Woman Suffers Burns After Falling in Unsafe Steam Room

Safety Expert WitnessThis case involves a woman who was injured when she slipped and fell inside of the health spa facilities at her gym in Delaware. At the time of the incident in question, the woman had finished her workout and was entering the gym’s steam room. Upon entering the room, however, she immediately lost her balance and struck her head on one of the benches. In addition, the woman also suffered severe burns when her body came into contact with the steam outlet. It was alleged that there was insufficient guarding over the steam outlet to prevent these kind of burns.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. What background do you have in the design, engineering, or manufacturing of steam rooms?
  • 2. Is it standard for a steam room in a gym facility to have some kind of protection over the hot area?

Expert Witness Response E-101016

I have personally installed over 1,600 saunas and steam rooms. Some clients come to me with plans drawn, and we review and amend as needed for safety and optimal use. Typically, I draw the plan and have the client sign off on the layout. Most heater manufacturers will send specifications for heater guard clearances with their units as well. Based on what I have read, heater guards should be built a few inches away from the heater or steam outlet exteriors, mounted securely, and should not exceed the outside height of the heaters or steam outlets.

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