An evaluation of emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia: Implications for policy and practice

B. Sekendiz, K Norton, P. Keyzer, J. Dietrich, I. R. Coyle, V. Jones, C. F. Finch

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In 2007-08, fitness facilities contributed $872.9 million to the Australian economy and provided savings in direct health care costs estimated up to $107.9 million through their positive impact on physical inactivity and associated diseases (1). In 2011-12, more than 4.3 million Australians participated in sport and physical recreation at indoor sports or fitness facilities (2). However, research across Queensland (3) and in Victoria (4) showed low compliance with emergency plans and safety practices in fitness facilities. The aim of this study was to analyse emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia. A nationwide online risk management survey of fitness professionals (n=1178, mean age=39.9), and observational audits at randomly selected regional and metropolitan fitness facilities (n=11) in New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Queensland were conducted. The findings indicated that most of the fitness professionals (68.1%) rated the emergency evacuation plans and other emergency procedures in their facilities as extremely/very good (n=640). Yet, more than one fourth (27.4%) of fitness professionals were somewhat aware (n=152), or very unaware/not at all aware (n=49) of the emergency evacuation plans and other emergency procedures in their facilities. The observational audits showed that most of the fitness facilities did not clearly display their emergency response plans (73%, n=8), emergency evacuation procedures (55%, n=6) or emergency telephone numbers (91%, n=10). Many fitness facilities (36.4%, n=4) did not have an appropriate first aid kit accessible by all staff. Our study shows a lack of emergency preparedness in many fitness facilities in Australia. Emergency response capability is crucial for fitness facility managers to satisfy their duty of care to manage risks of medical emergencies and disasters such as fire, explosion, and floods. Our study has implications for policy development and education of fitness facility managers to improve emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference
Subtitle of host publication Integrative Risk Management - The Role of Science, Technology and Practice, IDRC Davos 2014
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherGlobal Risk Forum (GRF)
Pages639-642
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event5th International Disaster and Risk Conference: Integrative Risk Management - The Role of Science, Technology and Practice, IDRC Davos 2014 - Davos, Davos, Switzerland
Duration: 24 Aug 201428 Aug 2014

Conference

Conference5th International Disaster and Risk Conference: Integrative Risk Management - The Role of Science, Technology and Practice, IDRC Davos 2014
CountrySwitzerland
CityDavos
Period24/08/1428/08/14

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An evaluation of emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia: Implications for policy and practice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Sekendiz, B., Norton, K., Keyzer, P., Dietrich, J., Coyle, I. R., Jones, V., & Finch, C. F. (2014). An evaluation of emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia: Implications for policy and practice. In Proceedings of the 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference: Integrative Risk Management - The Role of Science, Technology and Practice, IDRC Davos 2014 (pp. 639-642). Global Risk Forum (GRF).