The gym might be last on your list of places where accidents are likely to happen. But, weights and other heavy gym equipment, among other things, pose a severe safety risk if not handled properly.

Believe it or not, you can die from improperly using a treadmill. One case that got media attention was in 2015 when Dave Goldberg, former CEO of online survey service SurveyMonkey, hit his head on a treadmill after falling. He died from traumatic brain injury and severe blood loss—and all this despite being fit as a fiddle at 47.

You can argue that such cases are rare (and they are), but deaths and injuries from gym equipment are, still, deaths and injuries. Accidents while working out at the local gym can leave people unable to move, if not live their lives the same way again. Nobody wants one to occur, but Murphy’s law is inevitable. Here are some steps to take in such situations:

Follow Your Trainer

Personal trainers do more than planning your gym session for the day. They should also hold your safety, first and foremost, when a specific exercise calls for using gym equipment. You rarely see a person lifting weights without a spotter, as getting pinned down by a pair of 25-kg steel plates isn’t a pleasant experience.

In the event of an accident, a trainer should know what to do, so it’s best to follow their instructions. They may administer first aid while waiting for paramedics to arrive and ascertain your condition. Just as they oversee your fitness regimen, they should also attend to your needs when injured.

While accidents can happen no matter how careful you are, nearly all cases involve human error. Anything from slipping on a flight of stairs to fracturing a bone while using a leg press always has a shortcoming on the gym management’s part. Why didn’t they make the stairwell safer?  Who was supposed to watch you use a leg press?

You may dismiss your injury along the lines of ‘it could’ve happened to anyone,’ but it can affect your daily life. You can learn more about injuries by visiting webpages like, but the gist is that someone is almost always responsible for failing to uphold the highest standard of care. 

Getting a lawyer’s expert opinion is a good idea. They can delve deeper into a personal injury case, determining whether or not the property owner is liable for the damage caused. The compensation the injured party can win from a solid case matters if they’re forced to miss—or worse, quit—from their job because of their injury.

Focus On Recovery

Missing a day or two on your routine can be discouraging, especially if you have fitness goals. But, forcing yourself to exercise with an injury can worsen it. Stay away from the gym in the meantime and focus on getting back on your feet. Your body will thank you for the ample time to rest.

There are some light exercises you can do at home while recovering, like stretches. These exercises can prevent your muscles from losing their mass after a long time of little to no activity, known as muscle atrophy. But, before doing any of that, you should get your doctor’s approval. The last thing you need is to deal with another torn ligament or other accidents at the gym.

Learn From The Experience

There’s no point in dwelling on an occurrence that’s already happened. The best thing you can do moving forward is to learn from the experience and prevent it from happening a second time. The next time you hit the gym, you should be twice as careful as before. Do everything you’ve always done and more.

Here are some tips to live by in this regard:

  • Never skip your warmups; they can be a real lifesaver.
  • Always hit the gym with a trainer or, at least, a partner.
  • After doing your lifts, put the weights back on the rack.
  • Take it slow and steady; don’t rush getting fit.
  • Take fluids in between exercises to stay hydrated.
  • Keep one eye on what’s happening around you.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help with specific equipment.


Gyms should help you stay healthy, not make your life miserable. A bit more caution when exercising in the gym never hurts anyone (although it shouldn’t be to the point of paranoia). With it, you can rest easy about going to the gym every day. 

When accidents at the gym happen, remain calm and take note of these tips. Between suffering an injury and dying, the former is the lesser evil.