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Housekeeping Practices

Housekeeping in a fitness setting.
mop and rag on the floor
© Adobe Stock

Slips, trips and falls are the largest cause of accidents in all workplaces, including those offering fitness services. Generally, simple measures can be taken to reduce the risk of injury. These are often outlined in a simple housekeeping checklist either developed by the management or by staff specific to their own work area and responsibilities.

In a fitness centre, these general workplace housekeeping procedures would not only include the office environment, but also the exercise areas and other areas where staff and clients use.

The main housekeeping duty is ensuring the workplace is clean, tidy and free of waste at all times. Effective housekeeping must be done on a regular basis, not on a one off basis.

Waste can include:

  • Foodstuffs
  • Spillages
  • Blood
  • Bandages
  • Sanitary bins
  • General rubbish.

Earlier we learned about biohazards and many of these hazards are effectively eliminated or minimised by regular workplace housekeeping activities.

Housekeeping in Exercising Areas and Client Amenities

In exercise areas there are numerous housekeeping activities that will ensure the area is safe to use for both staff and clients.

Some housekeeping activities would include:

  • Carpets and mats are kept clean and torn carpets or mats repaired or replaced
  • Floors cleaned regularly and spills wiped up immediately
  • Mirrors cleaned and cracked mirrors replaced
  • Fitness machines regularly checked, adjusted, cleaned and tagged if requiring repair
  • Fitness machine cables placed so as not to be a tripping hazard
  • Exercise equipment such as weights, balls, and other items stored properly when not being used
  • Benches inspected and regularly wiped down with disinfectant
  • Burnt out lighting replaced
  • Air-conditioning adjusted to meet suitable exercising environmental conditions
  • Change rooms cleaned daily
  • Showers and toilets cleaned and disinfected daily or when required during the day.

Depending on the type of fitness facility, housekeeping duties may include cleaning swimming pools, spas and saunas. Larger fitness facilities often contract out the general cleaning to specialised cleaning contractors and the small daily housekeeping duties performed by the staff during the day.

In order to perform housekeeping duties there would be the need for certain supplies and tools and this could include:

  • Cleaning chemicals
  • Cleaning tools such as brooms, mops and buckets
  • Cleaning equipment such as vacuums and floor cleaners
  • Personal protection equipment such as gloves, masks and closed in shoes
  • Hand tool kits for tightening and/or adjusting fitness machines and small exercising equipment
  • Minor maintenance materials such as lubricates, tape, wire and fasteners.

Office Areas

The office areas that will most likely need your attention are:

  • Your desk or working space
  • The area surrounding it.

A clean and tidy desk promotes efficiency. Papers or documents are not lost in the piles, and tasks are not misplaced or forgotten. Small office tools such as staplers, scissors, pens or computer disks should not be mixed up with piles of paper.

Your equipment (computers, calculators or telephones) should be clean and dust or dirt free. A dirty computer screen causes glare and encourages eye strain. Dust is not good for a computer or any other office equipment and is a health hazard.

Your immediate area will include filing cabinets, rubbish bins, bookshelves, counter tops and open walkways around your area. Overflowing rubbish bins look untidy and can be a fire hazard. Neat filing helps quick and easy retrieval of files from filing cabinets. Keeping the tops of the cabinets clear or tidy stops you from using them as a dumping ground for papers, documents or files.

Your area may have counter tops used for binding, collating or preparing documents or parcels for delivery. Keeping this area clean and tidy prevents important documents from getting marks or dirt smudges on them. Binding tools and equipment should be easy to find and use.

The walkways surrounding your work area should be kept clear. This is a safety issue. People could trip over items left lying about. It could also prevent a quick evacuation in the case of an emergency and obviously it makes the rest of the office look untidy.

Staffrooms, Storage and Public Areas

Staffrooms often have kitchen and/or food preparation areas and this would need to be cleaned regularly include cooking utensils such as microwaves and food storage such as refrigerators.

In and around the facility there would be hallways that need to be kept clear and floors or carpets checked and cleaned regularly. Cluttered hallways can be a hazard in the event of an emergency evacuation.

Storage rooms again need to be kept tidy and uncluttered. This is to ensure that items being stored are not damaged and anyone in the storeroom is able to get out quickly in the event of an emergency evacuation.

Public areas would include the foyer, reception area and any displays. From an image point of view, clean and tidy public areas enhance the professional look of the facility, as well as protects the health and safety of the clients and staff.

© CQUniversity 2021
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Personal Trainer's Toolkit: Workplace Health and Safety in a Fitness Setting

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