What to Do if Someone Is Injured at Your Sports and Fitness Center

a close-up of a person

Sports and fitness centers offer people a way to stay active and healthy. Patrons may take classes or sign up for exercise programs. Some centers also offer on-site physical therapy and access to saunas, snack bars, and other amenities.

It’s possible for anyone participating in physical activities to be injured. While injuries include strains and sprains, more severe injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and bone fractures. The 30 million teens and children who engage in sports in the United States produce three-and-a-half million injuries each year. Since sports injuries are common, it’s possible someone may be injured in your sports and fitness center. Here are the steps you should take if one of your patrons suffers an injury.

Attend to their injuries promptly.


Provide immediate medical care. Your facility should have First Aid kits and staff with First Aid training. You may bandage a laceration to stop bleeding. Applying a cold compress to sprains will reduce swelling. Unless the injured party has a compound fracture, you may not be able to determine if a bone fracture or dislocation’s affecting them. Have the injured party examined by medical experts as soon as possible.

Moving someone with a spinal cord or neck injury could cause paralysis. If the injured party has an unstable injury, call 911 and have them examined by paramedics. Avoid aggravating severe injuries by keeping them immobile.

They may need medical tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, to diagnose torn ligaments, tendons, or cartilage. Medical professionals should evaluate their condition, use tests to confirm a diagnosis, and develop a suitable treatment plan. For example, a person suffering from a spinal injury may need spine trauma treatment. They may need a discectomy, disc replacement, or spine surgery to address their physical injuries.

Investigate the accident.


Shut down the area where the accident occurred. Take time to inspect the scene after the injured party’s received treatment and been removed.

Have your facility staff take statements from witnesses and gather evidence from the scene of the accident. Determining the cause of the accident enables you to determine whether it was a genuine accident, whether someone’s conduct led to the accident, or whether faulty equipment or poor maintenance was to blame.

For example, if you determine that another patron intentionally tripped the injured party, you may bar them from your facilities to prevent further issues. If you determine that a staff person failed to perform routine maintenance that contributed to the accident, you may discipline or terminate that employee.

You may opt to perform an evaluation of your entire facility and invest in upgrades. You may refer to a running track repair guide and hire experts to perform repairs, even if the injured party wasn’t hurt on your running track. Ensuring all maintenance tasks are up to date reduces the risk of further injuries.

Address potential liability issues.


Your accident investigation will determine if you could face a lawsuit due to the accident. There are many reasons a lawsuit is possible. A personal injury attorney may try to establish fault to recoup medical expenses and personal costs on behalf of the injured party.

Suppose you determine that the handrail along your pool’s steps is loose. Since the injured party slipped when getting out of the pool, it’s possible the handrail contributed to their accident. Suppose you’d hired someone to repair the handrail, and they didn’t perform the repairs correctly. They may be partially liable for the accident, mitigating your liability.

No matter who’s at fault, your facility must invest in repairs to reduce the risk of further injury to other patrons.

Sports injuries occur every day. These injuries range from minor strains to severe injuries, such as compound fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Provide immediate medical care to the injured party, investigate the accident, and address any liability issues stemming from the accident.

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