When planning to undertake any form of building work on a fitness facility, experts should be consulted early to ensure guidelines, standards, laws and regulations are considered

In Australia, building regulations control the standards that must be met when designing or constructing a facility, or modifying an existing building. As such, when planning to undertake any form of building work on a fitness facility, experts should be consulted early to ensure guidelines, standards, laws and regulations are considered.

Even if your fitness facility is complying with the relevant planning and building standards, in order to reduce the risk of injury it is important to ensure that the premises are maintained in a condition that is fit for the purpose that they are being used. This includes ensuring safe access to the premises, overall cleanliness, as well as appropriate fit-out and maintenance of the interior.

Premises

 

There is a ‘duty of care’ which applies to everyone providing a service in a fitness facility to ensure the facilities are fit for purpose and that you do all that is reasonably practicable to ensure the health and safety of others.

Provision of safety glass/mirrors, slip resistant floor finishes, secure storage of loose/free weights, and careful positioning of fitness equipment and machines to avoid overcrowding are some things to keep in mind. Fitness professionals who conduct exercise in outdoor areas in public spaces, should be alert to the impact of other users and other activities, not only so that you do not adversely impact them, but as they may represent a risk to you, your employees or clients.

Formal, regular facility inspections may serve to assist in reducing risk.  The development and use of an inspection checklist report not only serves to monitor and improve potential risk issues in terms of building maintenance, but if faced with litigation serves to prove the facility has been sufficiently inspected for risks and may prevent or reduce liability. Maintenance scheduled regularly is another element of providing a reasonably safe environment, as regular maintenance assists in reducing risks that may not have been identified during inspection.

For more information on premises, see pages 123-126 of ‘Exercise Safe; The Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual’. http://www.fitnessriskmanagement.com.au/pdf/The-Australian-Fitness-Industry-Risk-Management-Manual.pdf