A Guide to Developing Concussion Safety Protocol

Did you know the end result of some of the most common liability claims for fitness businesses can be concussions? Let’s talk about head injuries in fitness! Often times people associate concussions with contact sports like football. It may be the most common place of injury, it is not the only one.

The risk of concussion is now a major concern in the fitness industry. Many of Gild Insurance’s insurance partners are REQUIRING business owners to have a concussion protocol. Without proof of a protocol, a business insurance policy may not be issued!

1.7 to 3 million sports and recreational related concussions occur each year, according to the University of Pittsburg Medical Center. 5 in 10 of sports and recreational concussions are undetected and unreported.[1] As fitness business owner, you must be aware of the possibility of concussions and injuries.

To get started, let’s tackle some of the common injury questions in fitness. What is a concussion? How do concussions effect my business? How should a business respond to an injury?

Concussion Defined and Common Misconceptions

The CDC defines a concussion as, “a type of traumatic brain injury”or TBI. A TBI is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head. It is a sudden movement causing the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull. This movement creates chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretches and damages brain cells.[2]

A common concussion myth is that they are only a direct blow to the head. A blow to the head isn’t the only culprit for concussions. A forceful impact to your face, neck, or even other parts of your body can be involved. This broad definition makes more understandable why concussions may be likely in a studio or fitness facility!

The Who and What of Concussion Protocol

We now know concussions aren’t just for the football field. What steps can a fitness business owner take to protect themselves and their clients? What does it mean that a concussion protocol is becoming standard for fitness facilities?

A concussion protocol is a set of policies, tools and assessments. Together, these tools help care for a person who has potentially suffered a concussion. Here is an actual concussion protocol from the NCAA for a real world example.

Additional Resources

Here is more information on concussion protocols, prevention, and care:

  • DC’s Heads Up – The Centers for Disease Control comprehensive list of the signs, symptoms, and dangers of a concussion.
  • American Academy of Neurology – The world’s largest associated of neurologists is a trusted authority on concussions. A concussion checklist is available to evaluate the possibility of a concussion and the need for a doctor.

To learn more about the risks of fitness businesses, check out: “The Most Common Liability Claims for Fitness Studio Owners“. “Professional Liability And The Fitness Studio Owner”.

As always, it is best to have an end-to-end insurance plan in place. Take steps to cover your business or organization in a worst-case scenario. At Gild Insurance, get the right insurance for your business’s unique needs!

Fitness instructor, studio owner, or personal trainer, we help fitness professionals like yourself find the insurance products you need!


  • [2] Heads Up. Safe Brain. Strong Future.” Center for Disease Control, 25 Feb 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/index.html
  • Disclaimer: The content in this article is informational and educational. It is not medical or legal advice. All information provided in this article is for general purposes only.

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