbock, TX, Houston, TX

This article was published on Friday 06 November, 2009.

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