HCM June 2020

Page 72


Reopen with CONFIDENCE As the health and fitness industry gears up for reopening, Caroline Constantine, MD of Right Directions, shares critical guidance about safe operating procedures



ess than a month from the rumoured reopening date and health clubs and leisure centres are planning ahead and strategising ways to recoup some of the losses they’ve suffered as a result of the pandemic. We’re offering them our free COVID-19 Health and Safety Remobilisation Plan and Checklist which provides a framework to help businesses to reopen with confidence, based around the ‘Four S’s’: spacing, sanitising, signage and smiling. We’d recommend operators consider appointing a dedicated COVID-19 officer to oversee the writing of plans and risk assessments and ensure staff are appropriately trained and carrying out any changes to their roles effectively.

● It’s important to consider how you’ll get people in, around and out of your buildings while ensuring social distancing is maintained. If we do nothing else, we need to keep people apart. It’s the key control measure. Every building is different, and each one will have a bespoke approach; that might mean a barrier at the main door, a new exit route, one-way systems around a facility or dots on the floor. ● Walk the building as if you were a customer. Start at reception and walk the route to each activity area. Look at where there may be bottlenecks and consider how you can stop that happening. Ensure you do this with someone that doesn’t know the building as well – they’ll see things from a different perspective. ● The number of people in the building at any one time needs to be carefully managed, so ensure customers book online and limit the length of their session so there’s adequate time between sessions. If you have a sports hall you can use for classes which involve more movement, such as circuits, make arrangements to expand into this space. Consider holding classes outside to enable more people to take part.



Have someone at the door dispensing hand sanitiser


June 2020 ©Cybertrek 2020

● Provide hand sanitiser or hand washing stations before significant touch points, for example activity areas and stairwells. If your members’ hands are clean they won’t be transferring any virus on to the equipment. Have someone at the door giving out hand sanitiser, explaining the new rules and reassuring members. ● Cleaning programmes should be reviewed to ensure touch point areas, such as lockers, door handles, handrails, benches, staffroom microwaves and kettles, are cleaned regularly and thoroughly. Don’t worry so much about less frequented areas, there isn’t a bottomless pit to pay for cleaning, so if your regime was to disinfect the bottom of the bins every week, just clean the top more often instead.