ABC STANDARDS FOR BATTING RANGE SAFETY & OPERATION FOREWORD IMPORTANT!
This Operation and Technical Manual provides the owners and maintenance personnel with information covering batting range safety. Including Safety Procedures, Maintenance Procedures, Operational Procedures, and Repair and Servicing of the Batting Cage equipment provided by Automated Batting Cages Corp. Read this document carefully. This equipment system contains several moving parts and has high voltage present which pose potential hazards to maintenance and operational staff.
In addition, pitching baseball/softballs to batting range customers also poses inherent risks to the batters. It is essential for operating a safe batting range operation that the owner/operator have a complete understanding of this manual. This manual must be used in conjunction with ABC training video to train employees in the safe operation and servicing of the ABC batting range equipment system. And to minimize potential risks to the batting range customers.
Operational Safety Standards
THESE OPERATIONAL SAFETY STANDARDS APPLY TO ALL OPERATORS/OWNERS OF AN ABC COMMERCIAL BASEBALL AND SOFTBALL BATTING RANGE. THEY ARE INTENDED TO INFORM THE OPERATORS/OWNERS OF THE DANGERS AND RISKS ASSOCIATED IN THE OPERATION OF THE BATTING RANGE AND TO PROMOTE THE SAFE OPERATION OF THE BATTING CAGES. ALL STANDARDS SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD AND FOLLOWED TO FACILITATE SAFETY IN THE BATTING CAGES. ABC IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COMPLIANCE OF THESE SAFETY STANDARDS OR THE CONSEQUENCES OF NON-COMPLIANCE.
Comply with the following:
- All batting stalls must adequately display a sign indicating how to operate the batting cage system. This sign must include the following information: How to start the game, when balls will be pitched, and when the game is over.
- All batting range operations must adequately display a sign indicating that pitching machines will throw both balls and strikes.
- Batting range operations must all adequately display “Warning/Rules” sign(s) which include the following warnings and rules:
- Batters MUST wear helmets with face mask protection at all times.
- Only one person in the batting cages at a time during play.
- No switch hitting during the game.
- Batters must wear shoes. (No baseball-softball cleats)
- No person under the influence of drugs or alcohol is permitted to use the batting cages.
- Alert the attendant immediately if balls are throwing out of the strike zone.
- Machines may pitch balls at any time. BE ALERT at all times.
- No one under the age of 6 years old is permitted to use the batting cages.
- An adult must accompany all batting cage players under the age of 12.
- No one under the age of 16 is allowed to use cages throwing the effective speed of 70 – 75 Mph.
- Close gates at all times when entering or exiting the cages.
- No practice swings outside of cages unless in designated areas.
- During or after the game, do not pick up balls from the ground. Do not throw balls back at pitching machines.
- CAUTION! Injuries could result from the use of this device. Users should assume the inherent risks of batting baseballs and softballs. If users have any questions about the use of this device or the inherent risks associated with the use of this device, ask the attendant before using the batting cages.
Additional Operational Safety Standards:
- In addition to posting “Warning/Rules” signs, Operators/Owners of commercial batting ranges must comply with the following operational safety standards:
- At least one trained attendant must be present at all times at the batting range. In order to supervise the safe operation of the batting range.
- The attendant must review and understand this manual and ABC training video.
- At least one trained attendant must be present at all times to supervise and/or conduct the maintenance program of the batting range equipment/netting system.
- The attendant must review and understand this manual before performing any maintenance or servicing.
- At least one attendant must be present at all times trained in the “Safety Rules” of the batting range.
- The attendant must review and understand this manual and ABC training tape.
- Operator/Owner of the batting range must keep batting range equipment system maintained at all times to ABC’s specifications.
This manual details ABC’s specifications.
Operators must review and understand it in order to maintain the ABC batting range equipment system. Keep this manual at the batting operation at all times for review. Refer to sections titled “MAINTENACE” and “SERVICING” for specifications. Owner/attendant must complete and store ABC maintenance and operational forms for later review to confirm that maintenance and operational procedures have been followed. Refer to section titled “FORMS.”
The attendant must check ball pitching accuracy of all pitching machines at least once per day. If the accuracy has degraded, refer to the “TROUBLESHOOTING GUIDE” section for proper adjustments. Operator/Owner must check the conditions of the balls daily. Furthermore, replace all balls showing signs of excessive wear, deformation, cracks, breakage, or when the dimples on the balls are less than 50% of there original depth. If any of these conditions exist, remove balls from the batting range system immediately. New balls cannot be mixed with old balls!
