COVID-19 Club Re-opening Procedures & Resources
Updated: Jun 10
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, technical, medical, business or other advice and should not be relied on as such. Neither the BCFFSA nor the writer, make any express or implied warranties, or assume any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or usefulness of any information contained in this blog post. Information provided here is merely a guide to clubs to help develop their own COVID-19 process and procedures manuals prior to re-opening. If you register as a BC Functional Fitness Sports Association recognized club, we will include you in the continued development of unified procedures manual that the association can present for approval to help ensure the safe re-opening of your club as soon as possible.
BC has designated WorkSafe BC in charge of helping ensure businesses looking to re-open develop safe operation plans in consultation with WorkSafeBC and in compliance with the public health orders issued by the Provincial Health Officer. Though WorkSafe BC has stated that they "will not be receiving or approving the plans of individual employers, but during [inspection] they will ask employers about the steps they have taken to protect their workers" - when WorkSafe BC asks for the steps you have taken, they want to see it in writing. From WorkSafeBC.com - Covid-19 returning to safe operation FAQ:
What are the consequences of reopening without a COVID-19 safety plan in place? WorkSafeBC will be engaging directly with employers and workers in returning industries through education, consultation and workplace inspections. Enforcement measures will be considered if employers do not develop and implement a plan to protect workers from COVID-19 exposure.
Will my industry association be developing a plan for the sector and making it available? WorkSafeBC is working closely with industry associations to provide industry-specific guidance, and we will be reviewing their industry plans and providing input. While we will not be posting industry plans, we expect that many industry associations will make their plans publicly available. We've talked to multiple gym owners that have tried to get in touch with WorkSafe BC, Fraser Health, and the BC Government to discuss implementing safe practice and procedure plans in order to re-open their business while demonstrating their ability to follow all government mandated safety precautions and procedures - with no luck, or response. The BC Functional Fitness Sports Association has begun development of a detailed procedures manual for registered Functional Fitness clubs to develop a procedures manual that will help ensure safe and effective re-opening procedures, based around all WorkSafe BC and Provincial Government recommendations and guidelines.
COVID-19 Procedures Manual:
Sections to Include as Recommended by WorkSafe BC
Assessment of risk in your club - outline what the high risk areas are, where, and why - specific to your club and services.
Implementing measures to reduce the risk - including cleaning & hygiene - maintaining physical distance - what you will do where physical distance cannot be maintained
Developing Policies - how will you handle workers that begin to feel ill (including sick pay) - how will you ensure all attending athletes and workers have properly self assessed - See examples of their print materials from their Bullying & Harassment resource tool kit
Developing communication plans and training - WorkSafe BC has very specific requirements for what constitutes clear communication to staff especially as an employer - read more on their roles, rights & responsibilities page. - Your COVID-19 Procedures manual should include clear instruction on how to communicate concerns & breaches of policy - see examples in the resources tool kit linked above."Employers with fewer than 9 employees must also have a way for workers to raise health and safety concerns at the workplace."
Monitoring your workplace and updating plans as needed - all documentation should include a regular review schedule, though typically annual is sufficient - we recommend including a weekly review of your policies and procedures due to the rapidly changing recommendations related to COVID-19.
Assessing and addressing risks from resuming operations - a large portion of what this refers to is less relevant to FF clubs - but check that all your equipment is in working order and meets safety standards before permitting clients to begin use - for clubs this is a potentially overlooked concern for clients and coaches - after months of not being in the gym, how will you ensure the appropriate loading and return of your clients to a full training program? The Unspoken Danger of Going Back to the Gym discusses this issue in detail, and although it may not be necessary to include it in your COVID-19 Procedures Manual we recommend keeping it in mind.
COVID-19 Procedures Manual: Sections to include as recommended by the provincial health officer and the BC Center for Disease Control Preventing exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace: A guide for employers This is just one of many documents provided by WorkSafe BC from the provincial health officer (PHO) and guidance from the BC Center for Disease Control.
How are you telling your workers about COVID-19 (i.e. exposure to COVID-19 in your workplace?) - What paperwork do you have in place to show that you have discussed these concerns with your workers and clients?
Do you have a system in place where workers [and clients] can inform you of concerns relating to being exposed? - This means you MUST include a reporting procedures and process for your workers and clients in your manual.
What are you doing to prevent your workers from being exposed to COVID-19? - You must demonstrate that you have laid out your facility, as well as have paperwork to show that you have actively discussed the potential concerns with your workers.
