MEMBER AND FACILITY
1. Use proper form.
2. Use a spotter or gym partner.
3. Stay hydrated.
4. Be aware of your surroundings.
5. Put your weights back.
6. Always use a towel.
8. Take your time.
9. Only lift weight you can handle.
10. If you are not sure, ask someone.
11. Take five to 10 minutes to warm up and cool down properly.
12. Plan to start slowly and boost your activity level gradually unless you are already exercising frequently and vigorously.
13. Be aware that training too hard or too often can cause overuse injuries like stress fractures, stiff or sore joints and muscles, and inflamed tendons and ligaments. Sports prompting repetitive wear and tear on certain parts of your body — such as swimming (shoulders), jogging (knees, ankles, and feet), tennis (elbows) — are often overuse culprits, too. A mix of different kinds of activities and sufficient rest is safer.
14. Listen to your body. Hold off on exercise when you’re sick or feeling very fatigued. Cut back if you cannot finish an exercise session, feel faint after exercise or fatigued during the day, or suffer persistent aches and pains in joints after exercising.
15. If you stop exercising for a while, drop back to a lower level of exercise initially. If you’re doing strength training, for example, lift lighter weights or do fewer reps or sets.
16. For most people, simply drinking plenty of water is sufficient. But if you’re working out especially hard or doing a marathon or triathlon, choose drinks that replace fluids plus essential electrolytes.
17. Choose clothes and shoes designed for your type of exercise. Replace shoes every six months as cushioning wears out.
18. For strength training, good form is essential. Initially use no weight, or very light weights, when learning the exercises. Never sacrifice good form by hurrying to finish reps or sets or struggling to lift heavier weights.
19. Exercising vigorously in hot, humid conditions can lead to serious overheating and dehydration. Slow your pace when the temperature rises above 70°F. On days when the thermometer is expected to reach 80°F, exercise during cooler morning or evening hours or at an air-conditioned gym. Watch for signs of overheating, such as headache, dizziness, nausea, faintness, cramps, or palpitations.
20. Dress properly for cold-weather workouts to avoid hypothermia. Depending on the temperature, wear layers you can peel off as you warm up. Don’t forget gloves.
Risk Assessment for Your Fitness Facility
Take a walk around your fitness facility. Be imaginative and think about everything that could go wrong. Are machines placed too close to one another? Have weight machines had their regular maintenance? Are fire extinguishers properly placed throughout your facility? Are there any water hazards from locker room showers or sinks? First, identify all possible risks. Next, develop a plan to prevent such injuries, including the right facility supplies. Finally, educate and train your staff to respond appropriately to emergency situations.
How to Maintain Safety and Clean Your Locker Room
One would think the gym locker room would be a laid-back place. It is where members hang out and engage in small talk following a grueling workout. In reality, the locker room has the potential to cause plenty of harm to members. From slips on standing water to the threat of fire, the spread of warts and physical confrontations, the locker room is rife with threats.
A physical confrontation is much more likely to occur in the locker room as it has minimal, if any, supervision from gym staff members. All it takes is for one bad apple to stir up a conflict with another member. It is prudent to keep a staff member in or near the locker room at all times. He or she should conduct a security check at least once every half hour.
Your gym’s shower facilities should have adequate drainage. It is quite possible for a member to endure a harsh slip and fall due to a clogged drain that causes the pooling of water. Drainage between showers and other facilities should also be free of clogs. Train your staff to look closely for spilled soap, shampoo, gels and other liquids that will make walkways slippery. Locker room mats also a great way to ensure that your members don’t accidentally slip.
Fitness Facility Pool Safety
If your gym has a pool, it creates the potential for a particularly nasty slip and fall or an even more painful injury. Keep an employee by the pool at all times to ensure the pool deck remains as dry as possible. This employee should be a trained lifeguard and CPR certified. He or she should keep a watchful eye on the pool and remove all tripping/slipping hazards. Pools also need proper signage and accessible flotation devices.
Exercise and Weight Equipment Safety
The use of weights and exercise machines can cause numerous injuries. One of the lesser known threats in the context of gym workouts is the spread of germs. Place antibacterial wipes and trash bins throughout your facility. Encourage members to wipe down weights and exercise machines before and after use. Maintain germ-free equipment and your facility can prevent the spread of sickness and disease. Post signs that detail the proper lifting techniques. Also, encourage members to use a spotter when lifting particular heavy weights.
Exercise Machine Maintenance and Safety Tips
All exercise machines should be inspected on a regular basis. This will ensure they are functioning at the optimal level. An exercise machine that malfunctions poses a threat to member safety. Check for frayed cables, loose cables, damage, and pending failures on all machines. Your staff should know how to decommission exercise machines that threaten member safety. Make sure service records are updated to reflect dates of inspection.
Proper Exercise Machine and Treadmill Placement
Treadmills should be strategically placed. This will lower the odds of a member falling and being thrown into the wall by the machine’s natural motion. If it is too difficult to re-position a treadmill, apply padding to the wall behind the machine. This will prevent an injury should the member stumble and be pushed backward.
Additional Safeguards For Your Fitness Facility Safety Checklist
– Check each fire extinguisher to ensure it is not expired. Make sure smoke alarms have functioning batteries.
– Verify that each personal trainer has up-to-date insurance coverage.
– Ensure first aid kit supplies are readily available throughout the facility.