A recent spike in Peloton injuries is causing safety experts to sound the alarm for any Americans looking to up their fitness game.
In May 2021, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (C.P.S.C) announced a recall of Peloton’s two treadmill models (the Tread and Tread+) after 72 injury reports surfaced of adults, children, and pets becoming pulled under the belt of the machine. At least 29 of these reports resulted in children sustaining injuries, including broken bones, lacerations, and severe abrasions. Tragically, one of these incidents resulted in the death of a 6-year-old who became stuck under the moving belt.
These fitness equipment injuries are not isolated to at-home machines. According to C.P.S.C., more than 526,000 Americans are injured using exercise equipment every year, both at home and in the gym. At least 43,000 of these incidents result in severe and fatal injuries.
While there are thousands of ways to injure yourself while working out (overexertion, inexperience, fatigue), fitness injuries resulting from the negligence of a third party are the worst. These accidents can occur at any time, even with people who work out frequently, and are 100 percent preventable when safety standards are met.
The Most Common Fitness Injuries
The idea behind fitness equipment is to help people stay in shape and create a healthier lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean they are safe. Fitness equipment often operates at high speeds, with accelerated force, or with ample amounts of weight. When machines are poorly maintained, contain defects, or are not appropriately secured, devastating accidents can occur.
Some machines are more prone to accidents than others, regardless of whether they are used at home or the gym:
- Treadmills and Ellipticals: These two machines consistently top the list of the most dangerous fitness equipment on the market. The fast-moving belts and pedals create a perfect environment for people, objects, and pets to become stuck and caught, similar to the Peloton tragedies mentioned above. System defects on these machines can be deadly and may result from poor maintenance or product failures. Many Americans over the years have also reported terrifying incidents of being unable to stop or exit these machines, leading to traumatic injuries from jumping or collapsing.
- Stationary Bikes: Stationary bikes have several components that can lead to injuries if the equipment is not maintained correctly. Seats, handlebars, pedals, straps, belts, and gears can break, collapse, or detach during use. Spin class bikes are especially dangerous when not properly maintained as they endure high-impact workouts for long periods. With an uptick in at-home cycling due to Peloton and other new-age stationary bike trends, cycling injuries have risen. Indoor cycling programs that are too intense, bikes without proper maintenance instructions, and defects found in at-home models are only some accidents occurring since the pandemic.
- Weights: Weight machines and free weights can result in terrifying accidents and pose the risk of crushing injuries when all goes wrong. Common causes of weight machines include broken or worn cables and pully apparatuses, system malfunctions, mismarked weights, and tipping of unstable devices. Free weight areas can also pose a risk of injury when cluttered, unorganized, and standing weight racks are not adequately secured or damaged, causing them to break and fall.
- Cluttered Areas: Workout areas and gyms that are cluttered are breeding grounds for slip, trip, and fall accidents. Gyms are full of weights, machines, bands, towels, water bottles, bags, and hundreds of other objects that can quickly clutter a space and make it harder to see spills when they occur. Without ample room to move and proper storage space, gym members can (and often do) slip, trip, and fall in walkways, dressing rooms, and weight areas.
Personal Training Accidents
People who seek personal training are committed to their fitness journeys and looking for a personalized plan to meet their goals, but personalized does not mean safe. Thousands of people have sustained injuries over the years from negligent programs and trainers that have put them in harm’s way rather than in shape.
Personal trainers and coaches are responsible for meeting their client’s needs without putting them at risk of injury due to inexperience or overexertion. When trainers push too hard to create a workout plan far beyond the capacity of the person they are training, serious health injuries and conditions can arise.
Injuries occurring from negligent personal training may result from both the personal trainer and the gym that employed them. Gyms that hire personal trainers without safety training, supervision, background checks, and adequate qualifications could also be liable for any injuries from an accident during a session.
Common Injuries from Fitness Equipment
Fitness equipment can be heavy, fast-paced, and require significant force to operate. The injuries sustained from these machines can be determinantal, especially for first-time users.
The most common injuries resulting from fitness equipment injuries include:
– Fractures and broken bones;
– Severe abrasions;
– Soft tissue damage;
– Nerve damage;
– Sprains and strains; and
– Facial and eye injuries.
Fitness injuries can happen at any time but must include one of the following circumstances:
– Poorly maintained equipment;
– Equipment defects;
– Inadequate instructions for care and use;
– Missing safety features;
– Cluttered or unorganized facilities;
– Lack of proper hygiene practices; and
– High volume use.
Involved in a Fitness Accident
Fitness equipment accidents are preventable when adequate safety measures are in
place. Gyms are responsible for taking care of their equipment, testing, and replacing damaged pieces when they could cause injury. Fitness companies who manufacture at-home workout equipment should be taking proper care of their consumers by ridding their equipment of defects and errors and consistently re-testing products to ensure ongoing safety. When these steps do not occur, negligence may be at fault for your injury.
If your fitness equipment accident was the result of negligent practices, you might be eligible for compensation. We recommend hiring a personal injury attorney to help you explore your options and find the support you need to get back on your feet after an accident.
Work with The Top
NYC & Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber, have over 20 years of experience serving accident victims across New York City and Long Island. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning defense attorneys are not afraid to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a fitness equipment accident, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-LAW-4343, or schedule an appointment using our online form anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.
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