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Outdoor Water Safety

Outdoor Water Safety

6/6/2017 9:00:00 AM

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Hot summer weather brings on the height of outdoor water activities. Drowning is the fourth leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., claiming 4,000 lives annually, according to the American Institute of Preventive Medicine. PHLY can help owners and operators of outdoor water activities make this a fun and safe summer. The following are key safeguards to have in place, with links to more in-depth resources.

Whether your body of water is an outdoor pool, a stream, a fishing pond, or a large lake, there are basic controls you should have in place:

  • Develop rules and post these, along with warning signs, regarding the usage of your body of water. Who can use the water, when, and how? Is the water shallow, with no diving headfirst allowed? Review rules each year to make sure they are current and enforced.
  • Take the extra step of educating users to your rules and requirements. This can be through a discussion or a written listing you ask them to read.
  • Obtain a signed waiver, with users indicating that they understand and assume the risk, that they will abide by the rules, and that they indemnify you as the owner/operator. Remember that minors cannot sign on their own behalf.
  • Make sure access to your body of water is controlled - through fencing, limited pathways, or other means.
  • If lifeguards are provided, make sure they are certified and are appropriately supervised. Are they prepared to respond to an emergency?
  • Ensure that your emergency response equipment is readily available and functioning.
  • If lifeguards are not provided, be sure to have some measure of supervision of your body of water, commensurate with the size, usage, and overall risk it poses.

Additional Resources
PHLY has found that many claims involving bodies of water occur due to staff or users not being trained, or rules not being enforced. To assist with your educational and other safety needs, PHLY has the following resources available to our policyholders:

PHLY has partnered with Safe-Wise Consulting, a leading resource for aquatics. Go here to learn about the benefits available to PHLY policyholders through Safe-Wise at a reduced cost. The Safe-Wise website also provides a well-developed resource library and a newsletter at no cost.

PHLY agents and policyholders can access more risk reduction information, including technical bulletins on Safety Practices for Residential Bodies of Water and the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Safety Act, by logging into your MyPHLY account and selecting Risk Management Services.

IMPORTANT NOTICE - The information and suggestions presented by Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company in this E-Brochure is for your consideration in your loss prevention efforts. They are not intended to be complete or definitive in identifying all hazards associated with your business, preventing workplace accidents, or complying with any safety related, or other, laws or regulations. You are encouraged to alter them to fit the specific hazards of your business and to have your legal counsel review all of your plans and company policies.