The experts at Robson Forensic are regularly retained to investigate injuries involving treadmills. This article focuses on the actions of treadmill users and fitness facility operators.
Treadmill Anatomy
Treadmill Anatomy

​Treadmill Casework

Treadmill investigations can typically be categorized into one of three groups:

  1. User actions
  2. Actions of fitness facilities
  3. Product/control malfunctions

This article focuses on the actions of treadmill users and fitness facility operators. For information on product malfunctions, including electronic controls, our sports and recreation experts can put you in direct contact with an applicable engineer.

About Treadmills

The treadmill is typically used for running or walking, some models can be set at an incline to increase the intensity of the workout. While the treadmill is a useful piece of equipment that can assist in personal fitness, it is also the piece of fitness equipment that is most commonly associated with injuries. In this document, we provide an introduction to some of the safety features that are designed to reduce the incidence and severity of injury. We also discuss some precautions that treadmill users and fitness facility operators can follow to promote safety.

How to Prevent Injuries Associated with this Machine:

Equipment Users:

  1. Stand on foot rails when starting the belt.
  2. Hold onto the handrails until comfortable with use of the treadmill and as needed.
  3. Set the speed and incline in appropriate to your personal fitness level.
  4. Wear appropriate athletic footwear.
  5. Only one person on the treadmill at a time.
  6. Look forward, and only run/walk/jog forward on the treadmill.
  7. Attach the safety clip/lanyard to your clothing.
  8. Do not step-off a moving treadmill.
  9. Keep children off of treadmills.

Facility Operators:

  1. Offer orientation to club members or users to clearly explain proper use of all equipment.
  2. Signage should be used to provide directions, issue instructional or safety information.
  3. Follow Manufacturer recommendations in terms of maintenance, inspection and documentation.
  4. Keep the area behind the treadmill clear.
  5. Clearly mark broken treadmills or remove them from the floor.
  6. Paint white lines on the belt of the treadmill to show belt movement.
  7. Provide active supervision around the cardio equipment.
  8. Consider using surveillance equipment.


Featured Expert

Laura M. Miele-Pascoe, Ph.D.

Dr. Laura Miele-Pascoe is an expert in sport and recreation with specific expertise in personal training, fitness facilities management and injury prevention. She is an accomplished athlete as well as an experienced trainer, coach and teacher. Dr. Miele runs her own business ‘mindoverbodyathletics’ in which she trains and consults athletes in a variety of sports and training methods. Dr. Miele continues to consult schools, athletic directors, coaches, parents, and student-athletes on the importance of preventative tactics in sports.