Health clubs often pride themselves on the fitness level of their members. This pride can cause them to overlook some basic cleaning and maintenance protocols that keep their members safe. The reality is, anyone can fall or slip on a wet surface…regardless of their level of fitness.
Health clubs, by their very nature, have many trip-and-fall hazards:
- Free weights that are not re-racked after use
- Wet surfaces in locker areas and around pools or hot tubs
- Cords from cardio machines
And, Old Man Winter comes blowing in, creating an entirely new set of hazards: icy parking lots; wet floors in entryways that have been mopped to remove salt; entry mats placed for members to wipe their feet; and stairs and tile flooring that become slick as members drag in rain, sleet and snow.
If you own a health or fitness club, take steps to keep your members and guests safe:
- Use walk-throughs and checklists. Your staff should schedule several walk-throughs of your facility each day with the sole purpose to identify any hazards. Using a checklist to guide your staff and document your findings is very helpful.
- Once you identify any hazards, take corrective action:
- Mop dry any wet areas
- Place weights back on the appropriate rack
- Put away other equipment left lying around
- Address any lighting deficiencies
- Secure any loose carpeting, mats or power cords
- Place signage to warn guests of potential wet surfaces, steps or inclines and declines
- Remind guests to wear slip-resistant footwear in wet areas
- Develop a process to maintain parking lots and walkways. Generally, clubs contract with a third-party vendor to remove snow and salt the parking lot. Work with the vendor to make sure you are listed as an additional insured on their policy. Most clubs maintain their own sidewalks and entryways – make sure to check your lease to determine who has responsibility.
- Consider instituting a system where members who need assistance can call the front desk and request help walking to and from the building.