Life is busy. If your team manages a pool, but you’re not directly involved, the pool deck, pump room and lifeguard office may seem like foreign territory. Don’t let that stop you from checking in on the team. Here’s how you can audit your aquatic programs in just a few minutes a day.
Checking in on Your Team
What We’d Like to See – With our lifeguards, we’d like to see great scanning, no matter what the group. All too often we find lifeguards complacent, logy, distracted or caught up in auxiliary tasks, especially when groups of “safer” swimmers are in the pool. Whether guarding over a few high-level swimmers, or lots of novice learners, we want our guards to be actively scanning the water.
60 Second Audit – Head to the deck and take a look at your guards. Are their eyes on the water? Are they in appropriate positions? How do you feel about the ratios of lifeguards to swimmers? Would you be overwhelmed? A layperson boss should be able to quickly assess the safety of a guarding situation. If they feel the swimmers are under-observed, they probably are.
What We’d Like to See – For seasonal teams we’d like to see in-service trainings happening on a weekly basis. Long-term, year-round staff should be training monthly. In-service training should be well documented, with a timed agenda, a curriculum and a well-documented attendance record.
60 Second Audit – Evaluate your teams upcoming in-service agendas. Are they prepared well in advance? Do they have an upcoming plan to train for the next 3, 6 or 12 months? Audit the attendance of these meetings and stop by a training to get a better idea of how they’re being run.
Emergency Action Plans
What We’d Like to See – The best teams are prepared for all scenarios and levels of injury, illness and accidents poolside. They’re ready for water contamination, severe storms, fires and power outages. It is also no longer uncommon to train for active-shooter scenarios at rec centers, clubs and hotels.
60 Second Audit – Scan your team’s emergency action plans. Are they comprehensive and complete, yet simple enough to memorize? Check out our article on writing strong and simple EAP’s here.
What to Look For On the Pool Deck
What We’d Like to See – State required rules should be paired with facility-specific warnings based on your pools unique risks. Appropriate depth markings and no diving signage should follow state codes. Temporary caution and wet-floor signs should be in use as needed.
60 Second Audit – Check your state code to make sure your signs are compliant. Do a quick scan of incident report records from the last year. If you notice trends, new rules may need to be implemented and posted to reduce your facilities specific risk factors.
Aquatic Play Features
What We’d Like to See – Your team should be following the manufactures instructions on any pieces of equipment you purchase, including all aquatic play features. When purchased, slides, diving boards, inflatables and toys came with a set of manufacturers suggested rules. Follow those guidelines and make your rules stricter if needed.
60 Second Audit – Inspect what you expect. Take the time to audit your aquatic play features while in use. If you see violations of rules that are allowed by staff, be quick to document disciplinary actions to set a clear tone. When it comes to aquatic play feature safety, you cannot waiver on rules.
Appropriate Safety Equipment
What We’d Like to See – Safety equipment should be complete, comprehensive and available at a moment’s notice. Well prepared teams are ready for any scenario including life threatening injuries, cardiac arrest, bloodborne pathogen clean up, severe storms and power outages.
60 Second Audit – When it comes to emergency and medical kits, more isn’t always better. Check your kits. Are necessary items quickly and easily accessible? Are AED’s easily found when needed? Is your team adequately prepared to deal with blood safely? Discuss your emergency action kits with the people who use them. What changes should be made to help them better deal with problems as they arise?
Touring the Pump Room
What We’d Like to See – Chemicals should be stored high and dry in their own sections, away from other types of chemicals. Containers should be well labeled and color coded. Dosage equipment (scoops, buckets, scales etc.) should be color coded and labeled to avoid cross-contamination. Material Safety Data Sheets should not only be available, but staff should be trained on their contents. Personal protective equipment should be available and / or in-use.
60 Second Audit – Check with your front-line staff. Are they well versed in the safety precautions associated with the chemicals they’re using? Do they understand what precautions they should be taking based on Material Safety Data Sheets?
Visually inspect the chemical storage areas. If there’s a risk of cross contamination due to storage or poor labeling work with your managers and operators to find permanent and immediate resolutions.
What We’d Like to See – Your pool should always meet the state minimums for primary sanitizers (chlorine or bromine). Your pool should not have a strong odor and you should be able to easily see the bottom of the pool in all areas, including near the main drain.
60 Second Audit – When it comes to chemical testing, you don’t need to be a chemist to perform a quick audit. Simple test strips can quickly detect a residual level of a sanitizer (or the lack there of) in a pool. Big warning flags should go up if your pool is cloudy or has a strong odor.
Need more help with your facility? Give us a call at 1-844-482-1777.