Some Counties Ignoring Law Requiring Bleacher Inspections
We checked state records and found five out of six metro counties are not totally in compliance with state law requiring bleacher inspections.
We checked on 10 counties overall and only one was in full compliance; several said they didn't even know state law required inspections every five years. The law was created in 1999, after a 6-year-old Hutchinson boy died after he fell through the bleachers.
In Mower County, we found they were not in compliance with state law, but they recently had the grandstand inspected in Austin and a structural engineer deemed it unsafe.
The county is not using the grandstand for this year's fair and will put up temporary bleachers to make sure the arena shows are not canceled. Mower County officials told us they were unaware of the law until we brought it to their attention.
Officials at the Minnesota Department of Labor told us counties are required to inspect bleachers on their own and then submit those inspections, from independent inspectors, to the state for certification. State officials say it is the in the best interest of counties to have the inspections done and comply with the law because they would have huge liability issues if someone gets hurt and the bleachers had not been inspected.
State officials say the law does give them the authority to shut down the bleachers if the county does not do the inspection.