Health and safety

New Zealand Fitness - - INDUSTRY NEWS -

This is the “bor­ing but nec­es­sary” stuff. For the New Zealand pub­lic, it’s im­por­tant to know that their fa­cil­ity and trainer(s) have health and safety cen­tral to how their busi­ness op­er­ates. So what’s the NZ ex­er­cise in­dus­try do­ing about it?

Health and safety com­pli­ance is right up there with do­ing your taxes and pos­si­bly only slightly be­low get­ting a park­ing ticket, when it comes to how ap­peal­ing it is to most small busi­nesses. How­ever, at the same time it’s clear that it’s an ab­so­lute ne­ces­sity for both ex­er­cise pro­fes­sion­als, and fa­cil­i­ties in New Zealand and only grow­ing in its im­por­tance.

In April this year, new health and safety laws will come into ef­fect and with it, a sig­nif­i­cant in­creased li­a­bil­ity for both di­rec­tors, as well as man­age­ment of fa­cil­i­ties. In the case of per­sonal train­ers and group ex­er­cise/ in­struc­tors that are con­trac­tors (our re­search in­di­cates this is around three quar­ters of all per­sonal train­ers in New Zealand),

there are also new li­a­bil­i­ties and con­sid­er­a­tions. Not only do fa­cil­i­ties need to con­sider safety for em­ploy­ees, but also of clients / mem­bers and other users of the fa­cil­i­ties. The later fo­cus also ap­plies to con­tracted per­sonal train­ers and group ex­er­cise in­struc­tors.

What’s also clear is that for the va­ri­ety of small busi­ness own­ers, this is just one of the many leg­isla­tive / com­pli­ance is­sues that can eas­ily get in the too hard bas­ket and as a re­sult, just gets left. What we do know for cer­tain is that this ap­proach is a dis­as­ter wait­ing to hap­pen and which ul­ti­mately would not only be cat­a­strophic for the in­di­vid­ual / busi­ness con­cerned, but also for the greater in­dus­try.

As a re­sult of this, for the last six months Ex­er­ciseNZ has been de­vel­op­ing a new health and safety re­source for both fa­cil­i­ties and in­de­pen­dent con­trac­tors. It is due to be re­leased this month. The idea be­hind it is that this goes be­yond just iden­ti­fy­ing what to do, but more im­por­tantly pro­vide sim­ple and ef­fec­tive

“how to do it” guides and check­lists, as well as sam­ple tem­plates for com­mon ac­tiv­i­ties.

This is an ex­am­ple of Ex­er­ciseNZ in­vest­ing sig­nif­i­cant re­sources into an area that af­fects the en­tire in­dus­try to de­liver an out­come that ben­e­fits ev­ery­one in the in­dus­try. Our mantra is “fo­cus on the big things that ef­fects ev­ery­one so that the fa­cil­i­ties and train­ers can fo­cus on their own busi­ness” – that’s where we can re­ally add value, which is in­cluded as part of REPs reg­is­tra­tion for ex­er­cise pro­fes­sion­als.

Fa­cil­i­ties who are mem­bers of Ex­er­ciseNZ will re­ceive their guide within the next two months and ex­er­cise pro­fes­sion­als regis­tered with the Reg­is­ter of Ex­er­cise Pro­fes­sion­als will re­ceive an up­date at the same time, through their com­pli­men­tary ex­er­cise pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­ate mem­ber­ship to Ex­er­ciseNZ.

For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion, con­tact the Ex­er­ciseNZ team – 0800 66 88 11 or info@ex­er­

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