Gym Accidents: FAQ


The Law Of… Keeping Fit Safely

There is no denying that the gym provides opportunity to build fitness, drop fat and for those who have suffered injury, it can be a fantastic place for rehabilitation. But gym accidents are surprisingly common in Britain.

Is there a way to avoid unsafe gyms and what can you do if you find yourself the victim of negligence at the gym? Our Ruth Magee, Personal Injury solicitor, answers your frequently asked questions about accidents at the gym.

What Injuries Happen At The Gym?

Injuries are extremely common at the gym, whether they are caused by the individual who has suffered the injury or it has been caused by negligence of the gym itself.

Common areas of the body to suffer injury are:

  • The back
  • Hamstring
  • Knees
  • Shoulder
  • Head

Sadly, it is possible to be involved in more serious injuries at the gym if care is not taken both by the gym and the person attending. There is a risk of catastrophic injury as gyms often contain machinery that, if used incorrectly, can break bones, cause paralysis and in some of the most tragic events, even cause death.

How Do Injuries Occur At The Gym?

Many people experience minor injuries at the gym because of the way they have carried out an exercise. It's incredibly important to get an induction to all the machines available to you at your gym and follow instructions by gym instructors to minimise the chance of serious injury.

By taking a break from exercising and resting the injured part of the body, people are often able to recover quickly. More serious injuries sustained are more difficult to recover from and may involve rehabilitation, absence from work and in some cases, surgery. In these instances, it is possible the accident was caused by the negligence of the gym you are attending.

Accidents can happen when:

  • Equipment at the gym is faulty
  • Instructors are providing poor advice on how to exercise or use the equipment
  • Hazards at the gym are not cleared away (e.g. free weights)

How Do I Find A Safe Gym?

When finding a gym that is both appropriate to your needs and one that is safe, it is worth considering the following points:

  • Take a tour of the gym before you attend or sign up to the gym. Whilst you're taking the tour, ask questions of the instructor taking you round, like "What emergency procedures do you have in place, if there is an accident?"
  • Does they gym have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED)? This is a sign the gym takes health and safety very seriously.
  • Make sure insurance is in place in case of an injury occurring.
  • Check that hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes are available for you to wipe down machines with. There should also be a member of staff making regular rounds with disinfectant.
  • If someone is doing something unsafe, they should be called on by members of staff monitoring the gym.

These pointers will help you assess if a gym is appropriate before you sign up to a contract. It is important to note that even in the safest gyms, accidents can still happen and it's essential to know what you can do if you do find yourself with an injury as a result of someone else's negligence.

What Can I Do If I Have Had An Accident At The Gym That Wasn't My Fault?

Injuries at the gym can be frustrating as it often means that the good work you have put in to going to the gym is now halted for a period of time as you recover from the injury. Once you have sought the medical advice that is needed for your injury, advice from a Personal Injury solicitor might provide you with information on what the best next steps are to make.

It is possible that compensation could speed up your recovery by giving you the financial means to seek specialist help. If you should seek advice from a personal injury solicitor here at Simpson Millar, we can provide you with specialist advice and provide you with an experienced claims team that can ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to you.

Ruth comments:

"There has been a real movement in the last 20 years of people eating more healthily and exercising to ensure the best quality of life. Gyms are a fantastic facility for anyone looking to exercise and get fit."

"Unfortunately, they are also injury traps. It is so easy to injure yourself when you are working muscles that sometimes stay stagnant throughout the working day and then are put under huge amounts of pressure all of a sudden."

"Accidents at the gym should not put people off going, but it is important to seek a reputable gym and follow instructions from instructors explicitly."

"Injuries at the gym can be infuriating as the whole point of going to the gym is to avoid potential frailty and injury in the future. Compensation can go a long way to assist with a speedy return to the gym and full fitness."

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