A gym can be a hazardous environment if not well maintained with appropriate health and safety measures in place and claims against a gyms insurance can hit huge figures if there is a serious accident. Here we list of most common insurance claims in gyms, and what your policy may stipulate you need to have done in order to successfully defend your claim.
RECORD KEEPING ON ALL INDUCTION TRAINING
A member suffered an injury whilst using a machine at the gym. The gym had offered induction training but the member had refused on the grounds that he was an experienced gym goer. There was, however, no record of this exchange and the gym had to accept liability. For each member it is imperative that the gym keeps a record of their induction training, or a signature from member stating they have refused. Up to date records should also be kept on all staff demonstrating their compliance with health and safety procedures.
ENSURING ALL PT’S HAVE THEIR OWN LIABILITY INSURANCE
A fitness instructor takes kick boxing classes at your gym. During the class, someone is injured because they were too inexperienced for the routine that was set, and proceed to make a claim.. As the instructor was not properly insured, the claim falls on to the gym’s own insurance. The claim therefore sits with the gym and could impact on their claim record and future premiums. In some cases, this could also be a breach of policy conditions and an insurer could refuse to provide an indemnity. Make sure all PT’s have their own liability insurance and you have a record of it is good practice as a gym owner when you allow PT’s to use your space. You should recommend also that they have their own Personal Accident insurance.
ENSURING GYM FLOOR IS KEPT TIDY
We all know how messy gym floors can get, especially during busy periods. Free weights left lying around can cause all sorts of hazards. One member doing a heavy lift may step back and trip on a loose free weight and be seriously hurt. Having signs asking members to return weights properly, and training staff to spot situations that could cause harm can be essential in preventing accidents. CCTV where appropriate here can also help.
MAKING SURE EQUIPMENT IS WELL MAINTAINED
Weights machines are often put through their paces with members. Any that are not maintained regularly can be very hazardous. Keeping a log of all maintenance checks is also key. Faulty or poorly maintained equipment is a common cause of claim and in some incidents, can be the most damaging to the user with serious problems such as loss of finger. It is a duty of care all gym operators have to their members and staff to ensure all equipment is safe to operate.
KEEP APPROPRIATE SIGNAGE EG WET FLOOR
The most common causes of accidents that lead to a claim is slips trips and falls. Many of these occur where floor surfaces are wet or uneven, eg in showers or the car park. Are your stairs safe? We all know that feeling after leg day of being unsteady on your feet. Any claim is far more likely to be successful where there is an absence of clear and effective warning signs and/or cleaning logs and records. In the case of stairs, make sure bannisters are secured, in some cases where gym areas can be dark make sure each step is well lit.
If you wish to find out more about our gym insurance products, please see here