Heart Health Month: How Fitness Centers Can Ensure a Safe Workout Environment
The CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention has dubbed February American Heart Month in an effort to raise awareness around heart health. For fitness centers, this is an ideal time to remind your members of the health benefits of exercise and encourage them to remain committed to their fitness goals for the year.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that adults aim for 150 minutes of moderate cardiovascular activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Exercise can help the heart function more efficiently, assist with weight loss, and even help lower high blood pressure.
Since your gym members are working hard to protect their health, it’s up to you to provide a safe and comfortable environment to work out. Here are some simple tips to ensure your staff and patrons are safe at the gym!
Ensure the floors are clean and clear
Stray equipment and damp spots on the gym floor could pose tripping hazards for your patrons. Have a staff member perform a regular walkthrough of your facility to ensure all equipment has been properly stored and that none of the floor mats are folded under in a way that could pose a hazard.
Damp spots on the floor of the gym or changing room should be mopped to prevent slipping.
Post clear signage regarding safe practices
A simple safety warning can go a long way. Post signage throughout your gym reminding members how to use the equipment safely. Encourage them to ask for assistance if they’re unsure how the equipment works. Ensure there is always a staff member available to act as a spotter for any clients who need one.
Consider offering a guided walkthrough for new members to help them get to know the facility and learn how to use the equipment safely.
Stay on top of equipment maintenance
Like any other equipment, your gym equipment should be inspected and maintained to prevent malfunction and injury. Most equipment will come with maintenance guidelines and these should be followed to prevent malfunction or accidents. Check each machine regularly to ensure that it is working correctly. Decommission any equipment that isn’t functioning properly until it can be serviced.
Use video monitoring to ensure clients follow safety rules
Simply having a video monitoring system in place will likely deter problematic behavior within your facility. It also enables you to perform regular audits to check that clients are following your gym’s safety rules and code of conduct.
You can also use the system to audit your staff and ensure they’re performing their duties as assigned.
In the event of an accident, you may be able to use your video surveillance records to better understand what occurred (and who, if anyone, is at fault).
Access control systems offer layered protection
With dozens of members coming and going, an access control system is an essential part of your fitness center’s security strategy. Access control offers several benefits that will help protect your clients, staff, and facility while streamlining operations.
- Touchless entry. This type of system allows for access in and out of the facility without having patrons touch any services.
- Access cards. Automatically generate member access cards that are in sync with the system. If a client cancels their membership, the system can automatically disable their access card, reducing the administrative burden on your staff.
- 24-hour access. These systems are essential for 24-hour fitness facilities. Access control systems can provide safe access at any time of the day while blocking the access of unauthorized individuals.
- Unique access codes: By assigning each client and employee a unique access code, it’s easy to track who is inside the facility at any given time. This way, in the event of an accident or emergency (such as a fire), it’s easy to conduct a head count and identify every person who was on-site at the time of the incident.
The Bottom Line
Your fitness center is a place where client come to improve their health, so it’s essential to ensure their safety while they do so! The best approach to safety is a pro-active one. Ensuring your clients know how to use your equipment, and that your staff are readily available to assist them is the best way to keep them safe and empowered during a workout.
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