Managing your trampoline exposure

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Whether jumping for fun and exercise or training for competition, both children and adults can be severely injured if trampolines are used and supervised improperly. Recently, Markel learned of two serious claims resulting from improper trampoline use: a severe leg injury as the result of a double bounce and a fractured neck due to the improper execution of a somersault. Your gymnastics risk management practices must include strategies to prevent trampoline accidents.


Tips to prevent trampoline injuries

  • Ensure that coaches are in close proximity while supervising groups.
  • Know the skill level of your students and whether they can successfully execute the desired routine or movement. Never allow a student to execute a routine or use equipment without confirming it is safe.
  • Track where students and visitors are at all times. Consider blocking access to areas that are off limits.
  • Keep supervision ratios to manageable levels. Markel recommends no more than eight students per coach.
  • Give a briefing on gym rules to guest gymnasts and visitors before allowing access to the workout area.
  • Prepare staff to reinforce the rules and stop the activity if necessary. Consider requiring host and/or adult attendees to sign a written agreement that outlines all rules.
  • Have all gym participants sign a waiver or release before using the gym.
  • Purchase professional-level equipment (not backyard equipment) that can stand up to rigorous use, even if it is more expensive. Less expensive equipment can ultimately cost you more, especially if you are sued because of an injury resulting from the use of improper equipment.
  • Set guidelines for employees who are terminated or visit the gym during off hours. Guidelines should require management approval to be on the gym floor in any capacity, sufficient spotting for difficult maneuvers, and authorization for private lessons. Display signs reinforcing that gym access is prohibited without management approval.
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This document is intended for general information purposes only, and should not be construed as advice or opinions on any specific facts or circumstances. The content of this document is made available on an “as is” basis, without warranty of any kind. This document can’t be assumed to contain every acceptable safety and compliance procedures or that additional procedures might not be appropriate under the circumstances. Markel does not guarantee that this information is or can be relied on for compliance with any law or regulation, assurance against preventable losses, or freedom from legal liability. This publication is not intended to be legal, underwriting, or any other type of professional advice. Persons requiring advice should consult an independent adviser. Markel does not guarantee any particular outcome and makes no commitment to update any information herein, or remove any items that are no longer accurate or complete. Furthermore, Markel does not assume any liability to any person or organization for loss of damage caused by or resulting from any reliance placed on that content.

*Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service, Incorporated, the underwriting manager for the Markel affiliated insurance companies.
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