FAQs For Managing Gyms & Pools In Residential Blocks
It’s now relatively common for blocks or estates in London to have a gym and in some cases a pool as well. Many new developments incorporate them as part of the build whilst older properties are often adapted to accommodate them. Having a gym or a pool does however raise questions regarding the correct policies for managing either facility.
Here we have compiled a list of rapid-fire FAQs to provide guidelines for managing your gym and pool. Whilst this list is not exhaustive, it should help provide food for thought regarding the range of factors you will need to consider.
Q1: Do all residents need to complete an induction before they can use the gym?
Whilst it is not mandatory for users of a gym to complete an induction, it does of course serve a good purpose for their own safety. During the induction, new gym users can also complete a waiver form.
Q2: Do residents need to complete any other paperwork?
It is advised that gym users also complete and sign a ‘PAR Q’ (Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire). If PAR Qs are in place these must be checked and the users should provide a GP referral if need be.
Q3: Can anyone deliver the inductions?
No, only someone with a REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals) qualification should give inductions.
Q4: Do we need a formal system for controlling access to the gym?
Yes, the use of fobs or access codes would be common options. The system should be renewed regularly, such as fobs being replaced or having a timer, or access codes being changed.
Q5: Does the equipment need to be checked occasionally?
Yes, the equipment should be checked regularly, at least once a month.
Q6: Are there rules regarding where equipment can be installed in a room?
Yes, you should follow the installation guidelines for each piece of equipment, for example, there must be at least a 2m walk-off behind a treadmill.
Q7: Can we play televisions in the gym?
Yes, but if you are broadcasting live TV or films etc, you will require an MPLC (Motion Picture Licensing Company) licence.
Q8: Should we place an age restriction on the gym users?
Whilst there is no requirement to age-restrict access to the gym (assuming no age-related health issues make it advisable) it is recommended that users who are under 16 have written permission from their parents.
Q9: Should personal trainers be allowed to use the gym with the residents?
This is of course your choice, but assuming you do allow access, the personal trainer should provide qualification and insurance documents. The Management Company might also consider charging them per session.
Q1: Should we limit who uses the pool and when they use it?
It is recommended that you create an environment that suits all of your residents. This might include restricting access for younger users during certain times of the day or allocating areas of the pool for particular activities for other times.
Q2: Is a lifeguard mandatory?
No, but if you do use lifeguards they should be appropriate for the age, size needs of the residents and of course be sufficient for the occupancy level. If you do not use lifeguards, this needs to be made clear to the pool users (see the later question about signs).
Q3: Should we have a policy regarding guest visitors?
Yes, if you allow non-resident visitors, it is advisable to have a policy for them, including what they are allowed to use and what the limit is for the number of guests.
Q4: Should there be an age limit for users of the pool
Yes, for younger users there should be a clear policy regarding the age at which the child should be accompanied by an adult and also the ratio of adults to children.
Q5: What types of signage do we need to display?
There are various signs that must be clearly visible, including;
- Pool depth sign: this must be at least 70mm in height and on a contrasting colour to the wall it is mounted on; it also must be visible from the point where users are exiting the changing rooms and from the pool.
- No diving sign: this must be visible as soon as pool users come out of the pool and around the pool area.
- No lifeguarding sign: this must be displayed in the changing rooms and immediately as pool users come out of the changing rooms.
- House rules sign: any other house rules relating to using the pool, such as showering before entering the pool, no balls games or inflatables etc, must also be clearly displayed.
Q6: What rescue equipment should be available?
Items such as a reach pole, throw bag, and torpedo buoy must be easily accessible. It is best to have at least two different options available regarding rescue equipment. The big plastic life rings are not to be used any longer and should be replaced with foam rings.
Q7: Should the pool have an alarm for emergencies?
It is not mandatory to have an alarm, but if you do install one there should of course be someone to respond to it whenever the pool is open. The alarm would then need to tested every day.
Q8: What safety training should pool staff receive?
As a minimum, it is necessary for staff to have passed a first aid course and received the pool responder qualification.
Q9: Should there be a defibrillator on site?
A defibrillator is not mandatory, but if one is available then it is recommended that it is checked weekly and the results of the checks documented. During the check it is important to ensure that there is enough charge in the battery of the defibrillator. The batteries usually last for approximately three years. Of course using a defibrillator in areas where there is water adds complications, so the victim should be out of the water and their chest quickly dried before administering.
If you require a specialist management company for your property, block, or estate, get in touch with us today.