Accidents will happen… and they can happen at hotel gyms if proper precautions aren’t in place. Some of the worst injuries happen in workout settings. A guest trips over a kettle ball left on the floor while someone else tries yoga and sprains their back.
So how can hotels mitigate risks at their onsite fitness facilities? Aside from having the right hotel insurance coverage, here are some ways hotels can keep their gyms safe.
Equipment and workout spaces in hotel gyms:
- Invest in the equipment. Ensure machines are well designed and come from a well-reviewed manufacturer. For example, a poorly designed treadmill that jams during a high-speed workout session could cause a serious injury. Also, better machines are likely to work longer before needing to be replaced. Hotels that invest more up front for gym equipment can considerably reduce their costs and hassle.
- Check gym equipment on a daily basis to ensure it is operating correctly. You should also have a maintenance contract in place to adequately maintain that the equipment is in proper working order.
- Keep a phone in the gym to dial out in case of emergencies.
- Supervise the area. You don’t want loose gym equipment scattered around after guest work outs. In addition to putting up signs requesting that guests put back their equipment, have a staff member supervise the area. Have housekeeping inspect throughout the day to ensure the area is kept orderly and safe. Also, fitness rooms need to be monitored remotely by cameras.
- Instructors can also help keep work-out areas safe by putting away any equipment left out by guests after class. This prevents slips and trips, and keeps the area tidy and appealing.
- Keep gym equipment and usage proportional to the space. If a hotel wants to offer guests a full-service gym, the size of the room needs to be big enough for those accommodations. Overcrowded workout spaces pose all sorts of dangers, including weights falling and injuring someone nearby, or trip and fall incidents. Also, it’s a good idea to have easy-to-read signs asking guests to put their equipment away and not to crowd other guests.
Instructor contracts and certificates:
- Require instructors to have the proper certifications as part of their employment, or third party contract. Many states now even require yoga instructors to be certified. This not only protects hotel guests from injuries, but also the instructor.
- The contract with the instructor should require them adhere to all hotel safety regulations.
- With third party contractors, there must be proof of insurance with adequate limits and add the hotel as an additional insured on the policy.
- It’s a good idea to have a clause in the contract saying that instructors are responsible for leaving the gym area up to safety and cleanliness standards — the latter is especially important in the era of COVID-19. Wipe down all areas and ask the instructors to remind guests to clean their own equipment such as yoga mats, weights, etc.
- The contract should require that instructors supervise their exercise classes. This incentivizes fitness instructors to not just teach their classes but to take careful note of their participants, for their physical safety.
- Require all class participants to sign a liability waiver that was approved by the hotel’s legal team.
- Have the contract state that the instructor is required to ask if it is anyone’s first time taking the class, or if anyone has any injuries or physical issues before the class. This is important information for a responsible instructor to know and helps with class supervision and accommodations for modifying poses (in yoga) or weightlifting (for conditioning classes).
Finally, make sure your hotel clients have the right coverage to cover these exposures. With Distinguished Hotel Primary Program, your hotel clients will have the right coverage with access to the experts.