Accidents can occur anywhere and at any time, especially in gyms and during sports classes or games. The quick movements, raised heart rates and perhaps sweaty surfaces can lead to incidents such as slips and trips, to those of a more serious nature. It is the people who work in the gym’s responsibility to make sure that everyone is as safe as they can be, and if an accident or illness was to happen, then they would know what to do.
First of all, first aid equipment should be stored in the gym within easy access for anyone needing it in a hurry. It is a good idea to plan for all eventualities so evaluate the gym and what kind of exercise people do there, and the possible injuries or illnesses that could occur. Obviously, no one is expecting the gym instructors to be able to deal with every medical emergency – they’re not doctors after all – but sufficient equipment and training should be to hand to deliver first aid, quickly and efficiently until emergency ambulance crews arrive.
All coaches and instructors should be able to react quickly when an incident occurs, and not hesitate when it comes to deciding what to do. However, someone’s readiness cannot be tested until they are actually in that situation; they may panic and their mind goes blank, and there isn’t anything anyone can do to stop that from happening. The only way around it is to properly train more than one person so even if one person can’t remember what to do, there will be someone else who does.
First aid manikins are an excellent tool to practice first aid on. Coming in adult and child sizes, coaches are able to practice clearing airways and performing CPR on life like training manikins. With the training, and practice on the manikins, if they are faced with a real life situation, they will instinctively know what to do. As well as completing CPR training, coaches should be competent at dressing wounds for cuts and burns, the recovery position and how to deal with sprains, strains, fractures and breaks of the bones and muscles.
Of course, coaches should be confident to deliver first aid when it is needed, but taking steps to avoid needing it is best for everybody. By taking simple steps, many accidents and injuries can be avoided. Things such as removing hazards by putting equipment away once it is finished being used and mopping up spillages to avoid slip and trip hazards. Also, properly supervised sessions should take place to ensure that everyone who is using the gym and its equipment knows how to use it properly and safely. Improper technique is a common cause of injury, so by teaching the correct technique and proper supervision, the risk of injury can be reduced.
First aid training is important in any line of work, but in gyms especially where slips, trips, breaks and sprains can be a common occurrence, then adequate training must take place so that both major and minor illnesses and injuries are dealt with quickly, this may mean the difference between someone living and dying.