A commercial fitness gym positively must provide a safe training environment for those working out on the premises. Gym managers that do not take deliberate steps to rack weights or clean up sweaty, slippery floors are contributing to potential accidents. Responsibilities do not end with such obvious steps. Gyms known for blaring loud music to pump up members to train hard are not excused from exercising good judgment. When excessive volume contributes to negligent and avoidable injuries, gym owners may end up being held liable.
Distractions Create Accidents
Considering the injury potential associated with lifting heavy weights, continually playing excessively loud music could be deemed a form of negligence. Blasting music through a gym should not be done to the point people's attention is drawn away from their workouts. When a workout partner is spotting someone trying to bench press very heavy weight and the music makes communicating difficult, an injury could occur when the spotter does not pull up on the weight when asked. If the spotter was not able to hear the partner's request clearly due to the music, the possibility of a lawsuit exists.
Establishing Credibility for Mishaps
Being flippant about music being a contributing factor to negligent injuries is unwise. Studies have been shown loud music directly contributes to car accidents. There is no reason to suggest loud music cannot contribute to gym accidents. Such claims gain further credibility when the following additional factors come into play:
- Ignoring Requests
In legal terms, negligence includes the accidental cause of injury when one party had a duty to the other party and failed to act. When the gym's management continually ignored complaints about the music, it would be difficult to overcome negligence claims in court. This is doubly true if a series of "near miss" accidents previously occurred due to the overly loud music. Lowering the volume on the music would be a very reasonable request. Not responding to such a request in light of the risks would cast the gym in a bad legal light.
- Dismissing Accidents
Not taking lesser accidents seriously and making appropriate changes would not be prudent. Imagine a scenario in which someone performs shoulder side raises and accidentally hits another person with a dumbbell. No serious injury occurs, but one or both parties mentioned distracting loud music contributed to the accident. What management does from this point forward could factor heavily into future claims of liability. Ignoring the contributing factors leading to incidents definitely supports negligence claims. Management did not act to prevent further and more serious accidents from happening in the future.
Cut the Music
Gym owners should really rethink the need to play booming music. Otherwise, they may find themselves interacting more with a personal injury attorney than fellow fitness enthusiasts.