If you follow Lehmann Pools & Spas here, on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media you’ll hear us chat about how we give you SUPERIOR support – the type of support that you can only get from a reputable brick-and-mortar dealer.

Our caller asked “if our people know what they’re doing.”  Well, Our lead tech and our owner are PA Pesticide Certified Applicators.  Yes, chlorine, bromine, and a number of other chemicals we use in swimming pools are actually “pesticides.”  Look for the EPA Reg # on the label.  That’s a “pesticide.”  And, to apply those in public or commercial pools, you have to be a licensed “applicator.”  We are.

Not just that, but we are National Swimming Pool Foundation Certified Pool Operator (NSPF® CPO®) Instructors.  We teach commercial and public pool operators.  Beyond that, but we train all our people; whether in-store or in-field folks.  And, many of us have been to manufacturer and distributor training sessions – learning from the factory field techs how to properly service their equipment.

So, “do we know what we’re doing?  Yep.

PS – Experience?  We don’t think experience is always the best teacher.  If you been doing something for 30 years but doing it wrong, or haven’t updated your knowledge and training, is your 30 years of experience the right way?  For Lehmann Pools & Spas, we value experience buy doing it right – with proper training and updated knowledge.

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NSPF® CPO® Fusion® – April 4, 2018 – Johnstown, PA area.

Convenient to MD, WV, Western PA, and even OH.

1-day NSPF® CPO® Fusion® – for aquatic facility, pool, spa, & water park operators.

Get trained!

Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia

814-266-2236


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Holiday Inn, Downtown Johnstown, PA. March 21 & 22, 2017.  814-266-2236.  Registration cutoff 6 PM today (March 3, 2017).

NSPF® CPO® Class

PA Pesticide Recertification Credits – March 22, 2017.  6 Core & 4 Category 24 (Swimming Pools)

814-266-2236.


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Institutional knowledge is information that is contained within the memories of people within an organization.  Much is acquired through years of experiential learning; repetition of tasks, sometimes casual observation of others performing the tasks, “rule(s) of thumb” passed on from others.  Indeed, many times we seem to value experience over “book learning.”  We like our institutional knowledge.

And, there’s significant internal momentum to value institutional knowledge.  The possessor of the knowledge likely finds it empowering.  They know something others don’t.  “If anybody needs to know, they’ll have to come to me.”  If you know something that needs to be passed on to a new hire, especially if it’s technical, chances are your boss will ask you to “show the newbie.” Job security! Plus, it gives you bargaining power with your boss.

Oftentimes, your boss likes institutional knowledge, too. Instant delegation!  He or she doesn’t have to spend time training the “newb.” They can get credit for a trained employee, but don’t have to do the leg-work.

The problem is, institutional knowledge is – well – a problem. Minor variations in verbal story-telling can profoundly affect the information retained by the new employee. And, the point of training is to affect behavior.  What an employee does at the point of action is why we have employees.  If they do it right – great!  But, what if they do it wrong?  “Well, Bob showed me that…”  How can your organization have accountability like that?

There are 2 big problems with institutional knowledge:

  1. It’s often wrong.  In many cases it’s little more than hearsay.  Without a source document and a prescribed process to transmit information, it is very easy for a tidbit to become miss-stated.  A hotel swimming pool volume of 47, 484 gallons will very often get rounded.  But, which way did whomever round it? And, by how much?  Then, without a reference, somebody takes the rounded number, challenges it and a new number becomes cast into the body of institutional knowledge.  So, after 20 years, what’s right?
  2. There is no continuity.  If the possessor leaves, where does the knowledge go?  “I heard Jane say that we should push this button once a week.”  For what purpose?  Why?  The tale gets told in a hodgepodge fashion.  Some stuff may be retained.  But much may be lost to posterity.

The only way to fight misinformation and to preserve continuity is with formal written documentation and training.  One of the many services provided by Lehmann Pools & Spas is facility operator training.  As instructors, our goal is to help you properly manage your facility, not just keep the Chlorine and pH adjusted.  We can teach you how to develop a Risk Management System for your public aquatic facility.

We are big proponents of the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s (NSPF®) Certified Pool Operator (CPO®) program.  We believe the CPO® program is more thorough and comprehensive educational than many other training curricula.  Taught correctly, it is better at providing in-depth instruction.  It is certainly beyond many programs in the marketplace who only seem concerned with meeting the regulatory requirements of pool operators – for instance those concerned with being certified pesticide applicators.

