Managing risks in your fitness facility involves the process of controlling risk

Managing risks in your fitness facility involves the process of controlling risk.  This requires taking action to minimise the likelihood and consequences of a risk occurring, by modifying the features of an activity.  It also involves considering risk management options and then balancing costs of implementation (both in terms of time and financial outlays) with the benefits gained from managing the risk.

Risk Management Plan
Risk management control options may include:

Options Explanation
Accept Based on an informed decision, risk is accepted. It involves allowing an outcome to occur without trying to prevent it, and may occur because an efficient way of reducing the risk may not be apparent in the situation. As such, this option usually applies to ‘low risks.’
Avoid This option aims to avoid the possibility of risk occurrence, such as not continuing with an activity.
Substitute Replace the hazard with something safer.  For example, free weights can be replaced with weight/resistance machines in a 24 hour gym, or a defective treadmill can be replaced with an elliptical bike in a gym.
Reduce Actively lowering risk through a series of activities including engineering controls or personal protective equipment.
Transfer Sharing or moving the risk from one party to another, allows risk to be minimised such as using insurance or waivers. However, transferring risk does not mean the risk will go away.
Risk Management PlanCase Study Example: A fitness facility wants to expand its services and considers offering spin and aerobics classes in areas of the facility which can be modified into two suitable rooms. The flooring of the rooms is polished wood and rooms are of a moderate size. The facility decides to control risk by modifying the floor surfaces in each of the rooms, limiting the number of exercise bikes placed in the spin class room, and capping the class sizes to a maximum of 15 participants. Controlling the risk in this manner, the instructor may more effectively supervise a smaller class size and the chance of an incident occurring, such as a participants bumping into each other, is reduced.

A risk management plan can be documented simply in a tabular format including headings such as; risk in priority order from the risk register, risk management options, preferred options, risk rating after treatment and so on. One example of a risk management plan using these types of headings can be found at

A risk management plan can and should be used in conjunction with a risk register, which is a log used to document all risks identified by an activity or organisation, it may include such items as the probability of risk, the impact or consequences of risk, counter measures and whether to treat the risk or not.

For more information on risk management planning, implementation, monitoring and review, see pages 133-144 of ‘Exercise Safe; The Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual’.