As a club owner, you have plenty to worry about — hiring the right people, maintaining an orderly, clean club, and keeping the financials in line, to name just a few. Who has time to think about risk management?
That said, proper risk management can be a critical component to keeping a fitness club running smoothly. So, how can a club owner evaluate and improve his or her risk management strategies? One of the best places to start is to turn to industry and community partners.
Local fire, police and emergency medical services (EMS) crews, trade associations, vendors, attorneys and insurers can all help club owners in understanding their clubs’ risk exposures, as well as in taking steps to prevent incidents that could lead to dangerous or expensive insurance claims. Working in tandem with these partners, club owners can get recommendations and learn best practices to reduce their risk exposure.
- Many fire, police and EMS crews will offer business owners services like safety and access inspections, assist in drills and advise on emergency protocols, among other things.
- Trade associations can offer a host of information from machine maintenance and facility care to employee safety training.
- Vendors can offer advice on anything from building security to potential cyber-attacks on a business owner’s computer systems.
- Attorneys can provide club owners with effective language for waivers and other documents and forms to ensure the business is free from liability in specific situations.
- Insurers can, of course, explain what the club owner needs in terms of insurance coverage and review the coverage they have. But they can also advise on taking steps to keep the facility in shape to avoid incidents.
A good insurer — and one who specializes in the health club industry — can be particularly helpful in educating a club owner on his or her risk exposure. A loss control representative can walk through the facility with the owner, identify problem areas and suggest preventive measures.
Ultimately, the key is to remember that when it comes to risk mitigation, club owners are not on their own.
Brian Rawlings is the practice leader for FITLIFE™ at Venture Insurance Programs. Venture has partnered with the American Red Cross to provide access to an emergency preparedness app, as well as access to CPR, first aid and other courses to its insureds in the fitness space and beyond. For more information, visit fitlifeins.com.
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