Our venues have a range of facilities that can increase the risk and safety of our members and guests. These can include:
- Steam Rooms
- Changerooms & Accessible Bathrooms
We are noticing an increase in medical incidents related to these areas, largely related to extended periods of exposure to extreme heat.
Areas such as Saunas (~75⁰C), Steam Rooms (~45⁰C) and Spas (~36⁰C) operate at elevated temperatures and conditions and can exacerbate existing medical conditions, or contribute to creating new ones through dehydration, strain on cardiac performance and other medical ailments.
Due to the risk associated, these areas should be checked every fifteen (15) minutes (as per GSPO/SportNZ) with staff completing a detailed welfare check on all patrons and head counts recorded, ensuring they have cool water available, their behaviours are appropriate for the conditions and have not exceeded the period outlined within your Conditions of Entry.
Changerooms are also an area of risk due to our not having visibility of our patrons whilst in there, and patrons using the facilities often having over-exerted themselves completing exercise or sitting in extreme temperatures. Incident data shows that these factors regularly lead to a collapse or medical issue. Additionally, Child Safety related risk is also high in change room environments if they are not managed well.
It is recommended that changing areas are checked every thirty (30) minutes (as per GSPO/SportNZ) with a detailed checklist including patron welfare, cleanliness and maintenance.
What you need to do:
- Review your operational Risk Assessment and ensure the controls are appropriate for your identified hazards.
- Review your Conditions of Entry and ensure the requirements are clear and easy for patrons to understand.
- Review your operational procedures to ensure the team are available and aware of timeframes to check isolated areas (these checks don’t need to be completed by Lifeguard-qualified team members).
- Implement sign-off procedures to hold team members accountable for completing these checks.
- Train your team on the signs and symptoms of medical conditions related to extreme heat exposure.
- Educate your team members on how to positively intervene if a person is identified as having stayed in a hot environment for an extended period of time.