NEW! Updated Emergency Planning Guidelines for Nonprofits. With the recent rash of threats nationally against JCC’s and other organizations, it might be a good time to review and update your organization’s emergency preparedness and crisis management plans with our Updated Emergency Planning Guidelines for Nonprofits.
What you need to know about (RWI) Recreational Water Illness. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recreational Water Illnesses (RWIs) are caused by germs and chemicals found in the water we swim in. They are spread by swallowing, breathing in mists or aerosols of, or having contact with contaminated water in swimming pools, hot tubs, water parks, water play areas, and interactive fountains. Knowing the basic facts about RWIs can make the difference between your staff and members having a safe and enjoyable time at your pool, spa, or water park, and getting a rash, becoming sick, or developing other, potentially serious illnesses. The most important factors to the prevention of RWI’s include: maintaining water quality and equipment; educating pool staff, swimmers and parents; instituting disinfection guidelines like plans for fecal incident response; posting and distributing health information and signage; and finally developing an outbreak emergency response plan. For more detailed information see the Twelve Steps for the Prevention of RWI’s HERE.
Wireless Pool Alarm off the market.
RJE Technologies reports that the Aquatic Incident Alert System (AIA) is no longer available. Based on the popular Safety Turtle system AIA has been used in YMCA and other pools for several years as a means to initiate emergency procedures. Organizations are encouraged to utilize a “push-button” type system to activate their aquatic emergency action plan (EAP). The push-button style system allows guards to move quickly to a distressed swimmer without waiting for other staff to answer a radio or phone; this is particularly important in single-guard situations. Alarms may be “hard-wired” systems or wireless systems that can be installed (retrofitted) by local electrician or during construction of new facilities. RJE will still produce the Safety Turtle system. While Safety Turtle is designed for residential applications it may be adaptable to commercial pools in some instances.
Is Your Exposure Control Plan Up to Date?
OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogens Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) requires an employer to implement an exposure control plan with details on employee protection measures in order to reduce or eliminate the hazards of occupational exposure to Bloodborne Pathogens. The plan must describe how an employer will use engineering and work practice controls, personal protective clothing and equipment, employee training, medical surveillance, hepatitis B vaccinations, and other provisions as required by the standard. The standard is one of the more common challenges for many nonprofits and is often only partially met or confusing to management. Common shortfalls are lack of a written plan (sample plan), failure to evaluate exposures by position, misunderstanding engineering controls such as sharps, lack of personal protective equipment, and failure to offer hepatitis B vaccinations to identified employees. However, it is not impossible to comply with the standard. Organizations should develop a written plan and address all the required elements. More information about compliance with this safety standard is available at the Online Resource Library and from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).