: We have
someone that wants to donate a treadmill to us. One board member thinks
its a great idea to put it in the recreation room. I say it is a huge
: It is a potential
liability but not a huge
No Risk-Free Environment
. It is impossible to be free of risk in an association. If you have
common areas, you have risk from sidewalks (trip and falls), lobbies (slip
and falls), trees (falling branches), roofs (water leaks), plumbing
(water leaks), drain lines (backups), etc.
Weigh & Manage Risk
The more sensible approach is to weigh
the risk and benefits. If you have risk with no
reward, avoid the risk. If you have low risk and high reward, take the
risk. If the risk equals the reward, figure out how to reduce the risk.
There are common sense ways to manage risk related to a treadmill. First and
foremost, make sure your exercise equipment is covered under
your HOA's insurance policy. Second, make sure you properly maintain
the equipment by setting up a regular inspection and maintenance program
for all equipment. Putting
a sign on the wall that equipment is used at the user's own risk offers
only limited protection but it can't hurt. Finally, you could have
users sign a hold harmless agreement
releasing the association from liability in the event the person is injured. For
some associations, ensuring that everyone sign a release is manageable.
For others, it is impossible.
. An important consideration is insurance. What will the HOA's insurance carrier allow? Some policies may require the HOA to carry commercial gym equipment.
: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us
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