Developing a Risk Management Plan for Your Fitness Facility

Old gym interior with equipment







Are you the owner or manager of a fitness facility? You know that the most important thing is your members’ safety. With the various equipment, heavy weights, and members who are working hard in their training, the potential is always there for an accident. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the facility to make sure members are as safe as possible. This starts with developing a risk management plan that takes a preventative approach to mitigating any potential risks in your facility.


A risk management plan can ensure that your members are safe and your facility is absolved from litigation if an event were to occur. Although, it’s impossible to prevent every risk, a good risk management plan can prove that you have taken all reasonable steps necessary to ensure members’ safety. Here are several things to keep in mind when developing your risk management plan.


Be Honest about Your Facilities: In order to create a risk management plan that will work, you will need to properly asses your facilities. Are your facilities in need of an upgrade? Should you get rid of some older equipment that may no longer be functional and instead could potentially cause a hazard? Do you need to add additional staffing for monitoring and supervision? It is essential to get all equipment tested to make sure each piece bests serves your members and won’t potentially cause an injury.


Remember that Injuries Do Occur in the Locker Room as Well: Our team at The HenkelHook? recommends that fitness facilities install the HenkelHook? in all of their locker rooms and bathroom stalls to ensure the safety and hygiene of members and employees. The HenkelHook? is more than just your average safety coat hook. It collapses when too much weight is placed on it, ensuring that a little rough-housing or bullying in the locker room doesn’t go too far. If you can, try to provide as much supervision in the locker rooms to ensure accidents or cases of assault don’t happen.


Provide Instruction on Proper Training Techniques: Remember that the gym has members of various fitness levels. Even if you do have staff members there to answer questions and provide help, posted written instructions can be an additional asset to consider in order to keep members educated on how to properly use the equipment or free weights. Educated members are less likely to do something that could be dangerous. And it goes without saying that all employees should be trained on all safety procedures and lifting techniques as well.

How the Henkel Hook Can Prevent Injury or Even Death from Bullying Tactics

Stop Bullying Concept


Although bullying in school is nothing new, more students are being bullied than ever before. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, one out of every four students reported being bullied in 2015. Only 36% who said that they were bullied actually went to a teacher or administrator to report the incident. More than half the time, the bullying went on without any grownup intervention. And according to statistics compiled in a Penn State report, there is no single cause for bullying. Looks, body shape, and race made up the most common reasons reported.


Given the prevalence of bullying, school administrators must do everything they can to ensure students are safe, especially when bullying is often unseen and unheard. In addition to peer mediation groups and bullying education programs, schools must also consider the environment in which students find themselves throughout the day in school.


In the classroom, a teacher should be able to provide supervision, but there may be moments when the teacher isn’t in the room. In other places, like the bathroom, there will likely be no supervision of any kind. What can school administrators do to keep students safe when supervision may not be present?


A Different Type of Classroom Coat Hook to Enhance Safety in Schools


The HenkelHook? addresses one bullying problem that has been an issue since the 1800s. A bully would hang a student from a coat hook, thinking that it was funny not knowing that the student could get seriously hurt or even die. There have been several reported deaths from such an incident. Moreover, the idea of the HenkelHook? was actually conceived after Becky Regier enlisted the help of her father, Jim Henkel, to design an affordable collapsible hook after she read a story about a child dying in Ontario in such a manner.


Rather than take out coat hooks, which can affect personal hygiene and overall classroom space, the HenkelHook? prevents bullying accidents like those mentioned above from ever occurring. The HenkelHook? supports weight of up to 26 lbs. so a student can hang his or her coat and bag, but anything more than that will cause the children’s coat hook to fall, ensuring the student’s safety. In an environment where bullying is commonplace, the HenkelHook? remains a viable and affordable option for school administrators.



