Maintaining Safety

NO DIVING signs on the pool ledge and surrounding perimeter walls of the building should also be provided around all shallow water areas. We advocate the prohibition of diving in less than 9′ of water and that at least 25′ of clearance in front of the diver be provided. If diving boards are used, then this depth must be appropriately increased, depending upon the size and type of diving board, and the activities (recreational vs. competitive) for which the diving board will be used.

Pool Closure

Closure of the pool or spa is recommended if (a) there is no or inadequate circulation or filtration; (b) there is insufficient disinfectant or the facility fails to meet other chemical standards; (c) water clarity is lacking, and the pool bottom is not visible from the pool deck; (d) the bottom drain grate or a vortex drain in a spa are not in place and secured; (e) an unsafe condition is present; etc.

Certified Pool/Spa Operators

The Certified Pool/Spa Operator (CPO) is a designation provided to someone who successfully completes a course of instruction provided by the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF).

The NSPF introduced the CPO program in 1972 and its Seal of Approval to assure pool and spa owners from residential to Olympic-sized municipal and school pools that their facilities are under the supervision of a professional.

While swimming pools are in operation, a certified or designated pool operator should always be available. According to the National Swimming Pool Foundation, the duties of the pool operator include:

1. Understanding current codes and practices established by Health Codes and national aquatic certification agencies.

2. Test and adjust water chemistry to meet standards for oxidation and sanitation.

3. Maintain and interpret operational and re-circulation efficiency of various filters and filter media systems.

4. Inspect and assure cleanliness and appearance of the general pool area.

5. Maintain and sanitize locker rooms, restrooms, showers and pool decks to present no health or accident hazards to users.

6. Check and interpret gauges, flow meters and monitoring equipment for operational efficiency.

7. Understand practices of operation and preventive maintenance for pumps, suction lines, drains, piping, bactericidal equipment, balance tanks, valves, hair and lint and skimmer traps and flow and control switches of each system.

8. Supervise and develop a personnel program.

9. Develop budgets and practices for purchasing, accounting and controlling within agency policies.

10. Develop emergency and accident procedures.

11. Communicate and develop educational programs for the pool program staff and the public.

12. Design administrative practices and procedures for record keeping, evaluations, reports and inventories.

13. Be current in the developments of new pool equipment, facility designs and operational techniques.

Besides the CPO Certification program, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) administers an Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO) Program, which is similar to that of the NSPF CPO Program. Many states, counties, or local Health Departments also offer or approve of other Swimming Pool Operator programs.

Gerry Dworkin is a professional aquatics safety and water rescue consultant for Lifesaving Resources. Gerry has a strong background in Aquatics Safety, Water Rescue, EMS and Technical Rescue and is currently a Deputy Chief for the Harrisville (N.H.) Fire Department. Lifesaving Resources conducts Aquatics Safety, Water Rescue, Ice Rescue, and Swiftwater Rescue training programs throughout the U.S. Gerry also consults as an expert witness in drowning and aquatic-injury litigation. For more information on Lifesaving Resources, access their website at www.lifesaving.com.

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Related posts:

  1. Aquatic Safety Review, Part 3
  2. Waterfront Safety And Preparation
  3. PRM — Prevention, Recognition and Management
  4. Safeguarding Aquatic Facilities
  5. Hiring Lifeguards

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