The Season Is Here, Safety First!

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Currently everyone in the pool and spa industry, and the world, is dealing with the Corona Virus. At some point in the very near future, the commercial properties will find a way to open and homeowners are already using their pools and spas more often as they stay home. Now that the time has come, we need to be ready. For your commercial accounts, this is perfect timing to reach out to your clients and express the importance of being ready when the approval to open the facilities happens.

Keeping the communication lines open between your company and your clients will be extremely important. It will remind your customers that you are essential to the opening of pools and spas and that both commercial and residential properties need to be prepared for their opening.

How To Communicate With Your Clients

On the commercial side of the industry, the County Health Department requirements don’t go away just because the gate is locked. Safety is and will always be number one. Take this opportunity to review each property and make a check list of the safety items required by the Health Department, for that property.

On the residential side the same applies, with less regulation. If you see something that is unsafe, add a note in your billing. Keeping this documented, can help protect your company and the families and employees it supports, as well as protect your insurance.

Regardless if it’s a commercial or residential facility, see the check list you have provided for each property as an opportunity to not only protect you, your company, the site manager and maintenance supervisor, but also as a way to show you care about the safety of the operation. The information and estimates you provide will be reviewed by regional supervisors and property owners, commercial and residential. They need your expertise and the information you can provide as an expert in the industry.

There must be a change in the nature of the relationship between the service company and ownership or management of the property. Many companies have service techs that incorrectly think that by not mentioning a problem they see; this means everything is fine. This needs to change. They should communicate everything from baskets that need replacements, small plumbing leaks, pump seals that in time will destroy a motor, electrical connections that are fractured/broken, to trip hazards gates that are not self-latching, anything you see that is unsafe should be your responsibility to inform the customer in writing. Let them make the decision to address the problem or not. It is very important that you help protect all concerned, your company and the client, by providing them the proper information.

If you see something during your servicing of the pool, that is clearly unsafe, don’t engage the offender, simply report what you have seen to the office and let them handle the information. There are some things that require immediate attention:

  • Children without adult supervision
  • Glass in the pool or pool area.
  • Broken missing or fractured drain covers.
  • If pool or spa drain covers are broken or missing, close the area immediately. Inform the site staff of the serious hazard. Provide an estimate to repair immediately.  

See this as an opportunity to not only protect your client, but as an opportunity to make money. Provide the repair estimate and make the profit your company needs. 

Prepare Today Without Delay

With the weather starting to feel like summer more often, get prepared. Keep all your normal estimates for filter service, conditioner and specialty chemicals. If you haven’t already started, this is your window of opportunity.

The average person using the pool and spa can’t see the hazards. They are counting on us to see these things. Here are some things you can do:  

  • Inspect all gates for safe operation.
  • Inspect all safety equipment. Body hook, life ring, safety rope, are they mounted and easily accessible?
  • Inspect all safety signs. Be sure they have all the required signs.
  • Check the operation of pool and spa lights.
  • Check operation of pool and spa GFI operation. (In my opinion one of the highest potential hazards in the industry). Low voltage is the way of the future in pool and spa lighting.
  • Is the pool deck up to date with depth and no diving markers?
  • Are there any trip hazards that need to be ground down or removed and replaced?
  • Inspect the fencing for gaps of more than 4″ or loose missing bars or panels.   
  • Inspect pool equipment and equipment area.
  • There might be unsafe storage of chemicals. Containers without lids/ tablets without lids on buckets. A hazmat potential if it rains or even an indoor equipment room leak.
  • Keep containers closed, avoid oxidation damage to the equipment room and the contents.
  • Reduce the inhalation hazard not only to you, but to others that have access to the area. 
  • Inspect all heater operations. Check heater venting for any holes of untaped unsecured venting that can cause carbon monoxide to contaminate the area.
  • Check all electrical seal tight connections, if broken send estimate to repair and replace.
  • Check that all pump motors heaters, and lights are bonded. (Bonding the equipment is not the same as a ground wire.)                                 
  • Inspect all exit rails make sure they are securely attached to the decking.  

There will be individual families and properties that will have some financial struggles with the Corona Virus. Work with them, let them know you care coming up with options to keep pools and spas operating until they are back on their feet. Don’t look back, keep moving toward the solution.

Thank you,

Larry Walters, V.P. Business Development

California Pool Association