Tips for Creating a Safe Environment In and Out of the Classroom


Children in elementary school on the workshop with their teacher

The number one priority for teachers and administrators is to make sure that students have a safe environment where they can development academically and socially. In order for a child to learn, he or she will need to feel safe. If not, he or she may feel more anxious and less engaged. In addition to that, an incident of any kind that causes harm to a child could have far-reaching consequences that may ultimately hinder students’ ability to learn and feel safe. So what can administrators do to facilitate a safer learning environment? Here are several things to consider:


Make Your Classrooms Accident-proof


There’s one thing that any parent or teacher knows about children: if there’s a way to break something, eat something, or cause damage to something, a child can make it happen. Make sure all educational tools and toys don’t contain small parts or potential toxins that could potentially cause a child harm.


In addition to that, consider any furniture and whether or not there are any potential risks there and if there are alternatives that may be safer. For example, the Henkel Hook was designed to prevent children from being suspended from coat hooks. Incidents continue to occur wherein  students have died or have been seriously injured by coat hooks, so it’s important for administrators to keep this in mind when designing a safe learning space. Safe coat hooks can potentially mitigate the chances of a serious injury from occurring.


Encourage Safety on the Playground


The highlight of many kids’ day is when they can take a break from the classroom and spend some time outside to work off that extra energy. However, there are some dangers that a playground can pose. For example, it could be potentially problematic if children of many age groups are allowed to play together in one place. Aides and teachers should be posted throughout the playground area and be alert to any issues that go on, such as a child going to equipment that isn’t age-appropriated. In addition to that, it never hurts to discuss playground safety with students as well.


By creating a safe environment in and out of the classroom, you can ensure students to stay out of dangerous situations and have fun learning new skills and lessons.

New Coat Hook Technology Reduces Risk in Schools

In February, 1998, a tragic death occurred in a Southern Ontario school. While the actual sequence of events leading to the fatality are still unclear, the facts were that a student was found hanging from a coat hook in a school washroom and that he died of asphyxiation. The Coroner?s Inquest that followed made over 20 recommendations to school boards and Emergency Response Services related to this death, with the removal of coat hooks in school washrooms being one of the primary recommendations. Read more »

On the hook ? Business London Article

We were featured in the June issue of Business London Magazine. Check it out!

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Collapsible coat hooks need schools’ attention

SAFETY: The safety hooks were developed after the death of Myles Neuts at St. Agnes Catholic school in Chatham By KATHY RUMLESKI, FREE PRESS REPORTER

Becky Regier sat down at the kitchen table with The London Free Press on a February morning in 1998 and her world quickly changed. She read the story of 10-year-old Myles Neuts, who was found unconscious, hanging on a hook at St. Agnes Catholic school in Chatham. He died. Regier couldn’t get the tragic story out of her head. “I put myself in Myles’ shoes and I thought, ‘What was he thinking when he was hanging there? Was he calling for his mom and dad?’ I couldn’t fathom that happening to another child,” she says. Regier started her mission, then, to try to save other children from Myles’ fate. It’s a mission she’s still on, 11 years later. Read more »

Coat Hooks are for Coats, NOT Kids!

December 1992: Marilyn Dumas, a 9-year-old girl lost her life as she was accidentally hung on a coat hook while playing in a washroom stall at school.

February 1998: Myles Neuts, a 10-year-old boy was found hanging on a coat hook in a washroom stall at school. Myles died six days later.

April 2004: Tallon Moffat, a JK student, was found hanging from a coat hook in her classroom while her classmates attended a presentation in the auditorium. Fortunately, her teacher realized she was missing and found her before she was seriously injured.

April 2005: 9-year-old Dominic Jones hung himself on a coat hook in a cloakroom at his school to play a prank on his classmates. Thankfully, he survived the incident after spending two days in ICU. Read more »

Specially designed safety hooks delivered to Chatham-Kent

MUNICIPALITY: To be installed in facilities


A tragic incident from more than a decade ago could make local facilities safer for children. Approximately 2,700 specially designed coat hooks were delivered to the municipality yesterday. Henkel Hook created the devices, which can support about 26 pounds, so the weight of a child will cause the hook to collapse. Read more »

HenkelHook on Daytime

We were featured on Daytime last May!  Check it out!