Believe it or not, there are a number of things that can go wrong in a Hotel Fitness Center. At some hotels, fitness centers are used frequently and tended to often to keep up with the crowd. However, hotels that may not have a lot of guest frequent their fitness center, may not have someone regularly assigned to the area to ensure guest safety, cleanliness of the center and properly working equipment. For instance, a puddle of water that has been trekked into the fitness center by someone from the nearby pool or water fountain and has gone unnoticed for several hours may cause someone to slip and fall and injure themselves. Or, if hotel staff have been informed that a treadmill was not working properly and did not act with reasonable care to fix it or prohibit use in a timely manner and that treadmill later throws a runner careening backward into other equipment, the hotel may be held liable for any injuries sustained by the guest. Anything can happen if the hotel does not have a strong task force of employees or takes reasonable and appropriate measures to ensure guest safety.
Equipment Selection and Faulty Equipment
Of all of the things that can go wrong, poor equipment selection and faulty gym equipment is at the top of the list. The hotel has the responsibility to select equipment that can stand up to the rigors of the facility. There are also options that the hotel has when it comes to lowering operator error and/or preventing the next person in line from sustaining an injury, such as: protected weight stacks, emergency stop buttons or pulls designed to immediately seize machine operation if there is a problem and posted cards displaying the type of the machine and how to properly use the machine/equipment. Even more, all hotel fitness centers should post the rules and regulations of the facility.
Injuries related to faulty equipment tend to skyrocket when the hotel does not have a preventative maintenance plan in place. Once the hotel staff is made aware of an unsafe or malfunctioning piece of equipment, it should be immediately documented in a log and signs posted to prohibit use of the area or equipment until it becomes safely operable again. A hotel can also be liable if they do not utilize the proper channels to fix a malfunctioning piece of equipment. For example, if the hotel does not call the contracted equipment manufacturer to send a company certified service professional, rather it elects to have their in-house general maintenance man take a crack at fixing the treadmill and it malfunctions again seriously injuring someone, the hotel may be held liable.
Fitness Center Layout and ADA Requirements
A gym is also responsible for providing a layout that is conducive to the nature of the active environment. The Americans with Disabilities Act or ADA requires all gyms to accommodate the needs of persons with disabilities. This translates to the design of appropriate counter heights, locations and heights of drinking fountains, widths of doorways, bathrooms and showers. A gym that does not adhere to the strict ADA guidelines could face both legal liability and extensive fines. In addition to conforming to ADA requirements, the hotel must provide clear and adequate walkways free of interference from the moving parts of workout machine.
Staff Training and Emergency Preparedness
From staffed and unstaffed hotel fitness centers to the employees working at the check-in desk, to the on-site contracted personal trainers, house keepers and maintenance men, there should always be a unified and thoroughly understood plan in place to prevent and handle emergencies. However, employees that are poorly trained and unqualified pose a significant threat to being able to appropriately handle such circumstances. Guests may make a decision to use hotel fitness center equipment in a certain way based on the unsound and unqualified advice of an employee or an employee who has been chosen to administer First Aid/CPR may lack confidence, proper and/or up to date training that they need to carry out the lifesaving procedures properly. This can result in added injury and/or even death to a hotel guest.
If you’ve been injured, call a personal injury attorney today
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury due to unmaintained or malfunctioning equipment at a hotel fitness center you may be able to seek compensation for your harms and losses. This is true even if you signed a limited liability release form to use the fitness center as it does not totally release the facility from the potential threat of lawsuits. People have the expectation that their needs will be taken care of when they stay at a hotel and when the hotel does not act with diligence to uphold basic safety standards throughout facility, inform guests of dangers, and properly train staff, they can be liable for injuries suffered by guests. Call us today for a free consultation to talk about the circumstances that lead to your injury and how we can help. We fight for you. (615) 425-2500