As a purestretch Instructor you will realise how important Health and Safety is.
Without the proper procedures in place, you are increasing the chances of someone getting injured.
When you attend a class or go the gym you’ll see weight benches, running machines, and yoga mats. Begin to think about these, in terms of hazard and consider how they could become a potential risk for an injury, for example someone falling backwards off a stability ball, slipping on a mat… etc.
Teaching purestretch in a gym or hall has its responsibilities.
You are responsible for creating an environment that’s healthy and safe.
It is important to have your own Health and Safety procedure in place in case something goes wrong. If you keep a vigilant eye on your Health and Safety procedure … you can keep you and your class safe.
You Health and Safety Procedure will involve the following:
- What steps to take to conduct a risk assessment?
- Maintenance requirements for a safe environment
- How to introduce new members to your class?
- Insurance (this is covered in chapter 10)
The steps to take to conduct a risk assessment to ensure safe environment:
You should make sure regular checks are made. Even if it doesn’t feel like it’s your job, you should report to the person responsible any issues that need to be fixed.
- The building – Entry and exit points should be clear and easy to use, check for any trip hazards. Inspect roofs and windows for potential leaks and that internal walls and doors are sound.
- Temperature – There are no specific gym regulations on temperature, but a comfortable 16 -18 °C is suggested. Make sure your customers are comfortable and adjust heating and cooling where needed.
- Equipment – These need to be checked regularly for faults or wear and tear.
- Facility layout – There should be adequate space for your participants to safely exercise. There also needs to be safe access around the gym /hall so fire exits are easy to get to.
- Testing fire alarms – Fire alarms should be tested and be familiar with the Fire drills.
- Evacuation routes and assembly points – Make it part of your risk assessment to check that evacuation route and assembly point information is clearly displayed.
- Cleaning procedures and schedules – Regular cleaning of equipment and make sure you use the right products to do so.
As a self-employed purestretch Instructor you will need to do your own health and safety assessment, and this should be done on an ongoing basis.
Consider making a fresh risk assessment when:
- New equipment is installed
- A new class or activity is being introduced.
- Equipment is rearranged around the gym.
- You repair or replace any equipment.
- An accident or injury occurs.
Take clear and specific steps when making a risk assessment and be sure to record everything you assess and the problems that crop up.
From here you can develop your own health and safety assessment checklist.
Your records need to reflect:
- That you did a proper check of your facility
- You considered who was going to be affected by risks.
- All obvious and significant risks were dealt with in accordance with the chance of there being a problem.
- Your mitigating actions were reasonable, and things are now low risk.
Procedures need to be in place for fire and major first aid accidents.
Introducing new members to your class
Another key element is to make sure that your members know what the purpose of the class is.
Not everyone understands about flexibility, cardio, core strength and each person will have different goals. It’s important to understand what your new member is looking for.
It’s also your chance to understand what your customer wants from your class, helping you target your class content towards this. You can assess how much help they will need in class. At this point you may need to give guidance on general exercise before they take part in class
A Par – Q is a physical activity questionnaire and should be completed by every new member. It gives you the general health information you need to know to ensure that your participants are ready to exercise or need to speak to their GP first.
You need to make sure your customers know how to use all equipment safely.
Another vital element of health and safety is keeping equipment clean. Be sure your customer knows where to get cleaning wipes for mats and equipment.
Do you need an accident book?
An accident book is a legal document where all serious accidents and near misses should be recorded.
What constitutes an accident? First, the accident needs to be work related. That means that it happened because of one of three things:
- How you or your customer’s activity was being carried out or supervised.
- If any substance or equipment in your facility was involved.
- What condition the facility was in at the time the accident happened, for example … wet floors.
Once you’ve decided the accident was work related, you need to establish if the incident is reportable.
If the injury is work related and requires the person to go direct to hospital for treatment. (However, I would be inclined to log any accidental incidents that occur)
Since you’re working with the public, having a record of any serious injuries will ensure that you’ve fulfilled your legal requirements.
You may choose to carry out a new risk assessment after an accident to a participant is reported. This may help prevent the same thing from happening again.
Health and safety at your facility is important. It will keep you and your class safe and protect your reputation as a purestretch Instructor.
All the resources you need to help you and your business including Risk assessment, Par Q and Accident template will be available once you have completed your course.