Locker rooms can have a bad reputation for many reasons. They’re places that often get dirty, can see theft, and can come with other hazards, ranging from disease to a poor, off-putting aesthetic. No one wants to use a locker room with an inconvenient or bad design, which can drive away business or lead to injuries.
Poorly designed locker rooms can have the following hazards:
- Bacteria and viruses, especially in damp areas. On some materials, bacteria can stick and grow easily after being carried in by shoes and dirty clothes. Influenza and ringworm (athlete’s foot) are common in locker rooms.
- Tripping hazards. Shoes, towels, backpacks, sports equipment, and other items can cause tripping hazards in narrow areas if there is not enough room to walk.
- Mold. Moisture and mold go together very well, and lockers aren’t immune to this problem.
- Slipping and falling. Water commonly gathers in locker rooms, which also tend to have attached bathrooms.
- Unsecured and broken lockers. Lockers are typically bolted to a wall or to each other, and worn lockers can fall, leading to injuries.
But these pitfalls can be avoided or minimized. Creating the perfect locker room for your school, gym, spa, or other business can go a long way toward improving safety, health, and customer satisfaction. Here are some helpful tips to do just that.
#1. Choose the right locker material. Not every locker room is the same. Some serve swimming pools, and others will serve gyms or health clubs. School locker rooms may see more frequent use than other types and may see more broken lockers and wear than a locker room in a smaller health club.
Picking the right locker material will help prevent broken lockers and other damage, including blunt force and water damage. For example, you likely won’t want to use wooden lockers in a room that will see a lot of excessive moisture, unless it’s a small number of them.
You’ll have a few different choices of locker material to pick from:
- Metal lockers. These are a common locker type, and great for cost effectiveness. Metal lockers can be easily assembled and disassembled, making them ideal for schools, construction sites, and any area that will serve a high number of people in a short amount of time. However, metal can dent easily and fall victim to scratches, so repairs may be necessary. Metal lockers may or may not come with locks. In many cases, customers will need to provide their own padlocks.
- Plastic lockers. Plastic lockers are highly water-resistant and can come in a variety of fun colors. They’re a good choice when serving pools, spas, and some health clubs. Their material makes them easier to clean, and they don’t rust. Plastic lockers are also resistant to vandalism.
- Wooden Lockers. Most often found in health clubs and smaller locker rooms, wooden lockers come in a variety of shades and wood types. They lend a “classier” look to a locker room, and their neutral color allows them to meet any aesthetic. Wood is also strong and helps to prevent locker room theft.
#2. Provide Seating and Safety. Every locker room requires attention to security and safety due to their nature. To keep students, customers, and employees happy, be sure to pay attention to the following items:
- Provide benches. You’ll need benches in every locker room, which you can purchase along with your lockers. Benches should be far enough from the front of each locker to allow easy wheelchair access and allow the easy flow of people. Having plenty of space will also reduce tripping hazards. Corners and walls are good spots to add benches, but they’ll work anywhere someone might change or dress. Be sure no bench obstructs movement through the locker room.
- Prevent slipping and tripping. Locker rooms, bathrooms and shower areas should also be made of water-resistant material that also provides enough friction to prevent slipping and falling. Be sure that water can drain easily, and provide adequate ventilation to prevent mold, bacteria, and virus buildup. Also avoid tight areas in your locker room that are difficult to walk through, as this can lead to collisions, tripping on others’ belongings, or discomfort.
- Accommodate electronics. Cell phone and laptop lockers, which are highly secure, are also available. These lockers are smaller than standard lockers, have no ventilation, and come with their own locks, reducing the chance of theft. These lockers can be placed in a locker room or outside of it, such as near a front desk. This will also help to prevent moisture damage to sensitive electronics.
- Provide locks and keys. Even if customers are bringing their own locks and keys, it’s a good idea to invest in lockers that have their own locks or provide locks and keys to people who do not have them. Not only will this prevent theft, but it will add convenience to employees and customers and help prevent turnover.
#3. Post the Right Notices. Reminding customers, employees, and students to be safe can help prevent theft. Post notices throughout your locker room, reminding customers to bring their own locks or to keep their keys with them if using already-provided locks. For additional safety, post notices that locker rooms and bathrooms are monitored by an employee.
#4. Make Any Necessary Repairs. Lockers can break, and it’s important to remove, tape off, or otherwise restrict access to any lockers that aren’t secured well or broken. Repair these lockers quickly to prevent theft and injury.
Broken locker doors must also get fixed right away, as a customer could inadvertently leave their belongings unsecured. Jagged doors, especially metal ones, can also cut and injure people.
Have Questions? National Mailboxes doesn’t just specialize in mailboxes of all types. We also provide lockers of all types along with benches and can help greatly with your locker room setup. Be sure to contact us today with any concerns you may have about your locker room, and we’ll help you find the right solution.