Bleacher safety at sports events being questioned

8:03 AM, Sep 24, 2013   |    comments
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COLUMBUS -- Two recent school bleacher accidents in Ohio are causing concern about bleacher safety.

In those cases, near Columbus and Cincinnati, people were hurt when a railing gave way at a football game.

Ohio does not have a state law on inspecting bleachers -- the state only stipulates that schools need to keep their buildings and grounds safe.

But the Ohio administrative code does say that bleachers should be inspected once a year. 

Many schools aren't aware, and no one is keeping track of whether those inspections are done.

Local schools WKYC checked with do inspect once a year, either with bleacher companies or maintenance staff.

Euclid Superintendent Keith Bell says, "It is challenging with budgets but safety is always our number one priority."

New code standards require bleachers to have a six inch gap between steps.

Many of the older bleachers we found have about 16 inches between steps.

"80 to 85 percent of all schools in America are not in full compliance with today's law" said Ray Todd, owner of RT ATHCO.

Todd's company repairs bleachers at school in the Northeast Ohio region.

WKYC learned that many of the older bleachers are "grandfathered" in since they were constructed before the new code requirements took effect.

Follow @KimWheeler ( on Twitter for more reports about local schools and education.


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