Current Newsletter

June 2019 | Volume 13 Issue 6.2 

Aquatic In-Service Training Program. Providing ongoing in-service training gives lifeguards, aquatic staff, and safety team members a chance to practice skills, test their knowledge, and perform rescue scenarios to help ensure a fast and effective response in the event of an emergency. A well-developed and planned in-service training program prepares staff to deal with the unique aspects of your facility. It also builds skills, creates confidence, strengthens team work, and, most importantly, can help save lives. Aquatic leadership should consider scheduling a minimum of two hours of documented in-service training per month for all lifeguard staff. Click HERE to view our updated sample Aquatic In-Service Training Program resource.


If Ruminating on Risk Inspires Worry, You’re Doing it Wrong is the title of an April 2019 Nonprofit Risk Management Center (NRMC) article by Melanie Lockwood Herman. Herman states, during a recent risk workshop, one of our participants commented, “Thinking about all of the potential risks facing my organization makes me really worried!” Her remark reminded me of the distinction between what many leaders believe is the narrow purpose of risk management and its true aim. The narrow view of risk management’s purpose is that worrying about risk inspires doing something about risk. The broader aim of risk management is eloquently expressed by my long-time risk management coach and mentor, Felix Kloman, who writes: “The proper goal of risk management is to build and maintain the confidence of stakeholders. That combined confidence and trust is often translated into much-needed support, financial and otherwise, when surprise inevitably hits. It is the essence of resilience.” Pondering risk should inspire confidence and excitement about the possibilities, not excessive handwringing. Here are some practical ways to turn your risk worries into confidence-building conversations. Click HERE to access the full article.


Rabies: A Forgotten Killer. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rabies is a virus that infects wildlife, especially bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes in the US. It can spread to people and pets when they are bitten or scratched, causing fever, agitation and death. Rabies is 100% preventable with post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that includes rabies vaccine and medications to fight infection, as long as people get PEP before symptoms start. Understanding the risk of rabies and knowing what to do after contact with wildlife can save lives.

  • The best way to avoid rabies is to stay away from wildlife
  • Contact with infected bats is the leading cause of rabies deaths in people in the US
  • Rabid dogs outside the US are the second leading cause of rabies deaths in Americans, who are exposed during travel abroad
  • Whether in the US or abroad, seeing a healthcare provider quickly after an animal bite or scratch can ensure people get PEP if needed

Click HERE to view common carriers of rabies by location in the US.


The Model Aquatic Health Code. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) has been adopted in several states, either partially or entirely, with over 22 states and counties also considering adoption. Additionally, certain counties and local jurisdictions have chosen to adopt and abide by MAHC guidelines. Check to see if your state has adopted the MAHC. Since the purpose of developing the MAHC was to help prevent injury and illness at public pools and spas and to keep both swimmers and staff safe and healthy, it goes without saying that the MAHC can be used to develop operational plans to reduce the risk of injury and even the spread of disease. This is provided for through Section 6: Policies and Management of the MAHC. MAHC guidelines require the specific creation and implementation of a Safety Plan, which includes at minimum the following elements: Staffing plan, Emergency Action Plan, Biohazard Action Plan, Pre-service Training Plan, and In-service Training Plan. The specifics of the Aquatic Facility Safety Plan may be located in the MAHC in Section 6.3.3. Additionally, this section of the MAHC addresses rotation procedures and alternation of tasks, skills proficiencies for staff and lifeguards, certification and certification maintenance, and competency demonstration. Safety Plans are to be kept on file at the aquatic facility and are subject to review for compliance by the authority having jurisdiction at any time. Contact your Safe-Wise consultant or Safe-Wise Consulting HERE with questions or to request a review of your Aquatic Facility Safety Plan.


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National Safety Month. Join the National Safety Council (NSC) and thousands of organizations nationwide in celebrating National Safety Month. Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. The NSC provides downloadable resources highlighting a different safety topic for each week in June. Topics for 2019 are Hazard Recognition, Slips, Trips and Falls, Fatigue and Impairment. With workplace fatalities on the rise, it is extremely important to put safety first on the job. Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and you can show your commitment by taking the Safe at Work pledge. The NSC also provide downloadable resources highlighting a different safety topic for each week in June: Week 1: Hazard Recognition; Week 2: Slips, Trips and Falls; Week 3: Fatigue; and Week 4: Impairment. Click HERE to sign up, and get free access to posters, tip sheets and more to help spread safety messages with your co-workers, family and friends.


Hurricane Season Safety Reminder. Hurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. Organizations are encouraged to stay aware of weather forecasts, train employees on workplace severe weather plans, and keep emergency supplies on hand, including a battery-operated weather radio. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides resources on workplace preparedness and response for severe weather emergencies including hurricanes, floods and tornadoes, among others. Additional resources are available at the National Hurricane Center’s Web page and the Emergency Preparedness page from has great resources for including youth and other participants in your emergency planning.


More resources are available in the Online Resource Library.

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