An important aspect of being a successful fitness or gym business owner is considering every potential risk that can impact member safety and ultimately, your facility’s reputation and operations and implementing measures to reduce them. Anything that affects guest and trainer safety, or the gym and its equipment ultimately impact the owner. To make it easier for gym owners to avoid the consequences and liabilities that can tarnish their business’ reputation, NEXO Fit offers the following gym risk assessment checklist.
Assess and Identify All Risks
Start things off with an in-depth assessment of potential hazards that pose a risk to members, regardless of their fitness level and interests. This requires keeping an open mind to avoid overlooking issues that novice fitness enthusiasts, trainers, or staff members may be vulnerable to. It is also necessary to consider issues that can impact the building and equipment. Proper hazard assessment requires time and may require you to scale back class offerings or delay operations until it is complete and proper mitigation measures are in place.
It helps if you know your members and staff well enough to know what dangers they may pose to themselves, your facility, and others. Bear in mind that there are many hazards and risks in gym and fitness centers. While there may be more similarities amongst members and staff, the margin of error is extremely low for fitness and gym owners who fail to incorporate consider the unique risks and hazards that are specific to each person. Try to keep the following factors in mind when performing a gym hazard or risk assessment.
- Member, staff, and guest age
- Physical limitations, including existing injuries, health conditions, or disabilities
- Member knowledge and interests
- Trainer and staff expertise
- Medication and treatment protocols
- Guest access and participation schedules
These concerns are necessary to help you determine appropriate measures to increase overall safety and operational efficiency for everyone who enters the premises, such as surveillance monitoring and access control systems, security, equipment and facility upgrades and improvements, and guest and employee accident and risk mitigation education and training.
Simply knowing the potential dangers that may compromise guest or staff health or the facility and equipment is not enough. It is critical for you to create a plan of action that you can refer to as necessary. To ensure that no potential hazard goes unnoticed, survey the staff and guests about concerns or hazardous conditions they feel may affect them. This feedback is invaluable and should be requested regularly.
For example, instead of relying on members to post reviews or concerns about their experiences at your gym online, have them complete a survey on a monthly. You can adjust the frequency as necessary to mesh with the ebbs and flow of your gym’s operations and goals.
Create a Hazard and Risk Prevention Plan
Prevention is one of the most effective ways gym owners can protect themselves from lawsuits and high employee ad member turnover. Document the steps necessary to eliminate potential safety concerns. Some dangerous conditions may require more time, effort, and financial resources to resolve than you have the capacity to deal with. There is also the likelihood of unresolvable hazards and issues to consider.
For example, if slippery floors or surfaces are an issue or common complaint, write it down and provide comprehensive and concise details on several ways to keep them dry and safe to prevent trips, slips and falls. You may find it beneficial to use a hierarchical structure in your risk assessment checklist and mitigation plan to eliminate the gaps.
Secure Peace of Mind Against Risks
Another necessary and often most overlooked step in fortifying your gym business’ defenses against risks is insurance. It doesn’t matter how you decide to run your fitness center. There are just some once-in-blue moon or catastrophic events that no business owner can successfully overcome without a good insurance policy.
Not all gyms follow the same operational model, due to numerous factors besides location, offerings, facility, owner profile, etc. These differences highlight the importance of insuring your business properly from the start. With insufficient coverage, your business remains vulnerable to the dynamic and often volatile whims of the fitness industry. Choose an insurer that offers affordable insurance products and services to fitness and gym business professionals. This step alone can make or break any business’s success.
Make Continuous Safety Improvements
As a business owner, you’ll rely on employees, trainers, and even the members themselves to minimize risks. Provide safety training at timely intervals and post educational material outlining the key provisions in your gym risk assessment checklist or plan they should know and be ready to implement as necessary. Routinely review and adjust the gym hazard plan every six months or more often, depending on your business needs and projections.
Fitness and gym business professionals enjoy flexible and affordable insurance products and services from NEXO Fit. Call (310) 937-2007 to speak with an agent about custom policy options that makes gym risk mitigation easy.