Beating the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to normalcy will require everyone pitching in to slow the spread of the virus. The same is true for running your gym or fitness center while the pandemic continues. Keeping shared spaces clean and safe won’t just fall on your staff or patrons. It will require everyone working together and holding each other accountable.
Let’s look at how you can establish effective sanitization protocols and protect your staff and members when operating a fitness center during the pandemic.
Cleaning vs. sanitizing
Before we get into the roles members and staff will play in keeping your gym clean and safe, it’s important to recognize that “cleaning” will not be enough. You need to go a step further to disinfect and sanitize surfaces so that they are effectively free of harmful germs. This means you need to have the right sanitizing equipment and chemicals to empower your staff and members to stay safe.
You should also consider the method you’re going to use to sanitize your space. Wiping things down by hand is not ideal because gym equipment can contain lots of different angles and it may not be safe for staff or members to put their hands in all areas of a machine. So, consider a sprayer system that can coat all surfaces in chemical disinfectant and also reduce the time it takes to effectively sanitize your space.
Gym sanitization protocol
Here’s a quick look at who should be doing what as part of your gym sanitization protocol:
Your staff will take on the bulk of the responsibility, wiping down or spraying all surfaces including bathrooms, changing rooms, equipment, lounge or dining spaces, front desk area and door handles. Make sure staff are properly trained, understand the cleaning schedule and where to log their activity. Provide your staff with proper personal protection equipment (PPE) and make sure they know the “dwell time” or how long it takes for your cleaning chemicals to effectively disinfect surfaces.
Members should be wiping down equipment after use using the same or similar method to your pre-pandemic process. You don’t want to put strong chemicals in the hands of members as this could increase liability for your club. Instead, encourage members to sanitize their hands with hand sanitizing stations and signs.
If you typically contract with a janitorial service to clean your space, check with your vendor to see what COVID-19 disinfecting services they offer. If you don’t, consider establishing a relationship to have a vendor on standby. In the event one of your members or staff test positive, they can quickly execute a complete gym disinfection process.
Keeping each other accountable
Once you’ve identified who will be responsible for what, you need to communicate those roles clearly. Hold people accountable to ensure your environment remains safe. Increase signage to make things as clear as possible. Use words, images, symbols or anything else you need to effectively communicate your sanitizing protocols. Also include signage that encourages members to take responsibility, letting them know we are all in this together. A gentle nudge can go a long way in increasing compliance.
For staff, create a cleaning schedule and make sure a manager is enforcing that schedule by personally checking on staff. Also, create a cleaning log for staff members to document their activities. This will help remind staff to complete their required activities and ensure that all cleaning policies are being followed correctly.
Going the extra mile to sanitize your gym may feel like a burden, but it can also be an opportunity. Highly visible cleaning activities can actually be a boost to your customer experience. Seeing staff consistently and thoroughly cleaning gym equipment gives your members confidence that you are looking out for them. It shows that you’re doing everything you can to ensure the safety of your gym community.
Looking for a better way to sanitize your gym or fitness center? Shop our industry-leading products for the sprayer and chemical solution you need to keep your staff and members safe.