From equipment accidents to active shooter scenarios to trips and falls on pool decks and shower floors, many different types of threats to human safety and security exist in fitness environments. Which begs the question: Are you making your best effort to keep your staff and members safe when they show up to work or work out? 

Here’s a closer look at the issue of risks and risk management for today’s fitness businesses, along with tips for optimizing safety in your health care center.

Understanding and Managing Your Risks

In order to develop and implement an effective risk management strategy, it’s important to first identify the risks. Poorly supervised locker rooms, slippery shower facilities and other wet surfaces (including sidewalks and parking lots), and ergonomic hazards, such as improper lifting techniques in the weight room and malfunctioning equipment, are all common risks incurred by fitness businesses. Additionally, other risks exist, too, including everything from active shooter and hostage scenarios to cyber crime and financial fraud. 

According to insurance broking and risk management global leader Marsh, the implications of not protecting your employees and members from these risks are profound, comprising everything from loss of high value employees to reputational damage resulting in market share loss. 

The takeaway for gym owners?  In addition to identifying these risks, it’s also critical to develop strategies aimed at mitigating these threats. Not only can this help keep your community members safe, but it can also safeguard your business from debilitating lawsuits. 

Four Risk Management Tips for Fitness Businesses

1. Fallproof your facility. 

There are many ways to prevent slips and falls in your fitness facilities. These include maintaining obstacle-free flow throughout the space, using clean and well-maintained entry mats to prevent tracked-in precipitation, building with high-grip surfacing, and using signage as well as ample lighting.

2. Address ergonomic issues.

Gyms are home to many different kinds of equipment. In addition to ensuring that your members have access to proper training on how to use your machinery, it’s also important to make sure your employees are using safe lifting techniques when moving and lifting equipment. 

3. Conduct routine equipment cleaning and inspections.

Regularly cleaning and maintaining workout machines, accessories, weight racks, emergency lightening, saunas, and other fitness equipment can help minimize the risk of injuries while maximizing performance — a beneficial member retention measure. An added bonus? It’s also an investment in the wellbeing and life cycle of your equipment and fitness business. Developing and sharing a calendar with your staff is the simplest way to make sure cleaning, maintenance, and repairs are being attended to on schedule.

Member retention

4. Have an emergency plan at the ready.

When it comes to fitness centers and emergencies, we can think of no better guideline to follow than the common disaster preparedness and recovery adage,  “Prepare for the worst, plan for the best.” (On-the-fly action plans rarely end well.) Having a basic evacuation plan in place (in which all employees know their roles), maintaining an emergency contact list, training employees in first aid, ensuring that all AED’s are in proper working condition, providing first aid supplies, and routinely training (and refreshing) staff on your emergency plan are essential.

One last thing to keep in mind? All of these efforts are meaningless without top-down buy-in. The more your team — from managers to cleaning staff — understand the importance of risk management (along with their specific roles in it), the more protected your employees, members, and fitness business will be. 

In addition to keeping up with new threats as they arise, it’s also important for fitness businesses to keep up with new opportunities, including fitness monitoring equipment. To learn more about how the Accurofit System can help you achieve your member recruitment and retention goals, request a demo today.