In 2012, the Institute’s Director was successful in receiving an ARC grant to commence a three year project to investigate the legal risk of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry. Partnering with Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia, the project is led by Professor Patrick Keyzer (La Trobe University) and Professor Joachim Dietrich (Bond University), in conjunction with Professor Caroline Finch (Federation University), Professor Kevin Norton (UniSA) and Dr Betul Sekendiz (Central Queensland University).
This project will answer two important questions:
1. How does Australian regulation currently control risk management in the fitness industry and thereby prevent adverse health outcomes and injury, and the legal liability associated with those risks?
2. What sustainable changes could be made to Australian regulation for more effective risk management in the health and fitness industry in order to prevent the risk of adverse health outcomes and injury, and the legal liability associated with those risks?
To answer these questions, our research will:
1. Identify the regulation that governs risk management in the fitness industry;
2. Analyse the operation of that regulation in its practical context;
3. Critically review the safety practices that occur in the Australian Fitness Industry; and
4. Exploit national and international expertise to workshop world’s best safety practices.
Armed with this knowledge, we will then:
1. Develop, in consultation with our industry partners and key stakeholders, new best practice benchmarks to improve safety in the fitness industry and reduce the risk of adverse health and injury outcomes;
2. Design regulation and safety practices to advance the achievement of those benchmarks; and
3. Develop training materials for industry use related to those benchmarks, with the objective of increasing safety, reducing the risk of adverse health outcomes and injury, and decreasing the prospect of adverse legal liability outcomes.