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

Sekendiz, Betul and Norton, Kevin and Keyzer, Patrick and Dietrich, Joachim and Coyle, Ian R. and Jones, Veronica and Finch, Caroline (2014) An evaluation of emergency plans and procedures in fitness facilities in Australia: implications for policy and practice. In: 5th International Disaster and Risk Conference (IDRC 2014): Integrative Risk Management: The Role of Science, Technology and Practice, 24-28 Aug 2014, Davos, Switzerland.

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. In 2011-12, more than 4.3 million Australians participated in sport and physical recreation at indoor sports or fitness facilities. However, research across Queensland and in Victoria 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.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Lecture)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Global Risk Forum GRF Davos 2014. This publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission from the publisher, Global Risk Forum GRF Davos.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 27 Mar 2015 00:57
Last Modified: 17 Jul 2017 23:10
Uncontrolled Keywords: emergency preparedness; emergency response plan; fitness facilities; risk management
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150311 Organisational Behaviour
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1504 Commercial Services > 150404 Sport and Leisure Management
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940505 Workplace Safety
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26963

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