Treadmill Injuries: Distractions Cause Accidents

Treadmill Injuries: Distractions Cause Accidents

Treadmills are a common feature of most gyms, and particularly given the uncertain weather conditions for a good outdoors run in England and Wales, treadmills are used by many people on a daily basis.

Much in the same way there is an increased chance of road accidents occurring on the more familiar roads travelled every day, the routine use of today’s hi-tech treadmills may lower people’s awareness of potential hazards.

Janessa Graves, a professor at the College of Nursing at Washington State University who recently led a study of exercise machine injuries, said, “We have to weigh the costs and the benefits of these types of activities, and just be aware of what some of the risks are.”

Whereas an outdoors jog poses an element of risk, such as traffic and uneven pavements that could potentially cause an accident that wasn’t your fault, the same knowledge of required caution is necessary in a gym.

Recently in the headlines was the tragic case of SurveyMonkey Chief Executive, Dave Goldberg, who was fatally injured in an accident involving a treadmill. Mr Goldberg, husband of Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, was found on the floor of a gym at a resort in Mexico, having fallen from a treadmill. A Mexican official said, “He fell off the treadmill and cracked his head open.”

Treadmill accidents are linked to three deaths a year in the USA, with over 30,000 treadmill accidents similar to that of Mr Goldberg’s causing injuries that required hospital treatment.

It has been suggested that one of the causes for distraction whilst routinely operating the seemingly simple design of a treadmill is the modification to the technology, with the various menus, screens and settings that may steal your focus from keeping your balance or ensuring you remain at a comfortable pace. There are certainly enough youtube videos of the kind of potential accidents that could happen on a treadmill, pointing out the fact that the equipment is not the care-free exercise you may think.

Should the treadmill reach a speed that you are not able to keep up with, runners essentially find themselves on a platform that has the ability to fling them at speed. Though it is a runner’s responsibility to ensure they follow the machinery’s guidelines and only use at a pace at which they are comfortable, the gym and its staff have a responsibility to ensure all gym members receive adequate training on the equipment, and that any machinery is regularly checked and maintained so as to avoid an accident due to malfunction.

If you have been injured in an accident at the gym, Claims Direct lawyers will be able to assess your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

For a free consultation call us on freephone 0800 884 0321 or start your claim online and we will be happy to help.