The Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management (AFIRM) Project was set up to explore the operation of rules and regulations for the delivery of safe fitness services. This article summarises the results of recent focus group research and a national survey of risk management practices by the AFIRM Project. Our focus group research in four States identified the following most important concerns: (1) the competency of fitness professionals; (2) the effectiveness of pre-exercise screening and the management of de-conditioned clients; (3) poor supervision of fitness service users and incorrect use of equipment; (4) fitness trainers failing to remain within their scope of practice; (5) equipment misuse (as distinct from incorrect use); and (6) poor fitness training environments. This information was then used to develop 45 specific items for a questionnaire that was disseminated throughout the fitness industry. The survey, which is the largest ever conducted in the Australian fitness industry (n = 1,178), identified similar concerns. Our research indicates that efforts to improve risk management in the fitness industry should focus, first and foremost, on the development and monitoring of safety policy, and improvements in the education and training of fitness instructors to ensure that they can incorporate risk management practices.
Objective: To identify independent factors associated with caregiver supervision levels at beaches. Methods: Children (aged 1-14 years) engaged in beach play and their caregivers were observed at Australian beaches during September-April, 2008/09. Caregiver, child, and environmental factor data were collected and recorded on a validated observation instrument. The main outcome of interest was a continuous measure of supervision. After adjusting for potential clustering by beach/state, multivariable linear regression was used to identify independent factors associated with caregiver supervision. Results: Four independent predictors of supervision and one interaction effect (child age by the caregiver and child position on beach) were identified. Caregivers who were supervising from a different position to where the child was playing were less likely to provide high supervision, as were older caregivers (>35 years) compared to younger caregivers (≤34 years). Compared to children playing alone, children playing with one, or two or more others were less likely to receive high supervision, and children aged 1-4 years were likely to receive higher supervision than older children. Conclusion: This study provides new knowledge about underlying factors associated with the level of caregiver supervision in beach settings. Future studies should continue to explore independent predictors of supervision so that effective programmes, which focus on caregiver supervision, can be targeted to address poor supervision practices.