Operator/Owner must train all attendants in the safe operation of the batting range and insist that all attendants maintain and promote a safe operation at all times. Training must include a review of this manual and ABC training video. Attendants or anyone inside the batting range must wear a protective helmet with face guard at all times. In addition, a trained and qualified person must service the equipment. 5. Follow all other manufacturers’ operation and warnings when operating Center Pole Winch.
All operators of Center Pole Winch must review and understand all operating and safety instructions. 6. Owner/Operator should establish and implement a Safety Program similar to the program detailed in the following “SAFETY PROGRAM FOR THE BATTING CAGES” (*ALSO REFER TO SECTION TITLED “MAINTENANCE” FOR REGULARLY SCHEDULED MAINTENACE and OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES).
Safety Program for the Batting Cages
THE FOREGOING IS A SAMPLE “SAFETY PROGRAM” FOR A COMMERCIAL BATTING RANGE. PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT A SAFETY PROGRAM MAY INCLUDE OTHER ELEMENTS THAN THOSE DETAILED HERE. ALL BATTING RANGE OPERATIONS SHOULD HAVE A MANAGEMENT-SPONSORED COMPREHENSIVE “SAFETY PROGRAM”.
It is essential that the management of the batting cage support the development and implementation of an effective safety program. It is the responsibility of the management to commit to a safety program and to communicate this commitment to all of the management’s employees. The Safety Program must include employee safety. As well as guest safety and methods to carry out the program.
The safety of the employee must be the first priority of any safety program. Employee safety is mandated by agencies including federal, state, and local municipalities. Be certain that the employees understand the risks that they are exposed to and how they can avoid these risks. Just as management must commit to the safety program, employees must also accept their responsibility to the program.
EMPLOYEE SAFETY EXPOSURE
- Hit by pitched ball
- Hit by batted ball
- Or hit with bat outside of batting cage
- Injury from contact with mechanical parts (i.e wheels, belts, motors, electrical components, etc.)
- Hit by ball in the “pit area”
- Injuries while batting or giving instruction
- Slip and fall
- Fire or robbery
- Operating Center Pole Winch (raising and lowering netting)
EMPLOYEE RISK REDUCTION
- Thoroughly train staff regarding all Safety/Warning policies (for instance, Warning Signs).
- Wear batting helmets with face guards at all times while in hitting area, including “pit area.”
- Sound a warning to batters (whistle, yell, etc…) when going to “pit area.”
- Use safety netting in pit to block holes in netting while working in area.
- Thoroughly train all staff on the operation of all pitching machines and batting range equipment systems. Have all staff review maintenance procedures with ABC Owner/Operator Manual.
- Train at initial hire.
- Re-train annually using ABC Operational and Technical Manual and ABC training video.
- Thoroughly train staff of all Operating Standards relating to safety and operations.
- Turn off and unplug all electrical components when servicing equipment.
- Give instructions from outside of cages. Do Not enter cage when a player is batting.
- Stop machines from pitching immediately when accidents occur or when rule enforcement is necessary.
- Do not use batting cage after an accident has occurred until all equipment has been checked for proper operation.
- Train staff for all emergency policies a. Police telephone number b. Fire telephone number c. Ambulance telephone number
- All staff must have a “NO TOLERANCE RULE” for breaking any Safety Rules or Procedures.
Guest safety is essential to the batting range success. All guest safety programs must begin with the Employee safety program. Employees must commit to this vital aspect of the business. The employees will be the most responsible for any Guest Safety Program implemented by Management.
GUEST SAFETY EXPOSURE
- Hit by pitched ball
- Hit by batted ball
- Or hit by bat outside of cages
- Player too young or inexperienced to use a batting cage
- Batters not standing in Batters Box
- Non-contact injuries while batting (i.e. ankle, knee, etc.)
- Players/Guest not complying with all posted rules
- Food poisoning
- Slip and fall
GUEST RISK REDUCTION
- List and display all SAFETY/WARNING SIGNS and RULES for guets to follow (see “Operation Safety Standards”).
- Have all employees understand these SAFETY/WARNING SIGNS and RULES and ENFORCE THESE RULES! (see “Operational Safety Standards”).
- At least ONE batting range EMPLOYEE MUST BE ON DUTY AT ALL TIMES DURING CAGE OPERATION!
- Adjust and maintain Pitching Machines, Warning Lights, and related Feeding Systems at all times. These must be in good working order at all times while batting cage is available for play.
- Post signs stating the type of cage (baseball or softball) and speeds of the pitch in each cage.
- Regularly clean the floor/concrete to prevent slipping and to keep balls clean.
- Repair, maintain, and replace all netting and protective fencing when necessary. Verify gates have return springs attached and that the gates fully close.
