Boston—August 30, 2018—Injuries can happen at any time in a gym. When they do, it’s important that club staff know how to properly manage the situation and avoid liability issues.

For guidance in a difficult situation, IHRSA created Injury Liability: An IHRSA Briefing Paper—a new resource that will provide club operators with information on how to reduce risks of injury and liability in a health club setting, how effective waivers can protect against liability, and how to take appropriate action when an injury occurs.

Owners should prepare for a possible injury by reviewing the guidelines outlined in the briefing paper. This resource is invaluable and provides answers to a number of questions, which include:

  • In general, what is a health club operator’s responsibility regarding the safety of members and guests?

  • Can waivers and releases protect a club from liability?

  • What are the elements found in an effective waiver?

  • In states where waivers are prohibited or rarely enforced, what can a club do to reduce the risk of a lawsuit?

  • What steps can a club take to minimize liability associated with exercise equipment?

  • What should my staff do when someone is injured at the club?

  • Is the club liable if an injured member used exercise equipment improperly or excessively?

  • Can club owners be held responsible for injuries caused by another member or an outsider?

  • How can a club reduce its liability if it is found negligent?

IHRSA members can access the briefing paper for free by logging into the IHRSA website. Club operators shouldn’t have to cope with legal liability-induced headaches on top of managing a successful business. With the new IHRSA resource, operators can learn how to avoid any landmines that could have a harmful impact on their club.

IHRSA’s legal briefing papers cover a wide range of topics, including employment law, harassment, injury liability, hiring independent contractors, and overseeing kids in your club and are available exclusively for IHRSA members to download on the IHRSA website. It is important to note that the information contained within these documents should not be considered legal advice. Members with questions after reading should contact IHRSA public policy or share the briefing paper with a qualified attorney in their area of concern. Sharing this information with an attorney will save club operators a significant amount in research costs charged by legal professionals.