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Swimming Pool Safety Information

Posted on 06/02/2014

Part One

Here is some information on swimming pool safety and responsibility.

Operating a Swimming Pool is an Immense Responsibility

Water safety is fostered with keen due diligence to:
1) Facility maintenance and infrastructure compliance with accepted standards;
2) Quality lifeguard staffing and training; management commitment to safety by consistent policy and appropriate financial/resource support.

1)  Facility Maintenance and Infrastructure Compliance with Accepted Standards:
a) Inspect pool and deck for cracks; inspect for sharp edges, pinch points, loose parts and any other potential injury points;
b) Check diving board, hardware and anchoring points;
c) Have “No Diving” signs posted along sides of pool that are less than 8′ deep;  check that depth and geometry of pool in diving area meet standards; rope off  diving area to separate swimmers from divers; check that depth markings are appropriately displayed;
d) Check that decks, horizontal pool surfaces, underwater steps, and  ladders have non-skid surfaces;
e) Reference chapter 680 of the National Electric Code for all wiring, audio, and lighting standards.  Inspect electrical wiring, check for corrosion of conduits, enclosures and proper grounding;
f) Check for proper “bonding” (grounding) of pool ladders and hand rails and any metal surface within 5′ of  the pool edge, but less than 12′ above the deck;
g) Inspect underwater lighting and circuits to deck lighting, and pumps; test ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) for proper operation; receptacles must also be GFCI protected; no receptacle to be within 10′ from pool edge; check that above grade lighting fixtures are in compliance code standards;
h) Maintain proper water chemistry (pH and chlorine levels) to prevent Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI’s); follow the Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines,   (see:  www.cdc.gov/healthyswimming/twelvesteps.htm);
i) Maintain appropriate barriers around pool perimeter: covers, fences and gates around pool must be of approved design to prevent unauthorized entry; follow the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines for safety guidelines for pools (see: www.cpsc.gov).  Be wary of suffocation hazards associated with solar covers;
j) Review local codes or standards;
k) Inspect submerged intake guards for potential hair entrapment;
l) Inspect intake guards for compliance with ANSI A112.19.8 to prevent bowel evisceration;
m) Inspect the facility for any other apparent unsafe conditions;
n) Ensure that the necessary rescue equipment such as back boards, neck braces, rescue poles, first aid kits, etc., are available and ready for use.  Reference latest Red Cross Lifeguard Training Manual and review requirements with lifeguard staff for further details.

Note: The National Spa & Pool Institute (NSPI) (www.nspi.org) publishes recommended Pool Maintenance guidelines to both prevent injury and provide proper performance (reference ANSI/NSPI-1 2003).