A Clean Facility Means Good Hygiene, Orderliness and Functioning Equipment
Ronale Tucker Rhodes
Cleanliness is many things. It's about hygiene, orderliness and functioning equipment. But, most importantly, whether you are a clean or neat freak, or not, you and your staff need to put on both of those hats and wear them at all times.
For the fitness facility owner, a big concern is minimizing the possibility that members will contract the MRSA staph infection. And, while there haven't been any widespread outbreaks that are known to have occurred in fitness centers, when a member does contract staph, who is to know whether it was caused from swapping sweat on machines or from some other source? That's the problem. No one really seems to know how big of a danger fitness facilities pose to the transmission of staph. And although it's assumed that some, or even many, cases have occurred in facilities, they've never really been proven.
Proven or not, facility operators would be wise to follow Health Department guidelines. And, while you're at it, you might want to consider a non-toxic way to accomplish this (see the article Exploring Eco-Cleaning). In addition, a consistent schedule needs to be followed for cleaning, especially in equipment areas and locker rooms.
Which leads to the fact that cleanliness in the fitness facility is not just about hygiene. It's also about the life span of your equipment and the happiness of your members. Putting a preventive maintenance plan in place will give you a detailed, regular log of what needs to be and has been done to keep equipment running properly, which results in lower repair costs and reduced down time (see the article Keep Up with Preventive Maintenance).
A scheduled maintenance plan should also be in place for locker room amenities. Nothing is more annoying to members than to find a dispenser empty, which means your staff members need to be vigilant about inventorying, ordering, stocking and storing these items (see the article Staying on Top of Your Locker Room Amenities).
Back to Ms. Putaway. My top-two pet peeves in the fitness center are 1) free weights that aren't put back in their proper location, and 2) locker room benches that are left wet from a member's wet swimsuit. If that seems trivial, don't bet on it. Your members will remember these little pet-peeve annoyances far longer than they will remember the great class they just took.
Use the information in the articles in this special report of facility upkeep to provide you solutions for helping you to exercise the utmost standard of care in your facility.
Facility of the Week
Ithaca College Athletics and Events Center