If it has been a while since your last annual sports equipment service, we recommend that you regularly check the condition of all equipment until your next inspection is due to ensure the safety of your students.

We have put together a safety checklist for PE and sports apparatus in specific contexts to help you identify any potential hazards and make sure that both your students and staff use the equipment safely. And we are here to support you with our Call Out Service before your next inspection should you have any concerns about the condition of your sports equipment or facilities.

Gymnastics Equipment

Springboards

 

Check that:

  • the board is stable on impact
  • the surface is non-slip and free from splinters
  • rubber feet are stable and are not worn through on the wood
Balance benches and planks

Check that:

  • the construction is not warped and is free from splinters
  • rubber buffers on the supporting feet are secure and the bench is stable
  • the surface is clean and smooth
  • fixing hooks are intact and covered with leather or plastic
  • rubber pads on the top surface are in place if the bench is intended for use in an inverted position
Ropes and suspended apparatus

Check that:

  • ropes are not frayed or damaged
  • pull-out lines are not worn, and their securing wall cleats are secure and not broken or with sharp edges
  • the runways operate smoothly
  • ropes are knot-free, and the leather end caps are intact
  • rope ladder floor fixings are intact
Hinged apparatus fixed to a wall

School Climbing Frame

Check that:

  • bracing wires are taut with no visible fraying at any point
  • castors run smoothly
  • floor sockets are clean and free from obstruction
  • securing bolts are firmly fixed, and engage properly with their floor and wall sockets wooden components are free from cracks or splinters
  • painted components are well maintained, with no evidence of flaking consideration is given to replacing traditional bare metal tension clamps with padded, boxed in versions
Single and double beams

Check that:

  • hauling cables are free running
  • trackways are well maintained, enabling smooth movement of the upright
  • there are sufficient pins and wedges
  • beam surfaces are clean and smooth
  • beams run smoothly when lowered and raised
  • floor sockets are clean
Vaulting equipment and movement platforms

Check that:

  • all wooden components are splinter-free
  • all covers – vinyl, material or hide – are free from tears, clean and, in the case or hide, suitably textured
  • construction is stable and solid with no weakness allowing dangerous movement on impact
  • wheeling mechanisms work efficiently.

Games Equipment

Outdoor socket-type goalposts

Check that:

  • they are correctly located
  • they are securely cemented into the ground or wedged in to prevent
  • unauthorised lifting out of the ground
  • they have protective padding in line with the governing body of sport guidelines
  • they are regularly checked to ensure that bolts are in place, and that metal is not corroded
  • they meet British and European Standards (BS EN 748 and 8462), dependent on size
Goal netting

Check that:

  • it is stored and carried in a way that avoids it becoming a trip hazard
  • it is attached and dismantled using a stepladder, and never by jumping up to the crossbar
  • it is attached to both top corners before hooking along the crossbar
  • it is well-fitting and does not extend beyond the area covered by the base of the posts
  • it is secured with plastic hooks or tape (metal cup hooks are banned, and should no longer be used)
  • it is secured firmly using metal pegs fully pushed into the ground
Portable or free-standing goalposts (used for football or hockey)

Check that:

  • they are obtained from a reputable manufacturer and comply with British and European Standard BS EN 8462
  • they have a lightweight construction and integral wheels, where appropriate, in order to limit the lifting required
  • they are assembled in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • they are smooth in construction, with no sharp edges
  • they are equipped with an integral safe stabilising device that presents no hazard to players or spectators, or they are secured using chains or anchor weights, when in use or stored, outside or inside
  • the anchor systems are appropriate to the ground conditions and do not present any tripping hazard
  • they are regularly checked for wear and tear and, where practical, any damage made good by a suitably qualified person
  • they are not “home-made” or altered from their original specification – such equipment should not be used
  • staff or students with responsibility for moving and positioning the posts apply safe lifting and carrying techniques; use an appropriate number of people who are strong enough and trained in manual handling techniques, and pull or push the posts backwards according to the design
  • staff and students are fully aware of the danger of serious injury or death resulting from unstable goalposts falling onto them; climbing or swinging on the uprights and crossbars should be strictly forbidden
Unfixed posts (e.g. netball posts)

Prime Shot Netball Unit with Padding

Check that:

  • posts are slotted into holes in the ground, where this is not possible, free-standing posts need to be safely weighted
  • posts are padded along the entire length of the post where required by the governing body of sport, in accordance with specifications, particularly at a competitive level
  • posts are adjustable for different age groups, if applicable
  • when not in use, unfixed posts that cannot be stored inside a building are secured at all times to prevent unauthorised use
  • unfixed posts are carried from the work area to storage by staff or students who have been shown safe lifting techniques
  • students are supervised if they are moving unfixed posts
Playing area markers

Check that:

  • cricket stumps or sharp-ended items are not used as makers or posts – a fall onto a sharp point could cause serious injury
  • corner flags are flexible and sufficiently high so as not to constitute a hazard to falling players
  • throw-down discs and lines, cones and skittles are not used in fast-moving activities, where a fall is foreseeable
  • beanbags and hoops are not used as markers for indoor work if the floor surface is shiny as they can present a slipping hazard when stepped on.

Athletics Equipment

Check that:

  • items are carried correctly
  • all staff and students are familiar with the required procedures for carrying and retrieving discuses, shots and javelins
  • all staff and students are familiar with the correct use and purpose of rakes and spades in sand jumping pits hurdles are positioned correctly with stabilisers facing the approach and not the other way round
  • all staff and students know about the storage of equipment that is appropriate for safe retrieval (e.g. javelins should be stored horizontally on a rack or where one is not available, on the floor).

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