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.
Portable or free-standing goalposts (used for football or hockey)
- 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)
- 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
- 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.
- 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).