The aim of this article is to help prevent serious incidents from occurring due to the incorrect or unsafe use of goalposts.
In recent years, legislation has become more focused on the legal responsibility of individuals and organisations buying, using and maintaining football and rugby goalposts, highlighting the consequences of when facilities fail to ensure equipment is safe, whilst both in use and when being stored.
All previous recorded fatalities caused by goalposts involved ones which were not made by bone-fide goalpost manufacturers.
Following the publicity generated by the successful BBC "That's Life" programme in 1991 which exposed the danger goalposts could pose to children when not safely used or maintained, a Goalpost Safety Standard Committee was set up in conjunction with the British Standards Institute (BSI). The committee has since worked hard to develop a Code of Practice BS 8461, as well as two standards for goalposts - BSEN 748 and BS 8462 for manufacturers to meet.
The Football Association revealed some concerning statistics surrounding the standard of goalposts when conducting on-site inspections across the UK several years ago. Their findings revealed that, of all goals tested, 41% of mini-soccer goals, 50% of 5-a-side goals and 22% of junior goals failed stability tests.
In order to conform to European Safety Standards and FA Guidelines, it is essential for risk assessments to be conducted by every site, evaluating the suitability of different anchorage types available.
What you need to know for the new season:
Please see below the main CEN Goal Post Standard requirements and Safety tips that will help to reduce risks of injury to the public;
- All equipment must be checked before it is used to ensure it is safe and has not been tampered with or vandalised - especially if a pitch is accessible when unsupervised
- If a goal is found to be damaged or faults are found during an inspection, the goal should be withdrawn from service until the defect is made good
- All repairs must be completed using only the correct parts supplied by the original manufacturer/supplier as stated in the products instructions. No repair should be made that changes the structural integrity, design or shape of the goal
- It is essential that anchors be fitted to all freestanding goals, in use and when stored, irrespective of size; however, this does not apply to self-weighted goals
- If a goal is stored against a wall or fence, it must be securely attached by anchors or fence anchor chains so it cannot fall over
- All socket type goals should be concreted into the ground and caps placed over sockets when goals are removed or not in use. Goalpost sockets should always be set in concrete, as per the manufacturer's instructions
- The uses of Steel Cup Net Hooks were banned by the FA back in 2007 and is a rule that must be adhered to.
We would strongly recommend that you check that any goals you wish to purchase comply with the relevant standard for the industry.
If you would like to read more about goalpost safety, then please go to our website www.harrod.uk.com where a copy of our full Goal Post Safety document can be downloaded.
A full range of Harrod UK goals are available from the Pitchcare Online Store.