A fitness environment, such as a gym or a personal training facility, is at risk of a variety of different emergencies occurrences. Accidents, injuries, medical conditions, and slips, trips, and falls on gym equipment can result in the need for first aid treatment. Because of the increased risk of injury in this type of environment, policies and procedures are put in place. And, in some states are required for the facility to remain in operation. So, what are the emergency procedures in a fitness environment?

Chain of Command

Although the chain of command in treating the emergency involves only specific people, all employees in a fitness facility need to be knowledgeable of what their role is if an emergency occurs.

  • Fitness instructors deal with emergency situations when they arise.
  • Receptionists should be responsible for contacting emergency services and meeting and directing them to the location where the emergency occurred.
  • A manager should be available to fill out an incident report.
  • If a paramedic is on site, their job will be to treat the injury.
When physically treating the injury, a different chain of command is used. The following is a list of those who should respond to treat an injury:
  • EMTs
  • Athletic trainers
  • Club’s 1st responder (if on scene)
  • Gym staff
  • Club member trained in CPR
Emergency Action Plan

In all fitness environments, it is recommended that an emergency action plan, also known as an EAP, should be developed. The EAP should be activated in the event of an emergency. In some cases, the EAP is posted within the facility for everyone to see. If it is not posted, the EAP should be kept on file where all employees know to find it. All employees should be knowledgeable of the policy and procedures to follow if an emergency occurs.

Equipment and facilities should be checked regularly, and service and maintenance should be performed. Emergency equipment should be available as well, and clearly marked within the building. First aid kits, fire extinguishers, and AEDs should be available, and all employees and staff should know where they are located.

Since 58 million Americans use exercise facilities every year, accidents and emergencies are bound to happen. Be prepared if you are present during an emergency.