Every January, health and fitness centers welcome a rush of participants motivated by their new year’s resolutions and the desire to improve their health, appearance and self-image. They sign up for memberships and training sessions, creating a full and vibrant health club atmosphere. If you operate a health or fitness center, this might be a good time to evaluate the health of your club and do whatever you can to retain these new prospects and make a positive impact on their lives. By taking a look at some important practices and measuring yourself against standards, you can impact the health, look and perceived image of your club, preparing you to better serve your members. Here is our checklist to test the health of your club and see where your resolutions need to be made:
- Make sure written plans are in place for a health emergency, injury, weather event and more.
- Discuss your emergency plans at staff meetings and rehearse all actions.
- Review trainer certifications annually.
- Inspect the physical property for any potential hazards or maintenance issues.
- Service all fitness equipment according to manufacturers’ recommendations.
- Where appropriate, complete background checks on staff and volunteers.
- Put in place a crisis management plan for any allegations of sexual misconduct, and review it with your team.
- Review all club membership policies and appropriately communicate them to the members in writing or using appropriate signage.
- Service the automated external defibrillator to assure it is in working order, and check that all staff training is up to date.
- Assure that all staff members are up to date with CPR and first aid training.
- If necessary, make sure your swimming pool meets all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. You may want to consider consulting with legal counsel to confirm your pool is compliant.
- Where applicable, review all child watch procedures and discuss with your staff for compliance.
- Consider having legal counsel review waivers for any state-specific language that may have been updated within the last 18 months.
By following these practices, you and your team can keep your health club in top shape, meeting all your members’ needs and keeping everyone safe.
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. Contact your local, independent agent for insurance coverage advice and loss control information.