Safety – A Layered Approach You Must Own

“Stronger regulation will improve safety.” “This law will keep kids safe.” “Hiring more inspectors will improve safety.”

A recent press release from the CDC proves that safety seems to be just a buzzword in the Aquatics industry. In 5 of the most heavily regulated and frequently inspected states, 80% of facilities had at least one violation. 1 in 8 had “Immediate closure” violations. We know the industry can do far better – not through more regulation, but with the cooperation of operators and facility managers.

Safety comes through a system of multiple processes that work to make sure no single pathway exists that allows problems to go uncorrected. Safety starts with high standards – regulatory codes and industry standards.   Those standards must be followed by multiple layers, multiple checks, procedures, inspections and audits so that no single point of failure progresses to the point of violation, or worse – injury or death.

As a facility operator, it is imperative that you use a systems approach to build adequate layers to recognize deviations, catch errors, and mitigate unsafe situations rapidly – as soon as they occur. Your process must be a 360° process involving operations, finance, logistics, and executive and must include every employee level in your facility to ensure proper plan design and buy-in. It is a written plan – editable, of course, but written.

Layers include:

  • Operator and management training
  • Operating rules
  • Checklists
  • Maintenance procedures and checks
  • Qualification of facility repair personnel
  • Facility “re-open” process
  • Reporting process
  • Recordkeeping
  • Facility audits
    • Internal
    • External

Robust planning and process review will ensure your facility never has a situation that escalates to the point of violation. We recommend taking advantage of programs like those offered by the National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF®) to design your facility’s management system. As NSPF® Instructors, Lehmann Pools & Spas can help.

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