07 Jul Safety for Gym Owners
You’ve made your passion for fitness and dream of sharing your knowledge a reality! We know just how much goes into opening a business and we applaud all business owners on their tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s our job at Sava Insurance to keep that dream alive for our clients!
As a gym owner, you have a lot to think about day-to-day, and we’re sure that safety is top of mind for you more-so than many other businesses. Between concerns about equipment failure, client injuries, and liabilities related to hiring trainers, there are a lot of day-to-day risks associated with running a successful gym. Let’s discuss these risks, how they can be prevented, and what you can do if they do occur!
What are some of the risks associated with owning a gym or other fitness studio?
These injuries might include:
- A client isn’t exercising with proper form and a client is injured
- A wet floor sign isn’t placed in a dangerous area and a client slips and falls
- A piece of equipment needs maintenance and a client is injured
- The sidewalk outside is icy and a client slips and falls
Some risks associated with personal trainers might include:
- A personal trainer you hired is poorly trained and their guidance injures a client
- A personal trainer you hired is found to be sexually, physically, or verbally harassing a client
Hygiene, Disease & Illness
Some risks associated with the spread of illness might include:
- An employee comes to work sick and potentially spreads their illness to other staff and clients
- A client visits the gym while they’re sick and potentially spreads their illness to other clients and staff
- The gym isn’t being cleaned properly posing a risk for fungus, disease, and illness.
- During a pandemic, proper social distancing protocols aren’t being followed, posing a risk to clients and staff.
These are just a few of the risks associated with owning and operating a gym. There are many more not listed here, but this should give you an idea of just how many potential risks you may have day-to-day.
How can gym risks be prevented?
When it comes to owning a gym, safety must always be the most important priority. Make safety a priority for you, your staff, and your clients. Let’s break down a few of the main ways that you can help prevent many of the risks we mentioned above.
Hiring & Training Procedures
Hire staff trainers for your gym. Avoid hiring subcontracted trainers, because you can be held liable for their mistakes. This might include a sexual harassment claim against them or an injury that a client experiences as a result of the trainer’s poor guidance. When you hire your own staff, make safety a priority, and maintain a training program that makes client safety as important to your employees as it is to you.
In your training, make sure that your staff understands their responsibility for making themselves and clients aware of potential hazards. Train them to post signs on machines that are out-of-order or in need of maintenance. Train your staff to place wet water signs in dangerous areas and to clean up hazards quickly and effectively. Put other important safety notices in plain sight throughout your business. This might include signs for social distancing procedures, hygiene, proper form and exercise practices, and signs for workplace hazards for employees.
Maintenance will include maintaining your equipment, the cleanliness of your facility, cleaning up hazards, and, generally, working to identify and fix hazards to your staff and clientele around your gym. If you notice that a showerhead poses a risk, don’t just tell your clients that it’s out of order, work quickly to fix the problem. If the walkways are icy, they need to be salted immediately. If a piece of equipment is out of order, put up notices to alert clients, but work quickly to have it replaced or even removed.
What can be done if something does occur?
If you’ve taken every precaution possible, you may still have an unfortunate incident occur at your gym. You can’t control everything, and you have to be prepared for the worst-case scenarios.
Require Liability Waivers
A liability waiver is a legal document that a person who participates in an activity may sign to acknowledge the risks involved in their participation. By having your clients sign a waiver, you can attempt to remove legal liability from your gym or staff who may be responsible for a suit or other legal action. The waiver could save you from claims or lawsuits that aren’t your fault, but you need to consult an attorney or other legal professional who can ensure that the legal verbiage is up to par.
Insurance Policies for Gyms
The following are policies you’ll want as a gym owner:
- General Liability
- Professional Liability
- Business Income & Extra Expense Coverage
- Workers’ Compensation
- Occurrence Policy
- Equipment Breakdown Coverage
- Business Personal Property Coverage
- Participant Liability and Accidental Medical Coverage
- Premises Liability Coverage
- Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities Coverage
- Business Umbrella
It would be a bit too much for one blog to try to break down each and every one of these coverages, but we would be more than happy to answer any and all questions you might have about these policies. We have years of experience helping gyms open their doors and run successful businesses.
We’d be more than happy to discuss your unique situation and provide you with a free, no-obligation quote for the policies you need. Give us a call today!