Every gym owner and manager should be focused on the safety of their members. The typical gym member is not familiar with proper lifting and exercise methods. Fitness center facility managers and staff should educate employees about workout safety. They should also provide easily accessible safety equipment/gear.
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The last thing you need is a member to endure a painful injury. This injury can be made worse by a delayed response or negligence by your staff. Ensure that your gym has proper safety protocols and strategies.
Risk Assessment for Your Fitness Facility
Take a walk around your fitness facility. Be imaginative and think about everything that could go wrong. Are machines placed too close to one another? Have weight machines had their regular maintenance? Are fire extinguishers properly placed throughout your facility? Are there any water hazards from locker room showers or sinks? First, identify all possible risks. Next, develop a plan to prevent such injuries, including the right facility supplies. Finally, educate and train your staff to respond appropriately to emergency situations.
How to Maintain Safety and Clean Your Locker Room
One would think the gym locker room would be a laid-back place. It is where members hang out and engage in small talk following a grueling workout. In reality, the locker room has the potential to cause plenty of harm to members. From slips on standing water to the threat of fire, the spread of warts and physical confrontations, the locker room is rife with threats.
A physical confrontation is much more likely to occur in the locker room as it has minimal, if any, supervision from gym staff members. All it takes is for one bad apple to stir up a conflict with another member. It is prudent to keep a staff member in or near the locker room at all times. He or she should conduct a security check at least once every half hour.
Your gym's shower facilities should have adequate drainage. It is quite possible for a member to endure a harsh slip and fall due to a clogged drain that causes the pooling of water. Drainage between showers and other facilities should also be free of clogs. Train your staff to look closely for spilled soap, shampoo, gels and other liquids that will make walkways slippery. Locker room mats also a great way to ensure that your members don't accidentally slip.
Fitness Facility Pool Safety
If your gym has a pool, it creates the potential for a particularly nasty slip and fall or an even more painful injury. Keep an employee by the pool at all times to ensure the pool deck remains as dry as possible. This employee should be a trained lifeguard and CPR certified. He or she should keep a watchful eye on the pool and remove all tripping/slipping hazards. Pools also need proper signage and accessible flotation devices.
Exercise and Weight Equipment Safety
The use of weights and exercise machines can cause numerous injuries. One of the lesser known threats in the context of gym workouts is the spread of germs. Place antibacterial wipes and trash bins throughout your facility. Encourage members to wipe down weights and exercise machines before and after use. Maintain germ-free equipment and your facility can prevent the spread of sickness and disease. Post signs that detail the proper lifting techniques. Also, encourage members to use a spotter when lifting particular heavy weights.
Exercise Machine Maintenance and Safety Tips
All exercise machines should be inspected on a regular basis. This will ensure they are functioning at the optimal level. An exercise machine that malfunctions poses a threat to member safety. Check for frayed cables, loose cables, damage, and pending failures on all machines. Your staff should know how to decommission exercise machines that threaten member safety. Make sure service records are updated to reflect dates of inspection.
Proper Exercise Machine and Treadmill Placement
Treadmills should be strategically placed. This will lower the odds of a member falling and being thrown into the wall by the machine's natural motion. If it is too difficult to re-position a treadmill, apply padding to the wall behind the machine. This will prevent an injury should the member stumble and be pushed backward.
Additional Safeguards For Your Fitness Facility Safety Checklist
- Check each fire extinguisher to ensure it is not expired. Make sure smoke alarms have functioning batteries.
- Verify that each personal trainer has up-to-date insurance coverage.
- Ensure commercial first aid kit supplies are readily available throughout the facility.
- Double check the functionality of your CCTV system to ensure relevant footage can be stored on a memory stick or disc.