Locker rooms are inherently dangerous due to liquid accumulation, smooth tiles, the absence of footwear, low traction, electrical devices such as blow dryers, and theft. Locker rooms are considered the most dangerous area in a fitness facility, and slip and fall accidents are the biggest hazard in this location. Proprietors of fitness establishments are required by the state and their insurance companies to put in place preventative measures to reduce the probability of incident in locker rooms.
What ways could proprietors protect their patrons from accidents inside a locker room?
Locker Room Safety Guidelines
Although locker rooms are highly hazardous for a variety of reasons, there are proactive measures that facility managers could undertake to maintain a safe and secure area for their patrons.
Most locker rooms are required by several states to have specialized anti-slip, high-traction, textured tile flooring in order to prevent slip and falls. In addition to the specific type floors to prevent slip and fall accidents, proper implementation of a locker room matting system should be in place. Most locker room mats are anti-slip, anti-fungal, and porous for maximum drainage of water.
Install signs all over the locker room to warn patrons and give appropriate instructions in specific areas. For example, patrons should be warned about leaving their belongings in an unlocked locker or the dangers of shower areas. Patrons must be aware and on their guard for potential dangerous situations in the locker rooms. Information is vital in high traffic areas. Prior warning will also reduce the level of responsibility and liability of the premises manager or owner.
Make sure that these signs are visible at all times. Patrons must be aware of their existence. These signs serve as a communication between management and the members, so remember that signs must be put in place in a relevant, highly visible area.
Signs for the exits, entrances, the sauna, and showers must be clear and direct. Forewarn the clients about the potential dangers they could encounter in these areas.
Aside from installing proactive accident prevention measures, proprietors must assign an employee to serve as a supervisor in these areas. Safety and security can only be achieved with proper personal supervision from the management. While signs and non-slip flooring bring awareness to patrons in a passive way, having an actual person watching the locker rooms will prevent other dangers that neither signs nor floor mats could prevent, i.e. thieves. Assigning an employee to watch the locker rooms can also help in other emergencies, in addition to being a theft deterrent.
Have an emergency plan. With many patrons using the locker room, it is an absolute necessity to plan for any contingencies that could occur. Emergencies such as accidents, heart attacks, strokes, thefts, must be taken into consideration when creating a safety plan.
Empower your employees by having an emergency protocol in which they can remember and follow should any event arise. Practice these plans regularly. By putting several contingency plans in place, employees will be able to take care of the facility and the patrons with confidence and sureness.
Locker Room Matting for Floor Safety
The slickness of locker room floors can be greatly reduced by implementing a locker room matting system. Locker room mats are essential in providing traction and preventing slip and fall accidents. These floor mats will provide sufficient traction for patrons as they walk through these high traffic areas. These specialized floor mats act as drainage, funneling water underneath for a dry top surface. Locker room mats prevent slip and fall accidents by managing water accumulation for a safe and secure area.
“Signage, Supervision Keys to Keeping Locker Rooms Safe.” Athletic Business. Accessed 1 April 2013.