In the final of our seven-part article series providing legal guidance for those in the fitness industry, we’re sharing more advice from Scott McKenzie from Mills Oakley. This time Scott helps you understand the issue around duty of care in the event that your PT injures a client.
Did you know that your club can be liable if one of your personal trainers injures a client? It is not sufficient to discharge your duty of care merely by ensuring that your personal trainers are fully qualified.
Case: Wilson versus Nilepac Pty Ltd, trading as Vision Personal Training
In a rather ominous case for gym owners, a personal training client was injured while exercising under the supervision of a qualified but inexperienced trainer employed by a fitness studio. The client was engaged in an exercise program that was tailored for him.
The fitness studio accepted that it had a duty of care over this client, however contested that it had breached that duty of care.
The Court of Appeal ultimately found that a reasonably competent personal trainer would not have engaged the client to undertake the exercise until they were suitably fit to do so (in this case, the client clearly did not have sufficient abdominal muscles to do the exercise).
Effectively monitoring employees (and particularly PTs) it is like consuming protein for a bodybuilder. You might find a way to survive without it, but it really should be a cornerstone of what you do. You should carefully consider whether any of your PTs are encouraging any risky, untested or unusual exercises. Remember, proactively having a conversation with a PT is far better than reactively dealing with a personal injury dispute.
To read the previously published articles in this series click the links below:
- Article 1: Membership contracts: How to protect your club
- Article 2: 12 tips and traps to buying or selling a gym
- Article 3: How to stop PTs from stealing your clients
- Article 4: Copycats – What if someone copies the ‘vibe’ of your gym?
- Article 5: Securing a 24/7 Gym Permit
- Article 6: Duty of care – is your facility ‘unsafe’?