Health and safety is important in a fitness environment, the same way health and safety is important in every other environment.
A fitness environment is a training facility, i.e, personal or public such as a gym designed to help individual strengthen their bodies, keeping it in shape to fight off illness and prevent it from becoming flabby and weak.
In as much as the fitness environment is to sustain a health body, hazards still abound within the environment.
Some of the hazards that could be spotted in a fitness environment are:
1. Facilities hazards, example:
a. Slippery or uneven floor surfaces
b. Obstructed floor areas
2. Equipment hazards, example
a. Broken or improper technical use of fitness equipment
b. Running cables lead.
3. Working practice
a. Inappropriate exercise type
b. Wrong exercise intensity
c. Improper exercise technique
d. Poor lifting pattern/handling
4. Hygiene related hazards
b. Contact with hazardous products
anything that may cause harm.
Above are just few hazards which could be spotted in a fitness facility.
Note also that, all fitness facility have workers who have the right to be protected under the Health and Safety at Work act.
Hence, when thinking about “Why is health and safety important in a fitness environment”, never forget these two (2) reasons:
- To obey statutory health and safety requirements (Like the worker’s health and safety rights) and
- To manage hazards/risks within the facility thereby preventing accident in the process.
NOTE: A hazard prone fitness facility will sure loose patronage. This can result to lost of business value and the business may shutdown; This is the economic reason why a fitness facility owner should take health and safety important in his business.
How to ensure health and safety in a fitness environment
- Carry out risk assessment: To determine the kind of risk your staff or customers could be exposed to. Determine who is at risk and how they could be exposed; check the available controls and determine if additional controls are needed, manage the risk. This risk assessment should be documented and reviewed when need be.
- Provide training for your staffs: This training should cover health and safety training, first aid and CPR training, facility and equipment training, emergency management training, etc.
- Draw out an emergency plan for the fitness facility: The emergency plan should be communicated to competent persons and all staffs/visitors inside the facility at any time. This communication can be achieved during induction, or through posters pasted at strategic locations.
- Ensure users induction: Induction could cover – Health and hygiene information, emergency plan, safe use of fitness equipment, etc.
- Ensure users supervision
- Plan routine equipment/environment inspection and maintenance.
- Enforce good housekeeping within the gym
General importance of health and safety in a fitness facility:
- Protect clients and staff
- Ensure provision of safe and effective equipment,
- Ensure safe and hygienic premises, to meet health
and safety requirements and industry standards.
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