I am beginning a free community workout in a local park. Do I need a liability form for participants even if the class is free?
The intent of this workout is to create a fun atmosphere where anyone can come train for free. It is my little way of giving back to the community. At the same time, I do not want to over look any liability, even though I will not be taking payment of any kind. Thoughts?
It does not take long to have your participants sign a quick liability form. It will cover you in the event that someone attempts to take action. Also, many parks may require you to pay a usage fee. This was an issue in my community as more and more trainers began to use open spaces.
If this is the case having liability waivers will be a must.
Having them sign waivers actually adds a level of professionalism as well. The assumption is that your program will grow and you'll eventually have to incorporate them, so why not start now.
Lastly, it will help you create a database of client information which will help you keep them informed as to new and exciting projects you create.
Hope this helps,
Sean is absolutely right. A liability waiver is a must. A:so cover your ground to have permission to use the park. Chances are that the community administration will want to have proof of your liability insurance.
I would also include a photo release clause on the form in the event that you want to snap pictures and post them on Facebook or on your website.
I also include on my forms a note asking people if they want to be included on periodic e-mails (such as the newsletter here on this site) and ask for their e-mail addresses in that case. I am very scrupulous, though, and won't send anything unless they have checked it off.
Congratulations on launching such a project as a community service.
General rule of thumb - when in doubt, use your waiver! The worse that could happen if you use your waiver and never need it is that you have an extra piece of paper to file :-)