In Service Meetings For Safety’s Sake! Part 2

Consultant visit. A visit by an experienced consultant can be an excellent meeting, as you will get a different perspective. This could be someone from another fitness center, a college professor who is knowledgeable in exercise programs and/or risk management, or a professional consultant in the health/fitness industry.

Legal meeting. An hour with a lawyer may convince your staff of their legal duties, and remind them of the proliferation of lawsuits in the industry. All employees have duties as stated by the standards of care. These standards are there for a reason, and are not to be taken lightly.

General duties. One meeting should cover the general duties of care for every employee. These duties are to warn, to offer appropriate equipment/facilities, to offer proper instruction, to supervise, to offer appropriate progressive conditioning, to offer post-injury care and more.

Proper supervision. You should dedicate at least one safety in-service meeting to discussing the skills required for supervision. Many injuries are due to a failure to properly supervise. Being present is only the first step to correct supervision. Where is the the best place to stand? Should you stand or should you walk around the area? Should you be in the middle of the area or on the perimeter? What is the technique of “scanning?”

Walk-through. Conduct a walk-through meeting where you and your staff members go to various pieces of equipment and areas to evaluate them for safety. You can even create several hazards in an exercise room and invite your staff to find them.

Emergency plans. Have a meeting to review your emergency plans. What do you do when there is a problem? What is step one? This could be in conjunction with a first aid and CPR review.

Safety checklist. Use one meeting to create a safety checklist for your site. It is reasonable to use published safety checklists as a base, but develop a checklist for your own programs and site. Once a checklist is created, use it. Monitoring your facility using your individualized safety checklist could be another one of your in-service meetings.

Open session. Hold an open in-service meeting and ask everyone to come prepared to offer something for discussion. You should also have several subjects ready to discuss.

One good topic is to discuss recent law cases. Describe the situation and ask your staff members to be the judge. It can bring to light potential problems within your own facility.

Prevention is key

Safety oriented in-service programs won’t eliminate all problems and injuries, but they can decrease injuries and their too-often aftermath — a lawsuit. If a lawsuit does occur, you can demonstrate that you have been a reasonable, prudent professional. Your in-service safety programs are an example of that professionalism.