Treadmill Safety: Preventing Treadmill Injuries Expert Article

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. We also frequently provide electrical engineers to investigate equipment and controls malfunctions.

Treadmill Safety Expert Witness

For information relevant to treadmill product liability investigations, read the article Treadmills & Children: Entrapment Injuries.

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, please submit an inquiry..

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.

Treadmill Anatomy

How to Prevent Injuries Associated With Treadmills:

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 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 and 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.


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