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Don’t Let Claims Ruin Fitness or Fun

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Especially during summer and fall, employers often encourage employees to participate in fitness activities or company picnics. But if an employee is injured at one of these events, your workers’ compensation might apply under the following conditions.  

The employer makes participation mandatory or obligatory.
The employer paid for or organized the activity.
The event took place on your premises.
The employer sponsored the activity, such as paying for equipment or uniforms.
Only employees participated. 

Employers can avoid liability for fitness and recreation activities by having employees sign a recreational waiver before participating. Please contact your employment attorney for more information.

An on-site weight or exercise room makes it less expensive and more convenient for employees to exercise. However, employers must be careful to avoid liability for injuries to employees and others. To avoid this, we suggest the following guidelines for employer-sponsored onsite facilities:  

Limit use to employees only — no guests or family members
Have employees sign a waiver, saying 1) that they have no medical conditions that prohibit or would worsen with exercise, 2) that they agree that use of the center is completely voluntary and occurs on the employee’s own time.
Specifically state in the waiver that any injuries that occur at the center are not compensable by workers’ compensation.  
Post signs on the doors reiterating the point above.  
Prohibit use of the facility for rehabilitation.  
Read equipment manufacturers’ recommendations for preventive maintenance, and develop a schedule for inspections and maintenance.  Document all inspections and repairs made.
If the facility is large enough and the number of prospective users high enough, consider outsourcing management of the facility. Have your attorney review your contract with the facility manager.  

For more information, please contact the Programs Department at EPIC, Edgewood Partners Insurance Center, at (800) 234-6363 or visit

EPIC Brokers
EDCO, Inc.
MMD Equipment
Allied Insurance Brokers, Inc.