5 Hidden Liability Risks & How Fitness Centers Can Avoid Them
Fitness centers are in existence to help get – and keep – people fit and healthy. But, ironically, due to the nature of the industry, fitness centers are also exposed to significant liability risks. Some risks are more obvious than others. For instance, it is not surprising that fitness centers are at risk for liabilities because of injuries to members. But, did you know that treadmills are the number one injury risk in fitness centers? Learn how to minimize risk at your fitness center by understanding these 5 hidden liability risks – and how to avoid them.
As mentioned above, treadmills are the number one injury risk for fitness centers like yours. According to LiveScience.com, “In 2014, there were about 24,400 injuries in the United States associated with treadmills that required a visit to the emergency department, out of the 62,600 total injuries associated with any exercise equipment, according to the [Consumer Product Safety Commission].” Since the average cost for a treadmill-related accident is $250,000, fitness centers should ensure treadmill usage is monitored regularly. When risk-inducing behavior occurs, personnel should intervene immediately.
Many fitness club members multitask while on treadmills. They text, read, talk or watch TV. To mitigate risk, make sure all treadmill users are fit enough to exercise. It might also be wise to offer “training sessions” on the equipment. The more informed the user, the less likely an accident becomes.
No one expects a tornado to touch down, ripping through homes, interstates, businesses and fitness centers alike. Without the right insurance coverage, an ill-timed lawsuit or natural disaster can result in bankruptcy for a fitness center. Disasters are nearly impossible to predict, which means your fitness center should be prepared at all times. With FitSecure Insurance Group, you receive a custom policy built specifically for your fitness center. We function exclusively within the fitness industry, providing you with reliable insurance protection, no matter the specifics of your property. Click here to learn more.
What happens if your fitness center is the target of an act of violence? What if an explosion happens in the locker room? If there’s a shooting, will your fitness center be able to recover? Emergency situations such as these hurt both the reputation and the financial status of fitness centers.
To help avoid risk, install surveillance cameras where possible. Make sure the parking lot is well-lit. Keep your facility well-staffed and keep your staff well-trained to handle hazardous situations.
If your fitness center employs personal trainers, you have an additional liability on your hands. Personal trainers can be sued for a variety of reasons, including sexual harassment, physical injury, misinformation and the like. When personal trainers are sued, so are the fitness centers they work for. Your fitness center can be held liable for your employees’ behavior.
Diminish risk by ensuring that your insurance policy covers instructors and personal trainers.
From check-in staff to maintenance staff, from lifeguards to class instructors, unqualified staff are a liability risk in nearly every area of fitness centers. Lifeguards and class instructors who are improperly trained can give ill-advised instruction that leads to injury. Poorly trained maintenance staff may indirectly cause injury if equipment is not maintained as required. Unqualified check-in attendants could do more harm than good in an emergency situation.
Help reduce risk due to unqualified staff by mandating proper training for each employee. Make sure, too, that all applicable certifications are up to date.
These are 5 hidden risks that your fitness center may be susceptible to, but this is not an all-encompassing list. For more information on risk and liability at your fitness center, get in touch with FitSecure at 844-659-1881.