Homeowners with a swimming pool have a lot to think about and do to prevent someone from getting injured. Prevention extends past your municipality’s requirements to have a by-law compliant, locked fence enclose your swimming pool.
In addition to ongoing maintenance of your fence and pool, be sure to:
- Ensure you have lifesaving equipment within reach and that they are in good condition. Also, it is prudent to take a lifesaving course if you tend to have pool guests throughout the season.
- Walk around the pool to check for tripping hazards.
- Run through a mock situation as though someone was injured or drowning. Is the safety equipment well placed? Where is the closest phone to make an emergency call?
- Review your insurance to understand whether it covers pool-related incidents. Homeowners may be responsible for all foreseeable damages emanating from pool-related incidents if they can be found to be partially negligent.
Personal Injury Prevention
It is always a good idea to provide a safety reminder on the use of the swimming pool. Especially with guests, provide them with safety instructions to prevent a personal injury and what the protocol is if an injury were to occur.
When someone is within the pool area, make sure it is supervised by an adult or someone who is qualified to supervise swimmers. Never leave a child or non-swimmer unsupervised. It is important to monitor what’s happening inside and around the pool. This includes wiping up puddles of water to prevent slips and falls.
Reduce the likelihood of host liability by supervising the use of intoxicating substances. You may be found liable in part should any mishap/injury occur. You must manage horseplay/inappropriate or dangerous activity in the area of the pool.
If there are pets around the pool area, keep a watchful eye over them. If you have an unfriendly dog, for example, tie it a good distance away from visitors to avoid potential accidents from happening.
Action Upon an Accident
If an accident occurs:
- Determine whether you need to seek medical attention immediately.
- Take photos and document what happened. It may be prudent to record statements from witnesses of the incident.
- If there could be a claim of negligence against the owner or person maintaining the pool, call an experienced personal injury lawyer. Also if homeowners think a claim could be made against them, homeowners should call their home insurer.
Homeowners aren’t always responsible, or fully responsible, for all accidents that happen in or around their swimming pool. In some cases, the person injured may be found contributory negligent and in turn reduce a homeowner’s liability. The best situation is to prevent an injury from occurring in the first place.