Spa Liability Waiver Forms Protect Your Business

Spa liability waiver forms for treatments

Opening a new spa can be challenging and rewarding. Don’t make the mistake of not having readily available spa waivers. It’s important that guests understand and acknowledge the risks before participating in any spa experience. Unexpected issues can arise, so you need to protect yourself.

Why spa waivers are important: an example

In October 2022, Thermea Spa Village in Whitby, Ontario, Canada was hit with a multi-million dollar lawsuit. After visiting the newly opened spa, twenty-eight people discovered they were left with mild to serious health problems. It was discovered guests were using saltwater pools contaminated with staph bacteria. This exposure to contaminants led to two legal notices sent to the spa’s CEO that they intended to file a lawsuit against the spa.

Of the affected guests, some experienced rashes of varying degrees, ear infections, and hearing loss, among other symptoms. What did this mean for the spa? They had to shut down many of the pools and spa areas until the systems were brought up to code, inspected, and approved. They damaged their reputation only weeks into opening the spa and have had to counteract that misstep. They’re back to regular operations now.

While the spa had been inspected in early October 2022 and given the all-clear, in mid-October 2022, Durham Region public health said there were pseudomonas and staph bacteria present. A week later, they discovered malfunctioning UV lamps and a lack of disinfectants were likely the cause.

The spa now has some serious issues with trust, reliability, and credibility, even seven months after the incident. And there’s currently a five-million-dollar lawsuit against the spa as a result. According to the Durham Region health department, the spa didn’t ensure the pools were “free from every serious condition.” On top of that, the pools had been inspected by other sources that showed they weren’t using the required levels of bromine, a sanitizer.

For guests that were affected and guests that heard the news in the media, they’re much less likely to ever return to that spa or related ones, or visit if they hadn’t yet. That the spa possibly withheld information from guests made the whole situation worse for everyone. Not only would they have been able to seek the proper treatment sooner, but they would also have seen the spa doing everything they could to make things right instead of trying to skirt around the subject.

Online liability waivers can be a form of protection in cases similar to this. A spa liability waiver form will save spas from situations like this when they have done their due diligence for the safety of their guests.

What online liability waivers spas should include

When it comes to a simple online liability waiver for spas, the average spa should include:

  • The name of the business/spa
  • The name of the person entering into the agreement
  • The business/spa address
  • The services the spa provides
  • The risks these services might pose (infections, extreme temperatures, muscle strains)
  • The dates to which the waiver applies

These are just the basic essentials for any spa. Things can start to get customized depending on the type of spa.

  • Water/thermal spas should consider the additional risks they pose in terms of water contaminants and other risks associated with swimming. There are also unique risks when using saunas or cold baths that must be explained.
  • Day spas should consider what experiences they provide that have unique risks, such as acupuncture or massages, for example. While many symptoms might be common after treatments like these (soreness, tenderness, and swelling) they must still be spelled out for clients to understand.
  • Destination spas might offer lots of unique experiences depending on the destination. Some areas might be more prone to local diseases or contaminants than others. A section detailing the specific destination’s risks is essential.

What to pair with spa waivers

A business shouldn’t implement an online liability waiver and assume it will help them avoid and solve all of their problems. Spa waivers must be paired with strategies that uphold the promises of the waiver.

  1. Information should be continuous

Once a spa waiver is signed, that doesn’t mean the end of informational communication with the guest. Much like the lawsuit filed against Thermea Spa Village, communication of risks and changes should be consistent or guests will feel information has been withheld.

Spa treatments are often different as well. Most of the time, guests will participate in multiple treatments that have different processes, outcomes, and risks. Proper communication about these treatments should always be available so the guest is aware of what they’re getting into.

Only when the treatment is properly explained, questions are answered, and guests enter the treatment voluntarily with no outstanding questions should it continue. Guests can consent to treatment when they understand the nature, benefits, risks, side effects, alternatives, and consequences of not having the treatment.

  1. Staff should be credible

If the staff at a spa is found to be uncertified or incapable of providing the proper, safe treatment, lawsuits can ensue. Spas must ensure their staff can provide the treatments, properly inform the guest, use the right products and equipment, and properly document the treatment.

Because spas can pose many health risks, staff must also be up-to-date with local recalls, know their training to properly address any physical issues that arise, understand the outcomes of different treatments, and have the skills required to approach more complicated treatments. Otherwise, guests are more likely to suffer injuries or infections that could have been avoided.

  1. Guest privacy should be top of mind

Privacy class action lawsuits are becoming more prevalent due to people’s expectations of privacy, and the ability of technology to allow for the misuse and/or selling of data. Online liability waivers should be an ironclad strategy to manage customer data.

Spas should understand and properly manage their client’s right to privacy by inputting their personal data into secure storage systems. These storage systems will then help businesses maintain organized collections of data for their record-keeping obligations.

Only relevant personal information should be collected and the purpose of that collection should be clear to the guest in terms of how it will be used and stored with the necessary privacy and data protection policies to ensure their data isn’t shared, leaked, or sold with other businesses.

Personalize your form with WaiverForever

As with any industry, not all spas will use the same online liability waiver. Waiver Forever offers a multitude of features that address various data collection and waiver needs. 

For the spa industry specifically, check out these perks to determine what’s needed for you. Use Waiver Forever to develop the perfect spa waiver.