When owning a gym, there are many different risks that you must be concerned about in order to maintain high levels of health and safety for both your members and your employees. One of these health risks you must be aware of and prevent is the transmission of staph infections.
What is a Staph Infection?
Staph, or Staphylococcus, is a bacterial infection that can cause a host of diseases like toxic shock syndrome (TSS). Though some staph infections can be small and clear up relatively quickly, some infections can become worse or even fatal if the bacteria enters your:
Infection can be passed through an open wound (even a small cut) and produce boils or abscess that are typically tender, red, and swollen. To treat a staph infection, a doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics and may need to drain the infected areas.
Educate Gym Staff About Staph Infections & Prevention
Alert your staff of the risks of staph infection. Be sure that each member of your team is doing the following in order to maintain the cleanest environment in your gym:
- Make sure the equipment is clean. While gym members may not directly come into contact with one another, staph can still live on commercial fitness equipment. Make sure your staff regularly sanitizes the equipment in-between uses
- Wash towels after use. If you provide towels to members to use, be sure they dispose of it in a designated laundry basket for gym staff to wash in between uses.
- Be hygienic. Encourage employees to wash their hands and cover wounds to prevent infection.
Maintaining a strict, regular cleaning routine will not only make your gym look better, but create a safe environment.
How Gym Members can Prevent Staph Infections
Some gym members may not know what staph infection is or how to prevent it. By handing out flyers or posting reminders around your gym, your members can help decrease the risk of infection. Be sure to remind members of the following:
- Wash your hands. Wash hands for at least 30 seconds and dry with a disposable paper towel while using another towel to turn off the faucet.
- Keep wounds covered.Keep cuts clean and covered with sterile, dry bandages until they heal.
- Keep personal items personal.Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, clothing and athletic equipment.
- Wear flip-flops in the shower. If you provide showers, encourage members to wear flip-flops to prevent possible infection.
- Wipe down equipment. Like staff, instruct members to maintain a safe exercising environment by wiping down equipment with sanitizing wipes after each use.
By using these tips, your staff and members will not only have a cleaner environment, but a healthier one as well.