Death in Fitness Club Steamroom

Posted | Filed under Health Clubs

Ignored safety protocol ends in tragedy.

Businesses train their employees on opening and closing routines such as turning alarms on and off to closing out cash registers. There are security and safety reasons for these protocols. The death of a 24 Hour Fitness member is a tragic illustration of why it’s imperative that such routines be followed.

The body of a 77-year-old woman was found in a Colorado 24 Hour Fitness steam room by two members at 7:45 a.m. Apparently, the woman passed out in the steam room, which she accessed some time after 1 p.m. the previous afternoon. She died of renal failure resulting from dehydration, according to the coroner’s report.

24 Hour Fitness has a policy that employees are to conduct “team cleans” of the club every hour. And it’s obvious that the closing employee failed to checking that everyone had left the building before closing for the night.

Unfortunately, a similar incident occurred at another 24 Hour Fitness club in California in 2014. The body of a 60-year-old man was discovered in the sauna by the cleaning crew an hour after the club’s midnight closing.

It’s important to note that such tragedies could happen at any fitness club. It’s easy for employees begin to think of the daily and hourly walk-throughs as mundane and unnecessary when no incidents take place over the course of days, weeks and months. Fitness club owners and managers need to continually stress the importance of being alert and following the safety protocols that are in place. These two deaths can serve as examples why the policies are in place.

And to make matters worse, a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed by the victim’s family, which could financially ruin the club, the club owner and the employees involved.

We offer other helpful risk management articles on our blog for fitness clubs and fitness trainers.

Source: Pamela Kufahl, “Woman’s Undiscovered Death in Steam Room,” 14 July, 2015.



Posted | Filed under Health Clubs