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Risk Management Tips for Warm Weather

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Brian Rawlings, the practice leader for FITLIFE®, shares risk management tips to ensure your location is ready for the eager summer crowds.

Summer is here, and this season will be busier than ever as people get outside after a year and a half of isolation. With pools, clubs and gyms opening for the first time in 18 months, owners and managers need to prepare for the risks that come with what might be one of the busiest summer seasons we have ever seen. 

In addition to more traffic, many locations are planning for large parties and celebrations to make up for the lost year, and they should. We are all ready to get outside, see people and enjoy moving past the pandemic. That said, larger events carry their own risks, and owners need to be ready to protect the health and safety of their guests, staff and facilities. 

This summer, keep the following risk management tips in mind as you reopen your businesses:

Check your certifications. For pools and water, make sure all lifeguards are up to date on the CPR and lifeguarding certifications. Getting certified was a challenge in 2020, and many veteran lifeguards may have unknowingly let their certifications expire.

Know your area’s vaccination rates and rules. While it is impossible to check guests for vaccinations, most regions and states have vaccination rates publicly available. Being aware of this, as well as any persisting rules regarding gatherings from your state and town, will help inform your decisions and keep you out of hot water this summer.

Watch out for the “go big or go home” mentality. As we plan our summer events, keep in mind you are likely going to have higher attendance than in 2019. Make sure you have extra staff at the ready to help manage the crowds and ensure they are properly trained and prepared to handle the high attendance and potentially rowdy crowds. Consider encouraging guests to pre-register. 

Double check your equipment. After two winters and a summer of sitting idle, many pieces of summer equipment need to be inspected, repaired and potentially replaced before summer celebrations commence. Many states and regions require up-to-date inspections, and it will behoove you to make sure you have the required paperwork on hand when they come to call, avoiding a potential delayed opening or even a shutdown.

Keep the party manageable. Many clubs serve alcohol, and there is nothing wrong with beating the heat with a cold drink. However, with large groups of people who have been cooped up for over a year, the risk of people enjoying a bit too much summer fun will exist. Make sure all your staff are not over-serving guests, and that outside alcohol, if allowed, is being properly managed.

It’s time to get back out there and safely enjoy the summer. By following the above steps, you can ensure your location is ready for the eager summer crowds.

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Brian Rawlings

Brian Rawlings is Practice Leader for FITLIFE, which insures fitness facilities, health clubs & spas, for Venture Programs. He can be reached by phone at 800-282-6247 ext.323 or email: brawlings@ventureprograms.com.  

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