Thankfully it’s rare but there have been serious injuries and even deaths while using on field sports equipment such as football goals. Following the death of a child in 2012 when a goalpost collapsed on him it focused many on the importance of goalpost safety.
Unfortunately there are non-regulation, untested goalposts available to buy in the UK, so you must first ensure you purchase the right product from a reputable supplier who has all the relevant safety credentials. The best way to understand whether your supplier is up to standard is to check that their equipment is tested to BS standards and that they are a member of the Sports and Play Construction Association (SAPCA). SAPCA ensure all their member businesses are financially stable and offer the correct level of service. This helps ensure that your product is manufactured by a supplier who is going to be in a position to honour any guarantees and be available to help service and maintain your equipment.
While it appears most injuries occur when using non-regulation or home-made goalposts, it doesn’t mean we should rest on our laurels on the assumption that the goalposts we use at our school, local club or down the park are up to standard.
Even though fully tested goalposts built by the likes of ourselves are manufactured to the highest standards, the equipment still needs to be maintained in order to remain safe in use for years to come.
“Health and Safety is always a big issue” says our Head of Sales, Mike Bugajski, who is also one of our top engineers. “Buying the correct equipment is just the start. I am often shocked to see the lack of maintenance at some venues, especially at this time of year, when people are less likely to check their equipment in the cold and miserable weather. The extreme cold can cause certain materials such as plastics to become brittle and break and damp conditions are likely to promote corrosion especially where coatings and paint have been damaged.”
Often budgets at schools, venues and clubs are very tight but a few simple checks can save unnecessary expense and ensure that your equipment is safe to use. These are just a few examples of the checks that need to be carried out on a regular basis:
- Check for damage to the goal frame, any joints that may have opened up, or cracks in the structure.
- Make sure all fixings are present, are not damaged and are tightened sufficiently.
- Ensure your goal has sufficient anchorage, whether it is pegs, sand bags or counter-weights.
- Make sure your nets are complete and there are no breaks or holes where there shouldn’t be.
- Check for damaged or missing net fixings
- Ensure folding mechanisms and fence fixed systems are in full working order and are not loose.
For example, just something as simple as a break in a goal net cord means that it is more likely for a players arm or leg to get trapped in the netting or even more serious is the potential for injury through head or neck entrapment. Also if your goal isn’t fixed or has insufficient anchorage there is a high risk of the goal toppling over and injuring a player, spectator or official.
With this in mind, Mark Harrod Limited have created a product to help you maintain your equipment. We have published our ‘Goal maintenance and inspection schedule’ booklet. This simple booklet is shipped with every goal we manufacture and has had great feedback from our customers from the grassroots to the very top.
We recently carried out a lengthy inspection process of almost 50 sets of goalposts at one of our top EFL Championship football clubs and as part of this inspection we handed the Head Groundsman a Goal maintenance and inspection schedule for each pair of goals. To say he was pleased with these booklets would be an understatement. He went on to say to our inspector “These are just what we need. The maintenance and inspection schedule will remind us what to check and how often, it will help identify any issues and ensure they are dealt with swiftly.” he went on to say “Mark Harrod Limited have always given a great service to our club and this is just another example of the innovation I have come to expect.”
If you are not in the market for new goals you can purchase the booklet on our website for £3.60 each (one required for a pair of goals). Click here for details.
Remember that here at Mark Harrod Ltd we are always here to help, so if you have any questions about your goals please do not hesitate to give us a call. Even if the goals in question were not manufactured by us.[ssba]