You've likely heard about the tragic death of Dave Goldberg, the Survey Monkey CEO (and husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg), who collapsed in the gym at a private villa at the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita, Mexico, on Friday.

It's believed that Goldberg fell off a treadmill: The New York Times reported that his brother Robert found him on the floor of the gym with blood around him. He was transported to a hospital where he later died of head trauma and blood loss, according to a spokesman for the local prosecutor's office.

Although treadmills are generally safe, accidents can happen. In 2013, about 24,000 treadmill-related injuries required emergency medical care, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's injury surveillance system. And they are not for children; at-home exercise equipment injured about 20,000 kids under 18 in 2009, the same year Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter was killed in a treadmill accident.

Protect yourself with these strategies.

Use the safety catch

Most treadmills have one: a string that attaches you to the treadmill so that, if you fall, the string will bring the machine to a stop. At the very least, know where the kill switch is, so you can press it immediately if you start to slip, says Amie Hoff, a fitness expert in New York City.

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Put loose objects in their place

If you have anything on the treadmill, such as a water bottle or an iPod, make sure it's in a stable spot so it doesn't bounce off and make you trip, Hoff says.

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Let it go

People who fall tend to panic and grab the handrail while the belt is running, says David Siik, creator of Precision Running for Equinox and a running coach in Los Angeles. That can lead to scrapes and banged-up knees, as well as muscle strain in your arms. Instead, let go and scoot off the back.

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Make some space

If you use a treadmill at home, don't cram it into a tight corner, where you'd get more banged up if you fell, Siik says. At the gym, bypass a treadmill that fits right up against a wall.

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With additional reporting by the editors of Health.