Top 10 Risk Management Tips for Spas

1. Proper documentation is imperative. Have a client waiver written or reviewed by an attorney that releases you from liability when clients are in your spa. Clients should review and sign spa policies prior to receiving treatment.

2. In addition to the waiver, have clients fill out a pre-treatment questionnaire that is reviewed by the therapist to look for contraindications.

3. Perform an annual safety audit to look for surface potential hazards and fix them before they become a problem. Look at flooring, equipment, air quality, humidity levels. Note the effects of any new services implemented during the year.

4. Put safety policies in writing and give copies to your employees. Make sure they actually read them!

5. Make sure parking facilities and walkways are free or debris and well lit to reduce accidents. Install slip-resistant flooring and placing nonskid floor coverings in locker rooms and wet areas.

6. Make sure you have the proper general liability insurance, and that you are covered for any new service you add-especially anything with a medical "spin." (microdermabrasion, glycolic peels, etc.)

7. Remind staff of the proper methods of performing treatments to reduce repetitive strain injuries and workman's comp claims. This is especially important for massage therapists whose work is so physical.

8. Practice internal control and prevent employee theft by limiting the amount of cash in the facility and changing deposit schedules regularly.

9. Keep you facility spotlessly clean, and make sure equipment such as pedicure thrones have the capability to be completely free of bacteria through daily cleaning.

10. To help guard against potential fire hazards, avoid overloading electrical circuits, keep properly maintaining fire extinguishers and use fire alarms.