Gym Health & SafetyWhen did you last put your gym through a health and safety assessment? You advise your members to have regular fitness assessments, but how does your gym rate as meeting ‘fitness for purpose’? Is it as safe for your customers and staff as required by the Occupiers Liability Act 1984 or the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999?
Member contracts usually contain a clause where they assume some legal responsibility for their own actions. However, there are situations where owners or their staff can be held responsible. While gym accidents generally occur through a lack of care, knowledge or training on the part of a member doing a workout, the gym operator may also be held wholly or partly responsible if they have not provided a safe environment in which to train. Defending a claim won’t necessarily absolve owners completely from responsibility. Members are not normally as safety-conscious as an owner should be, especially in situations where they are fatigued from training hard.
Even if you have a great safety record, you still need to protect yourself. Don't wait until there is an accident or have a claim made against you before taking action.
Gym Owners – Keep Your Gym LegalThe law requires you to have a comprehensive health and safety policy; if you have more than 5 employees, this policy must be set out in writing. This policy is essential, and if you don't have one (or if the one you do have is inadequate), you expose yourself to prosecution. The risk of an accident can't always be eliminated, but a well-prepared health and safety policy could help avoid prosecution.
A risk assessment is the other essential legal requirement for gym owners. You can perform a self-assessment, but it is worth having it independently checked as you're likely to overlook some items, when you are so close to the business. We offer checklists which can help guide you through the process.
Staff training is vital for health and safety in a gym environment; no matter how good your policies and procedures may be, they are worthless if your staff don't implement them properly.
Help with Health & Safety MOT for Your GymCan you afford to wait for an accident to happen? Howard G Davies & Associates can assist with:
- Drafting a health and safety policy and procedures
- Advising on carrying out health and safety risk assessments
- Maintaining existing programmes or implementing new procedures
- Updating you on changes to legislation