On Monday evening, Usher’s son, Usher Raymond V, was swimming in the family’s backyard pool when his hand got stuck in the pool drain.
According to ABC News, the five-year-old boy was diving down to retrieve a toy that had gotten stuck. His hand was then suctioned to the pool drain preventing him from swimming back up to the surface. A family relative and housekeeper were unable to free the young boy, but thankfully two contractors working in the house successfully intervened.
After being freed from the drain and given CPR by one of the contract workers, Usher V was conscious, alert, and breathing as he was transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Our office is relieved to know that the boy was saved from the water in time and wishes him a speedy recovery from the incident.
Pool & Spa Safety Regulations: Drain Covers
Title XIV of the Pool and Spa Safety, Section 1404 Federal Swimming Pool and Spa Drain Cover Standard (15 U.S.C. 8003) explains the federal regulations of drain covers in public swimming pools. While this is a federal safety standard, it is a public-only regulation, but it sets the standard for how all pool equipment will be produced.
The Drain Cover Standard (found here) states that each swimming pool or spa drain cover:
(i) Manufactured, distributed, or entered into commerce in the United States shall conform to the entrapment protection standards of the ASME/ANSI A112.19.8 performance standard, or any successor standard regulating such swimming pool or drain cover.
(ii) The standard stats that pools and spas in the U.S. with a single main drain other than an unblockable drain shall be equipped, at a minimum, with 1 or more of the following devices or systems designed to prevent entrapment by pool or spa drains.
(I) Safety Vacuum Release System – a safety vacuum release system which ceases operation of the pump, reverses the circulation flow, or otherwise provides a vacuum release at a suction outlet when a blockage is detected, that has been tested by an independent third party and fount to conform to ASME/ANSI standard A112.19.17 or ASTM standard F2387.
(II) Suction-Limiting Vent System – A suction-limiting vent system with a tamper-resistant atmospheric opening
(III) Gravity Drainage System - A gravity drainage system that utilizes a collector tank.
(IV) Automatic Pump Shut-Off System – An automatic pump shut-off system
(V) Drain Disablement – A device or system that disables the drain.
(VI) Other Systems – Any other system determined by the Commission to be equally effective as, or better than, the systems described in subclauses (I) through (V) of this clause at preventing or eliminating the risk of injury or death associated with pool drainage systems.
(B) Applicable Standards – Any device or system described in paragraph (ii) must meet the requirements of any ASME/ANSI or ASTM performance standard if there is such a standard for such a device or system, or any applicable consumer product safety standard.
The above regulations apply to any public pool or spa, which means it is open to the public generally, or open exclusively to members of an organization and their guests. This includes apartment complex pools, residential real estate developments, or multi-family residential areas, as well as hotels or other public accommodations facilities. A violation of the above is a violation of section 19(a)(1) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2068(a)(1) and may also be enforced under section 17 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 2066).
How This Affects Private Pools
While the above regulation is a federal safety standard and is a public-only regulation, it applies everywhere. With the regulation effective since 2009, pool equipment has been produced to meet the standard, so anything purchased for a private pool since then would meet the standards.
While the safety standard of drains is meant to prevent accidents similar to the one that Usher’s son was involved in, it is not guaranteed to stop all incidences. There is still a chance for accidents to occur, but by having drain covers that meet the federal standards, the risk of accident is reduced.
If your child has been involved in a pool accident, call our Ohio pool accident attorneys at 800.637.8170. Our legal team can help identify whether or not the pool meets federal safety standards and help your child receive the compensation that is deserved.