Health clubs: equipment maintenance

Stack of free weights and dumbbells  

Keeping your equipment in tip-top shape is not just about keeping it clean. It should also involve routine maintenance, proper documentation of your maintenance, and safety recall awareness.

As stated in American Society for Testing and Materials F2276-10 Standard Specification for Fitness Equipment, “The safety and integrity designed into the machine can only be maintained when the equipment is regularly examined for damage and repaired. It is the sole responsibility of the user/owner or facility operator to ensure that regular maintenance is performed. Worn or damaged components shall be replaced immediately or the equipment removed from service until the repair is made. The maintenance instructions must call the reader’s attention to this fact.”

The first step to equipment maintenance and upkeep involves reading the manufacturer’s directions in its entirety.

If the manufacturer’s guide does not have sample maintenance documentation, you can create one to help support consistency of your maintenance procedures. Capture each step of the recommended maintenance as outlined by the manufacturer’s guide and document completion accordingly. Key focus areas should include inspecting equipment for loose parts and wear and tear, proper lubrication of necessary components, and a check of the safety features to ensure they are working properly.

Also inspect equipment surroundings to ensure there are no hazards present that might cause the user harm.

  • Is the equipment properly spaced from other equipment so it can be operated safely?
  • Are decals designed to communicate proper use and safety visible and intact? If not, replace these immediately. Take the equipment out of service until the decals can be replaced.

Expand the assessment of signage to other usage guidelines that might be posted around the equipment as well.

Equipment maintenance should also involve keeping the equipment clean. While the frequency of cleaning depends on how often the equipment is used, at a minimum the equipment should be cleaned daily. This not only helps keep the equipment running properly; it can help to reduce the spread of diseases.

Have equipment inspected on a routine basis by a third-party certified to properly inspect and maintain fitness equipment.

If you install new equipment, offer proper use training to your clientele on how to properly use the equipment, and monitor the use of the equipment to ensure users are using it properly. Monitoring of equipment use should be a routine practice throughout your facility.

Document your inspection activities and maintain these records for the lifespan of the equipment. If you sell your old equipment, offer a copy of these records to the purchaser, and maintain the original copy.

In addition to the inspection of exercise equipment, maintenance and upkeep procedures should also include any laundry equipment on site. Depending on the frequency of use, dryers may need frequent inspections and maintenance.


Reference

American Society for Testing and Materials F2276-10(2015), Standard Specification for Fitness Equipment, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2015

Stack of free weights and dumbbells
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