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New year, new you? Don’t let an accident at the gym leave you in worse shape than when you started

January is slowly drawing to a close, and in the month of good intentions many of us have hit the gym, resolving to get fit. Gym memberships are at their highest in January and with people eager to see results quickly, they can make mistakes with potentially lasting consequences.

Most gyms contain specialist equipment with heavy weights. These machines and equipment can cause serious injury to the user if they are not well maintained and used correctly. To avoid such injuries gyms have strict health and safety rules that apply to them, however sometimes these rules and regulations are overlooked or ignored and can result in injuries.

There are a number of ways that faulty equipment or lack of proper instruction could cause injury at the gym, for example:

  • The equipment is faulty or poorly maintained
  • The instructions for using the equipment are unclear
  • New members have not been provided with adequate induction or training sessions
  • Insufficient cleaning resulting in slips on wet floors

Stay Injury Free

To give you your best shot at keeping those keep fit resolutions there are several things you can do to stay safe and injury free at the gym.

Most gyms will offer an induction session when you join. This will give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the safe and correct method of using the equipment. If your gym does not offer an induction, don’t be afraid to request one.

Often machines will have information and warning labels, showing you how to use the equipment and warning you against using it if you’re feeling dizzy or nauseous. If this label is missing, it is best to bring it to an instructor’s attention and ask them what you need to know.

Most gyms will offer instructor led classes. Gym instructors owe you a duty of care and must give you exercise advice that is safe and appropriate for your level of fitness. Your gym instructor should assess your general fitness level before you join any classes to ensure that your workout is suitable.

Injured at the gym?

If you are unfortunate to suffer an injury at the gym, be sure to report the incident to staff and ensure it is properly recorded. It is useful to take photos of defective apparatus and take details of any witnesses who saw what happened. Seek prompt medical attention from your GP or hospital depending on the severity of your injury.

To be entitled to make a personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that your injury was caused as a result of a failure or negligence in duty of care. If the gym failed in their duty, you could well be entitled to take legal action and receive some form of compensation.