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Golf course managers know swimming pools and hot tubs are popular clubhouse features. They’re also an important responsibility and potential liability. With prime summer swimming season upon us, it’s a good idea to re-visit pool safety and accident prevention.

 

Adult Supervision Required

 

The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (P&SS Act) addresses child safety in public pools and spas.

Though your clubhouse pool isn’t necessarily open to the public, the P&SS Act applies. One definition of public pools in the act, are those open exclusively to members of an organization and their guests.

According to the World Health Organization, in the United States, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in children aged 1-14 years and 27% occur in public pools.

 

Even Grown-Ups Need To Be Supervised

 

Drinking alcohol before or during recreation in or near the pool is a risk factor in adult injuries or death. There are no consistent standards for measuring blood alcohol in water related deaths. However, the World Health Organization cites a studywhere a blood alcohol screen was positive for approximately 50% of drowning victims over 14 years of age. Alcohol impairs judgement, coordination and response time, making accidents more likely.

Your swim facility must meet the minimum state law requirements including specific safety standards. If it doesn’t, lives are potentially endangered. In addition, your facility may be subject to fines or closure.

 

Here are 16 pool safety points to address:

 

  • Install and maintain perimeter fencing/barrier including self-closing and latching gates to prevent unauthorized access
  • Determine if a Red Cross Certified lifeguard is required for your pool
  • If no lifeguard is required, be sure required signage is clearly displayed
  • Keep all safety equipment accessible, clearly marked and in good repair
  • Clearly mark pool depth
  • Provide clean shower and bathroom facilities
  • Keep pool clear of debris
  • Properly maintain pool water with appropriate chemicals
  • Provide safe storage for all chemicals
  • Supply personal protective equipment and training for anyone handling pool chemicals
  • Provide clear signage to convey rules, regulation, safety, emergency procedures
  • Keep pool deck free of puddles or algae growth
  • Ensure non-slip surfaces are in good repair at all time
  • Maintain outdoor furniture in clean, operable condition
  • If minor children are allowed, establish clear rules about supervision
  • Ensure staff strictly enforce all rules and policies

 

Proper pool safety reduces the chance of guest injury, permanent disability or death. Doing so, also creates a relaxing environment and protects your business reputation.

Review your swimming pool safety efforts with your staff, and look to your commercial insurance broker for their input. Ensure you have policies that properly cover your pool area.

 

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a Proud Employee Owner of Affinity Club Underwriters; specializing in commercial and group program business.  David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world.  He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

About Affinity

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the Club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services, operations and coverage audits, policy & information storage & archaeology, RFP preparation, market analysis and help in developing specific loss control programs.

Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

 

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