Fitness Legal Concerns
Personal training is a very popular business today and it demands qualified, certified personal trainers. The personal fitness trainers must be legally educated and protected. They have to know that one of the largest legal concerns for a personal fitness trainer is potential liability. There are some possibilities how the personal trainers can eliminate or decrease the probability of legal problems and protect their business (Rob, 2002). The following information will show the ways to reduce the risk of liability.
First of all the personal trainer has to obtain certificate after the proper training.
Proper training in any equipment or techniques is also necessary to eliminate the possibility of client injury and protect himself from liability for this. If the trainer will not be enough trained, it may cause the possibility of injury and/or liability.
The trainer must never overestimate his training or abilities. This may cause the risk of liability to the personal trainer and the risk to the client (Rob, 2002).
The trainer must never offer medical advice , try to diagnose, treat or advise to cure any medical condition or disease.. It is illegal and may pose financial liability. The trainer can only recommend the client to seek the professional treatment or advise a qualified medical practitioner.
The next step for personal trainer is obtaining professional liability insurance to run a personal training business. It will not only protect the trainer but protect his client in the case if something unforeseen occurs.
It is important to obtain and maintain a current CPR and first aid certificate (Rob, 2002). It will also protect the trainer from additional financial liability or legal liability and the client in the case of a heart related incident or an injury.
Obtaining the proper business licenses and permits is also necessary for running the own business. The trainer can be not only legally liable but financially liable too. Liability insurance is not able always to cover the trainer if he operates a business without the proper license or permits for the business.
The personal trainer may obtain physician releases for the majority of the clients to observe the utmost of care and safety when instructing and supervising clients.
Signing a waiver or concluding the contract with an exculpatory clause will absolve the trainer from responsibility for his own negligence (Miller, 2002). In other words, there is no liability even if a trainer’s mistake caused the client’s injury.
The trainer must not admit the fault or apologize to the client after an accident. This innocent statement can be later considered as evidence liability admission. Instead, the trainer has to attend to the injured client and call emergency personnel to avoid further claims.
The trainer must always attend seminars, review peer and medical literature on exercise related topics, and stay abreast of current practices and procedures to be knowledgeble in the field of fitness business (Miller, 2002).
To reduce the risk of liability the trainer must eliminate any physical contacts with clients correcting their form. He may be at risk for harassment claims due to such interactions. That is why the trainer should adjust his behavior accordingly.
If personal training business grows up to such degree that the trainer hires additional employees, he may protect himself and his staff from personal liability (Miller, 2002).
Taking into account all the above-mentioned clauses and legallysound approach to personal training business, the personal trainer may protect himself and his business today. His business will grow up and the trainer will be able to hire additional employees, also protecting his staff from personal liability.
1) Miller, R. (2002, March) Protect Your Club From Liability. Club Industry. Retrieved July 27, 2004, from http://www.druginjurylawyer.com/news/protect-club.html
2) Rob. (2002, Jan 5) Personal Trainer Legal Concerns. Retrieved July 27, 2004, from http://www.tstonramp.com/~gvan/personal/legal.htm