For a lot of us, going to the gym is an important part of our weekly routine and in the New Year, more of us start to make resolutions to get fit and healthy in an attempt to shed all of the Christmas pounds.
However, as the number of gym and fitness centre memberships rise, unfortunately so do the number of accidents.
Owners and managers of fitness facilities have a legal responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe environment for their members by providing well-maintained gym equipment, knowledgeable trainers, vigilant supervisors and safe, hygienic facilities. They should have safe systems in place to ensure that their equipment is inspected and maintained regularly and that machines are used correctly.
It’s important to remember that gym owners and instructors are all professionals and it is their responsibility to ensure that your health and safety is paramount and to be insured in the event of any injuries to users of their equipment and premises.
Common causes of gym accidents include:
- Faulty or defective gym equipment
- Lack of maintenance or repair on gym equipment
- Inadequate or improper instruction by a trainer
- Inadequate induction sessions where clients are not shown how to use equipment properly
- Slips, trips or falls on wet or uneven flooring
- Improper use of equipment by another gym user, which causes injury to third parties
- Inadequate cleaning of equipment or facilities that could lead to infections
- Incorrect use of weights
- Objects falling from height
- Workplace accidents
Gym owners are responsible for ensuring that any equipment they own and allow you to use is in good working order. There are many different types of equipment in the gym, including free weights, weight machines and cardio machines such as step machines and treadmills, rowing machines and cross trainers. These machines should be regularly checked to ensure they are safe and fit for purpose and if any issues are identified, they should not be used until they have been fixed.
Members of staff should also clearly mark any machines that are not working correctly as ‘out of order’. If you were to ignore such a warning sign and use the equipment regardless of the warning sign and injure yourself, it would almost certainly not lead to a successful claim. However, if the sign was not clearly visible, you may have a case.
The most common types of injuries arising from gym accidents are strains and sprains of muscles, torn ligaments and tendons, neck and back injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractured bones, internal injuries to organs, heart attacks and lacerations. In addition to the pain of the injuries themselves, often treatment and recovery are painful and cause psychological suffering. Operations, physiotherapy and the effects of enduring plaster casts, wheelchairs or crutches may also impact your quality of life and you may require care and support from family or friends.
What to do if you have an accident at the gym
If you have an accident at a gym and suffer an injury, one of the first things to do is report the incident to a member of staff and ensure that the details of the accident are adequately recorded in an accident book. It is also advisable, depending on the severity of your injury, to seek immediate medical assistance by visiting your GP or your local hospital. Taking photographs of the dangerous machines, defects or areas where the accident happened is also helpful for any potential personal injury claim. It is also a good idea to obtain contact details from any witnesses who saw your accident take place.
In claims involving accidents in gyms, a Claimant has to show that the owner of the property owed you a duty, the owner breached that duty and you were injured as a result of that breach and suffered loss.
Just as gym goers have a right to be able to train in a gym that is well maintained and properly set up, so do the people who work there. There are many ways a person can be injured while they are at work and employers have a duty to provide their staff with a safe working environment, the proper equipment to do their job correctly and proper training.
If you think you, or someone you know, has sustained an injury while at the gym, don’t hesitate to contact us on 0114 218 4000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.