Injuries can offer occur in Health Clubs and Gyms as a result of there being not enough space between and around exercise equipment.
A health club depends on a growing membership to stay profitable. But gym members who have to wait to use equipment will not be happy. To make sure that health club members do not become unhappy, gym’s often add equipment. Usually though, the gym can not add additional space to accommodate the equipment, and so the equipment is squeezed in to the available space, reducing the space between each piece of equipment.
Where and how exercise equipment is placed is important for improving safety in health clubs and gyms. Overcrowding and improper spacing of equipment can lead to injury.
Every piece of exercise equipment will come with a manual. The manual will provide the dimensions for a minimum required safety zone or perimeter around the equipment. There should be no other equipment, objects or walls within the safety zone.
The purpose of the safety perimeter is to prevent injuries. Health equipment machines have moving parts and/or people moving on them. The failure to have enough free space around the equipment will result in injury to those persons using the machine, or those persons trying to move around the machine.
Proper equipment spacing means that it is placed in a way that maximizes movement and minimizes the possibility of injury. It does not necessarily mean even spacing. Facilities often place their equipment so that there is an equal amount of space to get by on either side of each machine. However, athletes going through these narrow spaces can easily bang into some part of the machines. A better plan is to group the machines by twos, allowing adequate space to safely walk by on one side of each machine. However, the minimum safety perimeter must be maintained between the machines.
Our firm recently undertook a case which underscores the importance of the safety perimeter. Our client was using an elliptical aerobic machine known as a REX Orbi-Linear Trainer manufactured by Sci-Fit. This machine has moving pedals for exercising the feet and legs,and handlebars which are pushed and pulled to exercise the arms. The manual clearly states that a one meter, or 40 inch, safety zone was required around the machine. The Manual stated:
“Equipment should be positioned with a safety perimeter of 40” or 1 meter around unit.” and that,
Failure to place the equipment on a stable and level sub-floor with a safety perimeter can result in injury to yourself and others.”
Yet, the equipment was placed no more than 3 inches away from a wall. Upon using the machine for the first time the gym member broke her wrist when her hand got caught between the moving handle bar and the wall. The injury would have been easily avoided had the Health Club followed the warnings in the manual.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of others you should contact a lawyer to discuss your rights. Zalman Schnurman & Miner are New York lawyers who represent the injured, including those injured in health clubs and gyms due to unsafe equipment.
For a free legal consultation to discuss your rights contact the attorneys at Zalman Shnurman & Miner at 1-800-LAWLINE (1-800-549-5463).
All cases are handled on a contingency fee basis.