It is the responsibility of any organization or business that reopens during the coronavirus pandemic to take certain precautions and take security measures to maximize the safety of employees, customers, and other parties. This includes sports and fitness organizations or recreational facilities.
These environments may require particularly strict restrictions and guidelines. Management should conduct thorough risk assessments of both the premises and permitted activities to comply with social distancing guidelines and reduce the likelihood of the spread of germs.
There are many ways facility management should attempt to minimize the risk of COVID-19 for local employees.
A reduced maximum capacity may be required for social distancing measures to be met. Organizations should adhere to government recommendations and requirements and consider the nature of certain activities, such as: B. how much exercise is required. Certain activities or classes that cannot be adapted for social distancing or other safety needs may need to be suspended.
Precautions should be taken to limit contact between guests and staff.
The use of changing rooms and shower facilities can be reduced by encouraging members to arrive with their sports equipment on. Members should also be advised to travel home to shower or remove their workout clothes.
Facilities should also use visual indicators such as signage and floor markings to control social distancing and traffic flow around the premises. Entrances, exits and other high-traffic areas should be regulated and monitored to prevent people from congregating close together. Introducing more one-way streets through a facility can help reduce the risk of spreading germs and reduce potential traffic jams. If a building has more than one door, you should determine that one door should only be used by people entering the facility and another should be used for leaving.
For facilities that may previously have had a spectator element, it is generally recommended that spectators and non-participants are not allowed to enter the premises. In the event that spectators are present, the following precautions should be observed:
- Control the number of spectators by pre-booking, ticketing or other controls at the entrances.
- Make sure viewers follow social distancing guidelines.
- Clearly mark the areas where spectators are allowed.
- In cases where a child is participating in an activity at the facility, only one parent or carer per child is allowed to participate and watch.
It is important for organizations to keep employees and visitors informed and regularly reminded of security measures in order to maximize compliance.
Providing adequate ventilation and air circulation in a facility is an important step in reducing risk. In particular, management should prioritize areas where high-intensity exercise activities are taking place by implementing these measures:
- Limit the maximum occupancy of interior furnishings to a minimum of 100 m² per person.
- Make sure ventilation systems are providing 100 percent fresh air and not circulating air between areas.
Other safety aspects related to ventilation are:
- Increase the existing ventilation rate by opening the dampers fully and running the fans at full speed
- Operation of the ventilation system 24 hours a day
- Increase the frequency of filter changes
- Using a carbon dioxide sensor with no known ventilation rates to serve as an indicator of when to turn on additional mechanical ventilation or open additional windows
All organizations had to further emphasize and prioritize cleaning their premises amid the pandemic. For sports and fitness facilities, this means doing a thorough cleaning of the entire area before reopening and continuing to maintain thorough cleanliness on a regular basis.
Exercise areas and equipment such as mats and weights should be cleaned or disinfected after each use. Provide spray, wipes, and instructions for the user to follow these precautions. If devices cannot be cleaned between users, they should not be available for use.
Visitors and staff should be constantly reminded to follow good hygiene practices such as proper hand washing. Management should post signs reminding guests of these practices and also provide verbal reminders for those who may have vision problems. Hand sanitizer should be provided in multiple locations throughout the facility.
Caution is the key
As the UK continues its recovery process, it is important that all organizations and facilities that are allowed to reopen are aware of the threat posed by a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases. In places like sports and gyms or recreational facilities, the risk of transmitting COVID-19 is a threat that needs to be taken seriously.
The NHS continues to track down cases of COVID-19. Therefore, facilities should temporarily keep a record of the names and contact information of customers and visitors for the past 21 days. In the case of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the field, it is important to provide the data to the NHS and to contact other potentially infected people in order to contain a potentially widespread outbreak.
For more information on facility safety during the coronavirus pandemic, please contact one of our brokers.
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