A well-taught program such as the NSPF® CPO® course well-equips the facility operator to effectively manage their facility.  An added benefit of the CPO® program is the knowledge that the National Swimming Pool Foundation provides a comprehensive list of resources to effectively manage aquatic facilities.  As NSPF® instructors, we can assist your facility in leveraging those programs to ensure your people have the quality training they need.

Not only will you be using authoritative sources for your training – real knowledge backed by science – but you’ll learn ways to document your information for future use and continuity.  By understanding the importance of written, reviewed sources you’ll be fighting the 2 prevalent problems with institutional knowledge – correctness and continuity.

Join the Fight!

cpo-class

 

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Hotel – Motel – School – Water Park – Rec Center – YMCA – YWCA – Maryland – West Virginia – Pennsylvania

Lehmann Pools & Spas – Johnstown – Offering Pool Operator Training in November

NSPF® CPO®

Class Location – Holiday Inn – Downtown Johnstown – 8 AM

Call 814-266-2236 to register.

cpo-class

Hotel – Motel – School – Water Park – Rec Center – YMCA – YWCA – Maryland – West Virginia – Pennsylvania

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It’s been headline news lately – internationally, nationally, and locally (Western PA) – about the problems aquatic facilities have had safely managing their facilities. We’ve blogged previously about safety being a layered approach and yet we see time and time again reports of “immediate closure” due to violations. News reports suggest that the operators of facilities getting hit with such emergency closures are surprised when regulators shut them down. It may be logical to presume that the facilities in question must not have adopted an effective system for managing their facility safety.

“It was never a problem before” is the general theme I read and heard a facility manager say recently in news reporting covering the closure of his public pool. When we teach aquatics operators, one of our introduction slides is our “Top 10 Awful Reasons” for the way we as humans do things.

Top 10 Awful Reasons:

  1. “We’ve never done it that way”
  2. “Always done it that way”
  3. “Been doing this for 30 years”
  4. “Throw away the book, here’s how”
  5. “Here’s a shortcut”
  6. “That’s not important”
  7. “It’s easier this way”
  8. “It’s cheaper…”
  9. “I’ll just get my buddy”
  10. “That takes too long”

When you hear of an immediate closure and someone says “It’s never been a problem before” it just means nobody got caught. The problem was (or problems were) there all along. When a facility gets closed suddenly – an “emergency” closure – one can easily figure that there is no effective Risk Management strategy. It would be fair to say facility management never implemented a formal Risk Management Program.

An effective Risk Management strategy will consider 4 factors:

  • Negligence
  • Standard of Care
  • Duty of Care
  • Record Keeping

Considering those 4 factors, a pool operator – the pool management staff – must develop written plans to manage:

  • The Prevention of Injuries to Patrons and Staff
  • The Protection of Facility Assets
  • Minimizing Legal Liability

With a comprehensive Risk Management Plan, the facility “catches itself.” Better yet, the facility can manage and budget to the latest standards. They will certainly incorporate on-going inspections, audits, and routine maintenance – catching issues before they become major (and costly) problems. And, as repairs, changes, and additions are needed, they can be accomplished with regard to all the latest applicable standards. The facility will also have a review process to consider how a change to one part of a system will affect other systems or parts of systems.

One of the many services provided by Lehmann Pools & Spas is facility operator training. As instructors, our goal is to help you properly manage your facility, not just keep the Chlorine and pH adjusted. We can teach you how to develop a Risk Management System for your public aquatic facility.

We are big proponents of the National Swimming Pool Foundation’s (NSPF®) Certified Pool Operator (CPO®) program. We believe the CPO® program is more thorough and comprehensive educational than many other training curricula. Taught correctly, it is better at providing in-depth instruction. It is certainly beyond many programs in the marketplace who only seem concerned with meeting the regulatory requirements of pool operators – for instance those concerned with being certified pesticide applicators.

A well-taught program such as the NSPF® CPO® course well-equips the facility operator to effectively manage their facility. An added benefit of the CPO® program is the knowledge that the National Swimming Pool Foundation provides a comprehensive list of resources to effectively manage aquatic facilities.

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