Little is known about the implementation of risk management practices in health/fitness facilities. For this reason, Bond University, Sports Medicine Australia and Fitness Australia are working together and are investigating the legal risk of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry.
The Legal Risk Management within the Fitness Industry research aims to:
- Understand the current regulations that drive risk management in the fitness industry;
- Develop best practice benchmarks for risk management;
- Develop proposals for improved regulation; and
- Develop a practical and effective risk management audit tool-box for businesses and professionals.
Read the full reports on legal liability in the fitness industry produced by Bond University, Sports Medicine Australia and Fitness Australia below:
Introduction to the system of Australian workplace health and safety law During the years 2012-2013 Australia saw a process of the 'harmonisation' of workplace health and safety (‘WHS’) laws. This process saw the Commonwealth introduce a model Workplace Health and Safety Act and model set of regulations.
This paper examines the role of planning and building regulation in Australia as it relates to the fitness industry. The paper has been prepared to complement work being undertaken by Bond University as part of a research project looking at “Legal Risk Management of Adverse Health Outcomes and Injury in the Fitness Industry: Developing Evidence Informed Regulation That Improves Safety”.
Fitness services are generally supplied under contracts of service entered into between the providers of the services and the participants/clients (or their guardians). Such contracts govern the relationships of the parties, and may contain express terms dealing with safety matters.
A provider of fitness services may be liable to compensate clients who are injured in the course of fitness activities if the provider is negligent in the provision of such services. Such negligence can relate, for example, to how the services are provided (including the provision of any advice or information) or to the state of equipment or materials supplied or to the state of the premises in which the services are provided.
The concept of risk management in the fitness industry can refer to at least two, quite different, mechanisms for minimising risk. One of these mechanisms is to control programmatic risks such as accidents or injuries that can arise from the fitness services provided by the fitness service providers. The most desirable means of controlling programmatic risks for fitness service providers would be the minimisation of the accidents and injuries by providing reasonably safe services in line with the best practices in the fitness industry.