2023 Safety & Health Tips for Fitness Businesses

Safety and health violations aren’t worth the potential consequences. Keep your health and fitness facility safe by complying with OSHA regulations explained by IHRSA partner Grainger.

In the Occupational Safety and Health world, there is, unfortunately, always a new example to point at that shows a mistake. The consequences of safety and health violations are often dire and, in every case I’ve seen, completely avoidable.

Each year, OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) reveals which regulations have been violated most often by employers across the U.S. According to OSHA data, in 2021, employers recorded an alarming 5,190 fatal work injuries—an 8.9% increase from 2020. The fatal work injury rate was 3.6 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, up from 3.4 per 100,000 FTEs in 2020.

At IHRSA 2023, myself and Chantal Dryer will present OSHA’s top 10 most cited violations and why it matters to the health of your employees and your brand. Join us on Monday, March 20, at noon for our session, How to Prevent Workplace Injuries and Remain Compliant With OSHA Standards.

Most Common OSHA Cited Violations

Below are just a few of the top 10 most frequently cited standards by federal OSHA from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021:

  • Fall Protection

  • Respiratory Protection, general industry

  • Ladders

  • Hazard Communication, general industry

  • Control of Hazardous Energy (lockout/tagout—procedures used to ensure that equipment is shut down and inoperable until maintenance or repair work is complete), general industry

  • Eye and Face Protection

These violations are fairly consistent year to year and, most of the time, change spots but remain in the top 10.

So, what is the leading cause of injury in the U.S.? It may not be surprising that musculoskeletal disorders—e.g., muscle strains and sprains—are the most common workplace injury in the U.S.—266,530 occurred in 2021.

Grainger 23 CV Strain Column Width

As a health and fitness industry professional, you may not be shocked that an alarming number of folks aren’t in the best shape to perform physical work and often do physical tasks improperly. Correct lifting form and body motion are a struggle for all employers. Ergonomists consistently work on training programs focused on ergonomics and how to modify equipment to ensure proper machine mechanics for better body motion.

If you were to look at ways to reduce your chance of having an injury at work, you would focus on these three hazards, which account for 84% of all nonfatal injuries at work:

  1. Overexertion and bodily reaction

  2. Slips, trips, and falls

  3. Contact with objects and equipment

We know that keeping employees safe is an essential business practice and should be at the top of our list when it comes to our priorities. You should always complete a cost-benefit analysis when making a decision on where to focus resources; however, the cost of safety and health is very high both with employees and the consumers your business serves.

Workplace injuries and illnesses cost the U.S. an estimated $250 billion yearly. The opportunity to avoid considerable costs from increased workers’ compensation rates, OSHA citations, and third-party liability is substantial.

IHRSA Member Benefits: Safety Resources

One of the benefits of being an IHRSA member is access to resources that help you and your business stay safe with knowledge sharing and innovative solutions. Grainger is proud to partner with IHRSA and its members to provide the correct products, services, and resources to make your business more compliant, reduce injuries, reduce your exposure to risk, and remain productive.

Grainger has a team of technical specialists that support our customers with questions they may have regarding products or regulations.

Grainger 23 CV Column Width Listing Image

We recognize that having defined environmental, health, and safety (EHS) operational controls and the efficient use of technology is critical in managing any effective EHS program. As a fitness club owner, operator, or manager, your time is limited—no doubt! The ability to quickly find, select, and provide the approved safety products for employees, which are specific to the hazards and risks at your business, is critical, as is the ability to control the actual selection and management process of safety inventory.

There's so much to think about when it comes to safety compliance. Attend our session at IHRSA 2023, How to Prevent Workplace Injuries and Remain Compliant With OSHA Standards, where we’ll review all of this information, evaluate emergency preparedness, and more. Attend to support the industry, connect with Grainger, and get the most out of your IHRSA membership!

Related Articles & Publications

  • No-cost Strategies to Make Your Health Club More Inclusive

  • Fitness Veterans Explain How Gyms Can Attract All Generations

  • Bring Back Your Health Club & Gym Members

Author avatar

Mike Carroll

Mike Carroll, CSP, CSHO, is a safety consultant for Grainger. He boasts 25 years of EHS experience (safety management of a large paper facility) and Labor and Industries (OSHA Compliance, Consultation, Reassumptions). His specific industry experience includes Special Government Employee (SGE), Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), Taproot Investigation, and Reid Investigational Technics.