Pitchmark Ltd
Suppliers of Line Marking Paint and Equipment to
the Sports and Leisure Industry Worldwide
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Sports Pitch Line Marking System.
 

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16 Aug 2013

The FA has put together an information brochure regarding pitch marking and goalpost dimensions. It also offers constructive advice on how to mark out a football field and the line marking equipment available. Whether you are an amateur or professional football club, the dimensions of the football pitch should always be accurate.

Unfortunately here at Pitchmark, we still get inquiries about lime based products and groundsmen who want to burn out the line. The use of Hydrated lime in pitch markings is actually illegal and has been for several years. Please see the following text quoted from the FA Guidelines:

Various practices have been used in the past for the application of white lines to football pitches. The objectives of such practices has been to both reduce labour and materials costs whilst endeavouring to keep the lines visible for a greater length of time. Some of these practices have lead to injury and subsequent court action being taken against facility providers. You are therefore advised to study the following notes carefully.

Legislation
The main governing factors for marking out white lines are the same as that for other routine tasks in the workplace.

  1. Duty of care
    Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 every employer has a duty of care to ensure the workplace is safe for their employees, contractors, visitors, players, and spectators.
     
  2. The control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (coSHH)
    Regulations to prevent ill health from exposure to any hazardous substances present in the workplace.
     
  3. Risk Assessment
    You are required to carry out assessments on all tasks carried out in the workplace in relation to the nature of hazard, worst outcome, person(s) at risk, current precautions, estimated risk and further precautions.

If all three of the above are addressed satisfactorily this will automatically govern what to use for white line marking, ensure best practice and, above all, safety.

It is the duty of all facility providers to ensure thatall the regulations are adhered to, as they are ultimately responsible. If line marking is carried out by contractors then a specification should be drawn up to include all the safeguards outlined in these guidance notes. This could also extend to including detailed specifications of all products to be used. 

Suitable line marking compounds

  • Permanent paints
    Based on pigmented viscous liquid. These“paints” can be applied either in a diluted form or neat.
  • Powders
    There are various non-toxic whiting powders available which are based on ground natural calcium carbonate and can be used wet or dry. They are safe to use provided COSHH principles are applied. Under COSHH the user would be required to wear gloves and eye protection and to wash off any contact with the skin as a precautionary measure. Most powders are supplied in a fine form.

    Hydrated Lime (calciumhydroxide) should never be used for line marking. It is toxic and can give rise to chemical skin burns and irritations. It can cause serious damage to eyes and skin on contact in both its dry or wet form. Its use is not recommended under any circumstances.

Use of Herbicides to reinforce line markings


Until The Food and Environment Protection Act, 1985(FEPA) was introduced many groundsmenand
club members used various herbicides mixed in with whitening compounds to keep the lines in longer and more visible during the playing season. It is, however, only permissible to use a herbicide which is approved for use on sports turf, and this is likely to be a total herbicide. COSHH and Risk Assessment must be carried out prior to any application. A further governing factor is that the user must have obtained his/her Certificate of Competence in Use of Pesticides (PAl,PA2AorPA6A). Any herbicide product for line marking must be used within the conditions of approval granted under The Control of Pesticide Regulations,1986(COPR), and as outlined on the product label. There should be no risk to players by contact or transfer of the active herbicide to any part of the body. The addition of herbicides to whitening materials is not a recommended practice unless carried out by a competent, certificated person. Creosote is another compound used in the past to mark and reinforce line markings but it is not approved for use on sports turf under HSE–Control of Pesticide Regulations. Its use is therefore not recommended under any circumstances. The use of Hydrated Lime, herbicide additives and creosote can also result in serious injury to players as it leads to an uneven playing surface. This can ultimately lead to actions against both clubs or individuals.

See the full guideline here

16 August 2013 10:19 GMT+01:00   Posted By: Darren Rodman

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T: +44 (0)1454 776666    E: sales@pitchmarkltd.com     G+: Authored By Tim Rodman