Welcome to the gym a place where things could go absolutely amazing or probably the opposite of that. It’s the place you put all your strength into working out for that “body goal’ and when you’re done you accidentally fall into a fast food place like KFC to reward yourself!
What are the things that come to mind when you enter a gym? Well besides the fact that there is probably a hottie behind you doing squats. We the (falcons/whatever the group name is) had no choice but to enter the gym with only one thing in mind, Hazards.
A hazard is an activity, arrangement, circumstance, event, occurrence, phenomenon, process, situation, or substance (whether arising or caused within or outside a place of work) that is an actual or potential cause or source of harm
So what sorts of hazard can we immediately identify with the association of the gym?
Well………. Probably everything ha! Me just thinking of the gym is a mental hazard lol just joking.
One of our team members have decided that they will no longer be working out at the UWI gym after conducting a risk assessment. It was our duty to assess the risk involved and find an appropriate mitigation action to convince him to start back working out with us.
Lets explore all the potential risk and hazards in UWI’s Gym.
When one thinks of the relationship between hazards and gymnasiums it is easy to go on and on about the hazards that we see. However, a different danger exists; one that has the potential to be all around us, all the time, one that we’re least aware of — biological hazards. Every gym has the potential to be rife with biological hazards, no different is the UWI gym. Bodily fluids and bacteria are everywhere in a gym, and they open up a world of potential hazards ranging from minute hazards to the most severe. A recent study showed that “at least 25 different type of bacteria can be found in gyms” (Mukherjee, 2014). So, what exactly are we dealing with every time we take a visit to the UWI gym? Let’s find out!
The first thing that comes to mind and that was most obvious upon doing a risk assessment was the potential danger of sweat. It may seem macho to sweat a lot in gyms and the amount of sweat can be seen as an indication of the intensity of the workouts. However, there is an underlying danger as a result of exposed sweat in gyms. Sweat provides an environment for our skin microbes to thrive and multiply. In addition to being completely turned off at the sight of dripping wet gym equipment, we are faced with the possibility of being in contact with Staphylococcus aureus or Golden Staph which is a “common bacterium that lives on the skin and some people’s noses” (Staphylococcus Aureus – Golden Staph, 2015).
Generally, most bacteria would not harm persons with very intact skin, a greater risk exists for those who have broken skin or skin related diseases. Our risk rating found that on aggregate sweat related hazards had a likelihood rating of 4 and a severity rating of 6, combining for a total risk rating of 24. This risk has the potential to impact anyone who uses the equipment or even comes into contact with it. This can be gym staff, gym members, or visitors.
What can be done then to lower the risks via sweat at the UWI gym? Well, we can be proactive. The UWI gym staff can enforce a policy which states that members are obligated to wipe down equipment after use, and impose penalties for non-compliance. Education of the dangers of lingering sweat could prove pivotal in changing the attitudes of members towards sweat hygiene in the gym. Another effective strategy is to employ the use of a proper cleaning regime. Bacteria can be tough and therefore we need to use tough means of mitigating contamination. Fitness website Club Industry provides a useful article on the proper way to clean a gym and its equipment: https://www.clubindustry.com/stepbystepvendorviewpoint/your-gym-being-cleaned-properly. Continue reading