Accidents That Can Occur at Public Swimming Pools
Summer is an exciting season for adults and children alike. School is out for the season (so to speak), and adults can enjoy more activities with their families and friends on warm nights. Of course, you can expect that hundreds of thousands of Delaware residents will be hitting the swimming pool to cool off and have some summer fun. However, you have to consider that any swimming pool, despite being fun, also poses some risks, especially if you aren’t responsible for maintaining it. Due to the negligence or distraction of managers and other employees, public pools can become death traps or sources of sickness, which no one should have to suffer from. Let’s take a closer look at some accidents that can occur at public swimming pools and how the state government seeks to prevent these.
THE RISK OF DROWNING
Unfortunately expected, swimming pools can be sources for a large percentage of deaths stemming from drowning accidents. In 2015 alone, about 360,000 victims tragically died from drowning, which also accounts for 7% of all injury-related fatalities in our country, making drowning the third-highest cause of premature fatalities overall.
In many cases, though, people do survive drowning accidents. In fact, about 50% of people who fell victim to drowning do receive treatment in emergency rooms, but the consequences can be extensive. Many victims of nonfatal incidences will suffer from severe brain damage due to a loss of oxygen, resulting in poor memory, learning problems, or, in the worst-case scenario, regression into a vegetative state.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR POOL ACCIDENTS?
Ultimately, a variety of factors can trigger a case of nonfatal drowning in a public pool. For example, many people cannot swim, while other men, women, and children may suffer from health problems, such as seizure disorders, that trigger attacks, resulting in a temporary loss of motor abilities.
However, a multitude of environmental problems also trigger drowning incidences or other injuries:
- Poorly-maintained safety barriers (e.g. fences, gates) or a lack of these elements
- Limited to no supervision around the pool
- Use of expired and/or toxic chemicals that could poison visitors to the pool
- Poorly-maintained pool equipment (e.g. stairs, ladders)
- Lack of spotlights or any form of proper lighting around the pool
DELAWARE SWIMMING POOL CODE
Under Code 4464 of the Delaware Health Systems Protection, people who supervise the operation and maintenance of public swimming pools in the State of Delaware must meet the following requirements:
- Pools must be set up in an area shielded from dust, pollutants, or other harmful chemicals.
- Overhead wiring not housed in electrical conduits must be set up at least 20 feet away from the pool or at least 15 feet above it.
- Proper engineering and maintenance designs must be taken into consideration for ladders, ropes, floats, drains, filters, and additional materials.
- Pool structures must contain nontoxic materials, like concrete or fiberglass.
Please review the full Delaware Swimming Pool Code for more information about safety requirements.
YOUR LEGAL SOLUTION
Swimming is one of the most fun and invigorating activities you can pursue during the hot summer months, but any activity associated with water has the potential for an unexpected tragedy. In the blink of an eye, you and a loved one can be put at risk for drowning or suffering moderate-to-life-threatening injuries when you visit a swimming pool. You do not deserve to be put in jeopardy of this sort. With the help of a lawyer experienced in personal injury cases, you can create a viable case in court and get the justice you deserve.
Here at Edelstein, Martin, & Nelson, our team of professional attorneys are passionate about our practice and are fully knowledgeable in the laws, rules, and statutes surrounding swimming pool accidents throughout the State of Delaware. We can guarantee you will receive the justice you deserve. For legal advice and for more information about our services, contact our office today at 800-300-0909.