- Inspect, clean, and replace worn balls regularly.
- Follow all local health and safety codes.
- Employees must stop balls from pitching immediately when any accident occurs. Attend to guests immediately (refer to Management’s Emergency Procedures). Do not allow batting in the batting cage where accident occurred until all equipment has been checked for proper operating condition. File Incident Report.
- Completely train and re-train all employees about safety risks of your guests and themselves!
- INSIST THAT EMPLOYEES HAVE ALL GUEST FOLLOW THE POSTED RULES! EMPLOYEES MUST HAVE A “ZERO TOLERANCE RULE” FOR GUEST BREAKING POSTED RULES!
- EMPLOYEES MUST TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS (stop pitching machines and remove batter from cage) TO MINIMIZE SAFETY RISKS TO GUEST WHEN RISK ARE APPARENT!
Fire protection should always be part of the Management’s Safety Program. Consult with local fire authorities about their requirements. Be certain that employees have knowledge about the fire protection available at the batting cage.
Management should have four basic areas of responsibility for First Aid.
- Employee First Aid – Check with local agencies about First Aid Kits and your responsibility for Employee First Aid.
- First Aid to guests.
- Emergency First Aid – Have emergency plan documented for employees to follow.
- Courtesy First Aid – Have Band-Aids, ice, etc.)
- Record Keeping and Reporting – It is essential that you document all First Aid (either employee or guest related) for future reference.
- Injury Claims defense – Provide first aid and document the type and extent of all injuries and how the injury occurred is necessary for any Injury Claim Defense.
A Safety Program should address the need for inspections. These inspections should be focused in at least four areas:
- Check up of employees’ work area.
- Inspections to ensure guest safety. See Regularly scheduled Maintenance and Operational Procedures in “Maintenance” section.
- Inspection for housekeeping and fire protection.
- Required inspections for Federal, State and Local Requirements.
In order to reduce accidents from occurring, a preventive program must be in place. Recognizing potential risks and taking the appropriate steps to minimize or eliminate these risks is critical. In addition, you must investigate and document all accidents. Even if injuries have not resulted from the accident. Communicating these accidents should be a regular occurrence within the Safety Program.
Safety training should not be confused with Job Training. It should be conducted singularly and considered a separate responsibility of the employee. When you first hire the employee, conduct Safety Training and review at least once a year.
Record Keeping for the Safety Program should include several records. Employee Injury Reports, Guest Injury Reports, Inspection/Maintenance Reports, documented Safety Program Training and reviews, and “Accident Investigation” meetings. (Refer to section “Daily Operational Forms & Checklists.”)
BATTING RANGE EQUIPMENT MAINTENANCE
Equipment maintenance should only be performed by qualified persons with a full understanding of the equipment and how it operates. Furthermore, it is very important that the person maintaining the equipment understands about the batting range operation and risks involved with repairing and maintaining the system. All daily, weekly, monthly and other periodic maintenance should be conducted on the pitching machine equipment and the related equipment. Refer to the section titles “MAINTENANCE” in the “ABC Owner/Operators Manual” for specific maintenance and operational procedures. Document all maintenance and operational procedures and file for future reference.
Operators must communicate The Safety Program clearly. In other words, every person involved in its implementation should understand. Communication techniques should include written material along with on-site instructions and directions. Document and file all training sessions for future reference.
Safety Program should include a Housekeeping element and all staff should understand the necessity of cleanliness.
Management must detail Emergency Procedures which would be followed in the event of any emergency. These emergencies will include NATURAL DISASTERS (wind, rain, earthquake, etc…), ACCIDENTS (injuries) and MAN-MADE DISASTERS (bomb threats, structural, power outages, etc…).
Letter to range owners dated Sept 8th, 1992
September 8, 1992 Dear Range Owner, We wanted to write and share some safety features that we have added to our Batting Ranges. Please read this material and incorporate the changes. The illustration below (figure 1.0) is an overview of a typical batting stall and batters box. Please note the 7’-6” dimension from the opening of the stall to the center of the Homeplate. This dimension will ensure the “Batters Box” is adequately back far enough from the opening of the stall and reduce the risk of “fouled balls” striking another batter. If your Batters Box is not at least 7’-6” as shown, you will need to move your boxes back.
Furthermore, note that we suggest you paint a red “DO NOT PASS RED LINE” line as shown on this drawing. The purpose of this line is to keep customers from going forward of this line. We clearly do not want customers out in “open” area, in the “pit,” or batting in an area that will cause the flight of the ball to enter another stall. Please implement these changes or additions for the stalls immediately. If you have any questions please call ABC.