I have gotten a ton of questions lately about Liability Waivers so I thought it would be a great opportunity to dive into this topic. As so many of us are studio owners, privately train clients, host workshops, and have online workout programs, this is a topic that everyone (yes, YOU too!) can take something from. Liability Waivers to me are the most operational documents (along with Client Agreements and maybe a Rental Agreement) and 100% key to the smooth operations of your business.
What are they?
Liability Waivers go by a few names (Agreement to Participate, Assumption of Risk) but ultimately they protect you and your business in the event of an accident while training that causes injury to a person or property.
As physical activity increases the risk of injury increases, and we want to make sure that the participant 1) is aware of the risk, 2) takes responsibility for themselves in the event they are injured, 3) takes responsibility for damage to property, and 4) will not pursue legal action in the event of an injury during the training.
A well written Liability Waiver will cover all of these points and more.
Why do I need one?
Accidents as inevitable, and an injured participant can still be upset and threaten to hire a lawyer to pursue compensation. What the Liability Waiver does however, is show that you the studio owner took the proper level of responsibility to inform the participants of the risk involved and ‘double check’ with them that they still want to pursue the activity.
What should a good waiver contain?
What the activity is,
That the participant is aware of the risk,
The participant takes responsibility for themselves in the event of an injury
The participant takes responsibility for damage to your property,
The participant will not pursue legal action in the event of an accident or injury,
Medical clearance or statement of health from the participant.
Note that these are the bare minimum requirements and I always insert addition language tailored to my client’s needs. For example - specific language for online training, photo use, or in-depth medical clearance for pre/post-natal clients.
Can I still use the one I downloaded off this website/borrowed from my friend?
Sure. You can do whatever you want as a business owner - it’s certain not unlawful.
But would you eat food without knowing how it was prepared? Maybe. Would you put the safety, security and future of your business in the hands of a piece of paper that wasn’t made for you, or your best interest in mind? Probably not, huh?
Side note: If I haven’t convinced you that it’s not the smartest idea to use random forms Siri or Google finds you, here’s a great blog I wrote earlier this year that dives deep into the topic.
What should I do if I haven’t been using a Liability Waiver?
Easy. Start using one today.
If you have a small client base, you can have them sign a paper waiver as when they next come to the studio. If you have a larger client base, you can insert into your online booking system (like a MindBody, Wellness Living or Schedulicity) and have them ‘check the box’ next time they go online to book a class.
How are you going to get your hands on a well-written and thoughtful waiver? Maybe a trusted colleague has one you can use and tweak. Or….
You can email me and I will take care of you. Danielle@DanielleSteadBlanton.com Or leave a message below with your email and I’ll reach out.
In fact, I believe in the power of Liability Waivers so firmly that I’m going to give every.single.person who reaches out for a custom Waiver, 30% off. Mention you read this blog post. Share it with your friends and get your friends hooked up. They’re that important and I want to feel confident in the safety and security of your business.
Can’t wait to hear from you!