Fact Sheet

Swimming and Water Safety

Many of the steps taken to ensure the safety of program participants in skills development programs will also help ensure the safety of your staff and volunteers. For example, staff and volunteers should take into consideration the weather conditions and other potential safety hazards when determining whether an activity should be undertaken. Choosing an indoor activity over swimming in an outdoor pool during a thunderstorm helps keep both program participants, staff and volunteers safe.

Water Safety Tips

There are over a dozen federal and state agencies involved directly and indirectly with regulating swimming pools. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted standards regarding employee exposure to chlorine and blood borne pathogens and requiring eyewash stations, documented employee training, and personal protective and safety equipment. Hazards extend beyond the water to the deck area around the pool (electrical appliances and glass hazards) and into the locker rooms and showers (slip hazards and potential areas for sexual molestation). Risks for pool maintenance personnel include falls into unguarded pits in pump rooms, inhalation of powder and gas chlorine, and injuries from slip hazards.

The following tips are drawn from two sources: Camp Tips — Pool Aquatic Safety, developed by Markel Insurance Company and the American Red Cross, Health and Safety Tips-Water Safety Tips.

Make sure your staff and volunteers follow the general Water Safety Tips below to stay safe in, on, and around the water:

Other safety concerns for staff and volunteers in skills-development programs are: