2017 Solar Eclipse; Aquatic Safety Alert. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday, August 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible (weather permitting) across all North America. The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within a roughly 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse (“totality”), when the moon completely blocks the sun’s bright face for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds. During this time, the sky becomes very dark, as if it were night. The following are safety recommendations for outdoor pools and waterfronts operating during the eclipse:
- Pools and waterfronts without supplemental lighting, that are in the path of totality, should consider clearing and closing the swimming areas as lifeguards may not be able to see well enough to provide appropriate patron surveillance or prevent unauthorized access to the pool or waterfront.
- Pools and waterfronts outside the path of totality, should alert staff to be prepared to temporarily clear and close swimming areas should their clear view of the swimming area and / or pool bottom become impaired.
- Remind lifeguards to remain vigilant and continuously scan their areas of responsibility during the event, as there is increased potential for distraction.
- Alert staff to ensure they do not look directly at the eclipse as it may damage their eyesight permanently.
- Review additional safety information about the eclipse in our July 2017 Issue 7.2 newsletter and on the NASA 2017 Eclipse
- Communicate to members and participants so they are aware of your plans.
A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple recommendations, you can safely enjoy the eclipse.
Updated Pool Chemical Handling Safety Document. In light of recent events involving pool chemical–associated injuries we have updated our Pool Chemical Handling Safety document. Aquatic facilities use and store many types of chemicals for cleaning, disinfection and sanitation. Handling and storage practices are crucial to preventing accidents and injuries. Staff must be aware of chemical properties and trained to follow safe handling practices. Click HERE to view our updated Pool Chemical Handling Safety document available on the Safe-Wise Consulting Online Resource Library. Laminated Pool Chemical Safety: Storage posters can also be ordered for FREE through the CDC. Click HERE to download a PDF of the poster.
New Resource: Considerations for Aquatic Field Trips. It is important to establish minimum criteria for using a third-party (not owned or operated by your organization) aquatic facility for field trips. Criteria should include choosing a safe location, getting parental consent, supervision, code compliance, obtaining an agreement and / or contract and a Certificate of Insurance, non-swimmer management, and use of a buddy system. These items should be reviewed during a tour of the proposed facility and discussions with on-site staff in advance of any field trip. Click HERE to view our recommendations for use of off-site third-party aquatic facilities document located in the Safe-Wise Online Resource Library.
Updated Emergency Planning Guide: Accommodating for People with Disabilities. When preparing or reviewing your emergency plans, it’s important to involve people with disabilities in identifying needs and evaluating effective emergency management plans. Issues that have the greatest impact on people with disabilities include: notification, evacuation, areas of refuge, access to their mobility devices or service animals, and access to information. In planning for emergencies, you should consider the needs of people who use mobility aids such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, canes or crutches, or people who have limited stamina. Plans should also include people who use oxygen or respirators, people who are blind or who have low vision, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, people who have a cognitive disability, people with mental illness, and those with other types of disabilities. Additional support and information is available at ADA.gov and from the US Department of labor (DOL). Click HERE to view our updated Emergency Planning Guide for Non-profits located in the Safe-Wise Online Resource Library.
Safe-Wise Consulting Welcomes a New Staff Member. Safe-Wise Consulting welcomes Alan C. Mogridge as their newest Safety and Risk Consultant. Alan brings more than 20 years of YMCA practical knowledge and experience in aquatic safety & programming, wellness, day & resident camping and child care. In addition to his strong program background Alan has served as: Associate Executive Director for the Greater Waterbury YMCA, CT; Executive Director for the YMCA of Central Connecticut Coast – Valley Branch, CT; and as CEO for the Mount Desert Island YMCA, ME. Currently, Alan is focused on updating resources, website and newsletter development, but will be hitting the road later this year. Please help us welcome Alan to the Safe-Wise team. Click HERE to learn more about Alan.
NEW Bomb Threat Resources: Click HERE to visit our Emergency Preparedness page located in the Resource Library to view the following new resources: Bomb Threat Guidance Brochure; Bomb Threat Calls Checklist; Bomb Threat Management Guide and Security Guidance for Buildings.