Chances are you've seen reports of Prosecution litigation against fitness professionals and companies, given the waivers signed, and wonder if investing in waivers is important. The thing is–you're still going to hear about successful litigation against gyms and fitness centers, but what news outlet is going to write about the many cases that have been dropped because of a waiver?
In addition to ensuring that you are properly insured, investing in the value of your fitness waiver is the most important step to take in protecting your company.
A waiver is a legal contract and must be taken the same consideration as any legal document you provide to ensure that your waiver is enforceable. Waiver laws and the correct wording differ across nations, states, and provinces, and any vague language in your waiver creates gaps that can be abused by lawyers.
In addition, the following relevant provisions would need to be included in your health waiver so that your clients and students fully recognize the risks involved in participating:
Excludes the liability of one party in the course of the contract and waives the right to sue for negligence.
Transfer responsibility for the loss or harm of the company to the individual who has signed the contract.
It indicates that the person signing the contract agrees to assume the risk inherent to the event in which they engage.
Waivers cover gyms and fitness practitioners every day and are a shield from risk-related litigation that are intrinsic to fitness activities. If they fall short, it is when a fitness company or a practitioner is found guilty of gross negligence: a willful and voluntary disregard for the need to practice reasonable care, which is likely to cause foreseeable grave injury or harm to persons, property, or both.
●Not getting trained first aid workers on board
●Not having a first aid center or an AED readily available
●Failure to block access to broken equipment
●Failure to fix risks on site (hazards, fire hazards, etc.)
●Hiring employees that are not fully qualified / certified
●Pushing a participant to perform an action that is beyond their current capability
●Pushing a participant to perform an action despite knowledge of a pre-existing condition
As a service provider, you are legally obliged to maintain a fair standard of care while dealing with your clients. This includes proactively ensuring that the issues mentioned above are handled, as well as managing any other potential risks involved in your company. Failure to do so means that your exemption will become a much poorer defense in court.
In order to ensure that you exercise your duty of care, it is important to identify and minimize risks through risk management. We encourage you to read this comprehensive guide on how to build a risk management strategy for fitness professionals.
It's not enough merely to have the waivers signed – they need to be filed and stored for years to come, and you need to be able to find unique waivers in a moment's notice.
But why do you use an outdated paper filing system when you can manage an easy online waiver database?
CleverWaiver is an electronic waiver solution that does away with paper and allows you to store your online waivers permanently in the cloud. Have your customers sign waivers on a desktop computer, on our dedicated waiver app/waiver kiosk solution, or in advance of a class via email.
Our starter package is completely free and includes access to our resources, including our customer management system and analytics table. And when you sign up, if you're not 100% happy, we're giving you a money back guarantee.
So why are you waiting? Try CleverWaiver today and make sure your fitness company is fully compliant and safe in the event of a lawsuit.