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Strengthen Safety at Your Facility

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Members choose your facility to improve their fitness and overall well-being. Integrating safety into the daily activities at your club improves the environment and reduces the risk associated with fitness and recreation facilities. Consider these general recommendations to help you manage typical fitness industry exposures and strengthen safety:

Improve the condition of your liability exposures.

  • Reduce injuries. Make sure sports fields and courts are in good condition and free of hazards, and free weights and other frequently used equipment are stored properly to reducing slipping or tripping.
  • Maintain exercise equipment, pools and spas. Implement and follow a scheduled maintenance program.
  • Use caution signs. Post them in shower, pool and sauna areas as reminders about the dangers of wet floors and other water hazards.
  • Inspect the premises on a regular basis. Ensure grounds are reasonably free of hazards and that parking areas are well maintained with adequate lighting.

Maintain the health of your property.

  • Avoid fires and damage to valuable equipment. Verify that there are sufficient electrical components and wiring, as well as proper grounding.
  • Prevent lint backup. Implement a scheduled maintenance program for removing lint associated with commercial laundry operations.
  • Prevent theft and embezzlement. Perform pre-employment background checks on candidates who will assume financial responsibilities.
  • Control burglaries. Limit and monitor access to your facility, including employee areas.
  • Discourage vandalism. Provide adequate lighting on the grounds and at building entrances, and consider installing closed-circuit surveillance.
  • Store chemicals in proper storage units in the original containers with original labels.
  • Keep chemical containers closed when not in use.
  • Protect sprinkler systems from leaking and pipes from freezing by following testing and maintenance recommendations.
  • Review special operations, such as cooking exposures or ice rink surfaces.

Enhance operational practices.

  • Implement a documented safety program. Stress your expectations for working safely and identify all exposures that may need to be addressed.
  • Train staff. Provide training on regular tasks and establish procedures for preventing strains and falls, handling cleaning supplies or chemicals, proper use of tools and equipment, abuse awareness, and administering first aid.
  • Reinforce procedures. Require staff to read printed safety information about chemicals and instructions on labels, and to follow them correctly.
  • Risk management. Have in place — and use — properly signed contracts with your vendors and other parties.

Contact your insurance agent for additional loss control recommendations and to review your facility’s insurance program.

This loss control information is advisory only. The author assumes no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article.


Jayson Scott has 15 years of experience as a commercial lines underwriter at The Cincinnati Insurance Company. Since 2014, he has supported Cincinnati’s growing fitness, sports and recreation program, initially as the program’s dedicated specialist and now as national program director. For more information, contact Jay, Jayson_Scott@cinfin.com or 513-603-5885. Please visit www.cinfin.com/fitness-sports for more information.

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