Important Pool Safety Precautions For Slides & Diving Boards
For many swimmers, unique pool features like slides and diving boards are what brings them into the water. While these features provide extra value to a swimming facility, they bring with them unique pool safety concerns for a Certified Pool Operator® to be cognizant. If a swimming facility you operate has slides, diving boards, or wading pools, keep these safety tips in mind.
While jumping off of a diving board into the pool is a beloved pastime of any swimmer, they can be quite dangerous. Diving head-first into a pool can result in serious head,neck, or back injury if something goes wrong. These injuries can result in permanent paralysis or even death when the diver comes into contact with objects, other swimmers, or structures within the pool like the walls or flooring. Because the risks are so severe, no head-first diving should be allowed in any pool unless it meets all standards defined by diving board manufacturers, pool industry groups, the US Diving Association, FINA, the American Red Cross, YMCA, as well as any local codes and regulations that apply.
Non-diving areas should be marked with “No Diving’ signs and the international ‘No Diving’ symbol should be placed on the pool deck at intervals consistent with local code. The ANSI/APSP -1, 2003 pool safety standards state that all pool areas more shallow than 5 feet deep must display this symbol.
If a swimming facility does allow diving, all other swimming activities must stop in the diving area. All diving equipment should be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions and specifications. The diving board should be fit with slip-resistant surfaces and a label with all information related to water depths, widths, and the maximum user weight. It is the responsibility of a Certified Pool Operator® to maintain the treads and labels of the diving equipment while keeping it in good repair and inspecting it regularly.
Pool safety rules should be posted in plain sight and include the following diving rules –
- Use diving equipment only under the supervision of a lifeguard or swimming coach.
- Dive or jump only in a straight line from the end of the equipment.
- Swim to the closest pool exit or wall immediately after finishing a dive.
- Only one person on the diving equipment at a time.
- Multiple bounces are prohibited.
- The ladder is the only means allowed for climbing onto diving equipment.
Pool Safety For Slides
Many of the precautions for diving equipment also apply to pool slides. Falling from a slide, using the slide head-first, standing, horseplay, and jumping on a slide can all result in serious injury. Slides must be installed with proper deck clearance around the slide, vertical clearance above the pool deck and ledge, as well as an appropriate area and depth of water below it. The installation must also follow all local codes and the manufacturer’s instructions.
Pool safety rules for a slide must be posted in plain sight near the slide and may include the following –
- Only one person on the slide at a time.
- Enter, ride and exit the slide feet first.
- Move away from the bottom of the slide quickly after using it.
- Do not wear glasses while using the slide.
- Standing, stopping and sliding down headfirst are prohibited.
- Keep all appendages inside the slide during use.
The Ultimate Pool Safety Guide
Keep in mind that we have only scratched the surface of what a Certified Pool Operator® must know about pool safety. To learn more, it’s best to become certified by training with the experts in pool operation. Pool Operation Management offers award-winning, two-day certification courses that cover a breadth of subject matter, covering everything from pool chemicals, to energy conservation, to risk and liability management.
By providing extensive training and information, our courses are the perfect way to become pool educated. We also offer residential and commercial pool maintenance services, so we can open and close your pool for you. You can purchase the top brands in swimming pool accessories and chemicals from our website and we can even serve as experts in pool-related legal disputes and trials. Contact us today for the very best in everything related to pools.