In recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of fitness businesses delivering services in an unsupervised environment. These recommendations have been developed to assist in providing duty of care and mitigating risks for those fitness businesses that offer a service to consumers during unstaffed hours.
To clarify best practice standards and risk management for unsupervised facilities, the following information is intended to compliment the requirements established by state and territory legislation and the recommendations contained within the Fitness Australia National Fitness Industry Code of Practice.
Fitness businesses delivering a service for clients without the supervision of a suitably qualified professional should address the following areas to mitigate risk:
Electronic Surveillance (CCTV)
Electronic surveillance is used to monitor all provision of the fitness facility including both entry and exit points and excluding change rooms and bathrooms. The surveillance system should include a safety alert system that has the capacity to be monitored by a third party who has the authority to alert emergency services.
Panic alarms should be both fixed and mobile (on lanyards), freely accessible, marked and displayed prominently. The panic alarm should be monitored by the same third party who has access to the CCTV footage and has the authority to alert emergency services.
The facility displays clear signage of safety and emergency and panic response procedures.
A suitably equipped first aid kit should be prominently placed and marked appropriately. Signage with clearly marked emergency contact details and a functioning telephone should be kept in close proximity to the first aid kit.
Access to a single occupancy change room and bathroom facilities should be available to the consumer. Change rooms should have access to a panic alarm and CCTV footage must be excluded from this area.
A regular risk assessment on equipment should be conducted and documented. Recommendations for modifications to equipment include the addition of safety bars or range limiters on equipment that may cause crush injuries, and limiting access to dumbbells and kettle bells.
Each customer should undergo a thorough induction process that includes :
- Pre-exercise Screening
- The facilities emergency response procedures
- Safe use of equipment and amenities.
A business should hold adequate public liability insurance. Consultation with your insurance provider for any additional requirements is recommended.
Fitness business owners and managers should also refer to the AFIRM Research Manual for more detail associated with duty of care and supervision.
Learn more about principles that promote good business practice download the Business Principles and Guidance for Fitness Businesses file now.
Remember, we're here to help you and your business, so feel free to contact Joel Perricone, National Manager, Advocacy and Partnerships with any questions on 1300 211 311 or email firstname.lastname@example.org