Rules and Regulations
This is a somewhat tricky area really. Although a gym is a potential minefield for injuries and accidents there is no equivalent of, for example, the Food Standards Agency where exact safety guidelines for the industry are laid out. Obviously your gym would have to conform to basic standards according to the Health and Safety Executive, which would cover both the users of the gym and its staff. If an accident occurred, you would also be investigated by the HSE, so it’s in your best interests to be rigorous about safety procedures.
A good guideline to follow would be the FIA’s code of practice which details the minimum requirements for any fitness centre to be awarded their stamp of approval. The FIA request that all fitness centres comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Under the code of practice all staff must have adequate safety training and there must be an appropriate number of first-aiders in relation to the size of the club – only HSE approved first aid courses count. All fitness instructors should be trained to the standards required by the Register of Exercise Professionals.
All equipment including fitness equipment as well as lifts, electrical appliances, boilers etc must be kept in a safe condition and regularly inspected by appropriate people. All gym equipment must by maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, with all checks and maintenance documented, and records kept on site.
Of course you will also be legally bound by employer legislation for any instructors or other staff members you take on. Another important thing to remember is that if you have a café or food area on site you will need to comply with Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs and the Food Hygiene Regulations 2006.