Can health clubs be safe doing that?

lifeguard-at-waterpark
Place lifeguards at the top and bottom of a water slide.

Health clubs competing fiercely for membership and revenue are always looking to attract and retain members and their disposable dollars. Keeping up with the latest trends and fads by putting in a functional training area, Pilates studio or TRX suspension training is one way.

Another method often involves adding fun attractions such as water slides, climbing walls, trampolines and inflatables for parties.

While these added activities can grow your business, they can also increase your chance of a potential loss. Consider these controls to keep your members safe and mitigate your risks.

 

TRAMPOLINES
  • Allow only one person at a time
  • Do not allow flips
  • Assign staff to supervise at all times
  • Lock when not in use
  • Make sure no one goes underneath the trampoline
INFLATABLES
  • Assign staff to supervise at all times
  • Use indoors only
  • Restrict usage to birthday parties and well-supervised events
  • Advise users to remove shoes, necklaces, eyeglasses, jewelry, etc.
  • Follow the recommended maximum capacity guidelines
  • Group participants by age and size
WATER SLIDES
  • Properly slope stairs or ladders and equip with slip-resistant surface and handrails on both sides
  • Require pool splashdown to be a dedicated chute, or rope off the area from the rest of the pool; maintain a minimum depth of 8 feet
  • Station lifeguards on both top and bottom of slide and control entry
ROCK WALL
  • Assign trained staff to supervise at all times
  • Lock when not in use
  • Train all participants
  • Establish a dedicated inspection process with a third-party vendor

Before adding any of these activities, consider consulting with your attorney to determine if you need a new or revised waiver to address unique risks involved. Also, advise users to consult with their doctor before participating in these activities, especially if they have health issues such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or bone or joint problems.

Your membership base will love these new features and, hopefully, your numbers will increase if you add them; but take all appropriate steps to keep people safe. Work with your insurance company and independent agent to make sure you have the right controls in place to do just that!

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Information about our company is available on our website.


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