Have you developed controls that will eliminate or minimize risk of exposure? - This will be the bulk of your procedures manual that covers - What are the controls? - How are they being put in place? - Have you reviewed their effectiveness and how can you demonstrate they're working?
How are you controlling the number of [people] at your workplace? - The easiest part to do - but ensure you have the paperwork to demonstrate this. - This may or may not include a floor-plan of your facility
How are you ensuring these measures are being followed by those who are in the workplace? - You should include data sheets for the cleaning products you are using, many require being left on a surface for prolonged periods - is this taken into account in your transition between clients?
How are you checking and tracking that these measures are being followed? - You must have clear paperwork that demonstrates all staff and clients clearly understand everything stated above, and evidence that you are monitoring that they follow it.
What are you doing to prohibit potentially infected workers or clients from coming in? - This should include a written screening process or your workers and clients before entering the facility. - For example, the Barnaby Winter Club has created a BWC Covid-19 Self-Declaration Form (MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO ARRIVAL AT BWC.
How are you communicating these messages? - Ensure you have appropriate paperwork that outlines HOW you have communicated these to workers and clients as well as proving that you HAVE communicated it, and that they've seen and agree to it.
What are you doing to track and communicate with potentially sick workers or clients? - Something to consider is what kind of sick pay you will offer your coaches who may show signs or symptoms prior to a class - not having an outlined option could force workers who need the money to ignore signs or symptoms - so make sure you have alternative options for pay in place.
Other BC Government resources
BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy (PDF) - outlines preliminary measures recommended for a variety of types of businesses and organizations that should be included in your clubs re-opening plan.
COVID-19 Guidance to Faith-Based Organizations - though very different from a Functional Fitness Club - the general outline, recommendations, and guidelines are similar and should be outlined in your COVID-19 procedures manual.
The BCFFSA COVID-19 Club Procedures Manual
Our COVID-19 Procedures manual is a work in progress; by registering as a Functional Fitness club, we will provide you with OUR full outline to assist in developing your own procedures manual and include your feedback in ours. We will then begin to lobby the provincial government to allow recognized functional fitness clubs to begin re-opening based on procedures developed and agreed to by BCFFSA clubs. It covers in details everything outlined above from WorkSafe BC, The CDC, and the Provincial Government. A sample of our table of contents as of [May 12 2020] Covid-19 Cleaning & Sanitary Operations Policy Statement
Covid-19 Information Symptoms, potential carriers, how it is transmitted
Workers and Clients procedures Monitoring workers & clients, ensuring self assessments are completed daily, sick pay guidelines
Application Who this applies to
Weekly review Review process & procedure of this guideline & it's effectiveness
Risk Assessment Risks specific to Functional Fitness clubs, the space, and type of training we do
Coach and Worker Procedures Detailed step by step procedure for worker entry and exit, cleaning, appointments handling, and specific details to each type of session offered
Client Procedures Detailed step by step procedure for separate entry and exit, location of hand washing / sanitation stations, before and after session procedures and ensuring self assessments are completed prior to entry
General Facility Cleaning Procedures General overview of facility cleaning that directly relate to client sessions
Physical Distancing Procedures Floor plans and management of flow of workers and clients during, before, and after sessions including what to do in case of emergency
Weekly Review Review process & procedure of this guideline & it's effectiveness
Pre and Post Session Cleaning Details of products used, their info sheets, and demonstration that all products are verified for use against COVID-19 and being used properly
Restocking of supplies Process to ensure that all clients and coaches will have access to sanitary and cleaning products required at all times
Step by step list of process for class & Private training Step by step instructions for coaches running sessions including laying out and sanitizing all equipment in advance, eliminating risk of equipment cross contamination, and more.
This is just the preliminary outline - the full document covers step by step processes for every aspect of what you see outlined above by WorkSafe BC, the CDC and the Provincial Government. We provide this basic template and information in the hopes that all gyms planning to re-open can demonstrate everything being completed to keep clients and workers safe - in order to avoid all gyms being shut down. By registering with the BCFFSA as a Functional Fitness Club for $100 / annually - you are not only supporting the growth of the sport, but you will be included under a recognized association to lobby the government to get approval to open, and stay open, during COVID-19, on top of demonstrating that you consider your clients safety a top priority.
Contact the BCFFSA
All the information on this page is published in good faith and for general information purpose only. BCFFSA does not make any warranties about the completeness, reliability and accuracy of this information. Any action you take upon the information you find on this website (BCFFSA), is strictly at your own risk. BCFFSA will not be liable for any losses and/or damages in connection with the use of our website.