Faced with the potential for multi-million dollar lawsuits, semipublic swimming pool owners are becoming more proactive in assessing and managing risk in their aquatic environment. Where most swimming pools and hot tubs found in hotels, private clubs, apartments and condominiums are not supervised by staff, owner/operators of these facilities are being more diligent in creating a safe recreational environment.
Ultimately the owner of the semipublic swimming pool is responsible for the safe operation of the facility. The responsibility for the operation of the facility may be delegated to a Facility Manager or Operator. This responsibility may be further delegated to individuals such as Supervisors or a Lifeguard who may be left in charge of the facility if it is a supervised semipublic pool. When the owner is not present, the "in-charge" person, regardless of title, assumes full responsibility for the safe operation of the facility.
What is considered a Semipublic Swimming Pool?
A Semipublic Swimming Pool means a swimming pool provided by a hotel, motel, apartment building, condominium, multiple housing unit, mobile home park, trailer park, private educational institution, private club, campground, club or similar establishment. The use of the pool is restricted entirely to the registered guests, owners, tenants, students or members, as the case may be, and their guests.
Over a 10 year period from 1991 - 2000, more than 30 people drowned in semipublic swimming pools. Many more were injured and needed medical attention. While all age groups were affected, deaths involving children are of particular concern. Drowning fatalities in children under the age of 5 are more than double that of any other age group. A major contributing factor in the deaths of children is the lack of adult supervision.
Children aren't the only ones at risk for drowning in the semipublic siwmming pool. Adults are the second largest group at risk after young children under the age of five. The adult at risk of drowning, like the young child, swims alone. Nobody is around to notice, give assistance or get help if the adult gets into difficulty.
The Semipublic Swimming Pool Safety Standards outlines the Lifesaving Society's recommendations for minimum safety requirements for semipublic pools. Safety shall be the primary concern of pool owners and managers. All facility staff are encouraged to go beyond the minimum requirements in their mandate to provide a safe environment. This means practising risk management: working diligently to prevent emergencies, but also responding to them quickly and efficiently if they do happen.
Download your copy of the Semipublic Swimming Pool Safety Standards free of charge!