Don’t Let Your Pool Party Sink with Liability Waivers
It’s pool party season! With warm summer weather comes pool parties, visits to the community pool, and fun water park adventures. However, this fun also comes with risks, especially if additional factors like alcohol are involved. If you have a pool on your property or are responsible for one in any way, it helps to prepare for the worst-case scenario so you’re not liable for any accidents or injuries that happen on your property or on your watch.
One of the best ways to prepare for this eventuality is with a pool waiver. These comprehensive liability waivers remove the burden of liability from the pool owner and place responsibility for safety on the individuals themselves. Once signed, they can help protect the pool owner in the event of litigation or legal action.
Many eager pool owners focus solely on the excitement that can be gained from opening their pool to friends, family, and neighbors. Unfortunately, many accidents can occur in and around water. These accidents are common regardless of whether your event or gathering occurs at a private pool, neighborhood pool, or water park.
Today, we’ll delve into the most common accidents you may experience if you own a pool and the liability risk associated with each event. Then, we’ll explain how to minimize liability and hopefully prevent these accidents from happening in the first place.
Most common accidents that can happen at the neighborhood pool or water park
Many of the same accidents and injuries happen around bodies of water, regardless of whether they’re located on private property or in a public space like an amusement park.
However, water parks and large public pools come with additional risks because they’re often busy and crowded with people trying to enjoy the water simultaneously.
Here are some of the most common accidents and injuries prevalent in water parks and neighborhood pools across the country.
Even a minor scrape or cut can quickly cause significant issues for amusement park goers because of the exposure to germs and bacteria in the water. A stubbed toe or a scratch from an overzealous jump can quickly get infected if it isn’t washed and protected from water immediately. After it’s established, this type of infection typically won’t clear up unless antibiotics are used.
Back and neck injuries
Water slides are a common hallmark of many water parks and are enjoyed by park-goers of all ages. However, if the rider doesn’t follow the rules for positioning or is shifted or jostled on their way down, it can easily cause painful back and neck injuries. Some of the most common include whiplash, strains, or back injuries. In one New Jersey amusement park known as Action Park, severe back and neck injuries on their Alpine Slide ride occurred almost daily.
Infections from ingesting water
Another common water park injury is infections caused by ingesting dirty water. Many types of recreational water have been found to be infected with Cryptosporidium, Legionella, or Norovirus, which can cause acute respiratory or gastrointestinal infections when ingested. Immunocompromised children and adults or those who are pregnant, face the highest risk.
Most common accidents at a private home swimming pool
While being at home may feel safer than visiting a public swimming and recreation area with lots of other people, the truth is accidents and injuries can still happen here. Adults and children should never be complacent around swimming pools, regardless of their level of experience in the water.
Here are some of the most common accidents that can occur at a private swimming pool.
Slip and falls
When the walkway around a pool gets wet, it creates the perfect surface for a slip or fall. These accidents can happen even when someone is walking slowly and taking their time. While most slips and falls result in mild abrasions, cuts, bruises, and sprains, they can sometimes cause more severe injuries like broken bones and spinal cord injuries.
Electricity and water should never mix. Even a minor electrical malfunction that occurs around a swimming pool can cause devastating electrocution. Some of the most common culprits for these electrical issues include unsafe wiring, faulty pool equipment like vacuums or lights, and cords or appliances accidentally entering the water.
Drownings and near drownings
Even the strongest swimmer can quickly drown in a body of water that looks safe. For children or people who don’t swim well, it’s even easier. Getting trapped under a toy, having hair or a limb caught in an intake valve, or even getting disoriented can easily cause a drowning or near-drowning incident. All it takes is a few moments.
How to prevent accidents from happening at your pool
Fortunately, there are lots of safety precautions individuals can take when swimming or spending time around a pool. Keep these important tips in mind the next time you offer to host or even attend an event around water.
1. Ensure supervision at all times, even if the people swimming are adults. All it takes is a few moments of someone being unattended for the worst to happen.
2. Clearly mark pool depths. This ensures that people entering the pool know how deep it is, preventing them from going too deep before they’re ready.
3. Never drink and swim. Even having a small amount of alcohol in your system can cause impairment.
4. Check all your equipment carefully. This includes everything from pool toys to lights, vacuums, and diving boards. Inspecting everything before having people over can help catch critical defects or faults before it’s too late.
5. Avoid crowding the pool. This can help responsible adults or lifeguards better see into the pool and prevents people from getting caught underfoot.
6. Use safety devices. If you’re visiting a pool with someone who isn’t a confident swimmer, encourage them to wear a lifejacket or another safety device.
How to protect yourself from liability with pool waivers
Whether you’re running a water park or hosting a party at your private home swimming pool, waivers are a vital component in helping you relax and enjoy your event.
In some states, individuals who are invited to use your pool are owed a higher standard of care, making it more likely that an owner would be found liable if an accident or injury occurred to someone who was a guest. In these cases, the behavior of both the guest and the pool owner is considered when evaluating liability.
A great way to ensure individuals invited to swim are informed of the risks is to use a specific pool waiver for neighbors and friends, or even a dedicated water park waiver. These waivers lay out the various dangers and allow individuals to sign them to demonstrate their understanding while removing the risk of liability from the owner.
Let WaiverForever help protect your pool with liability waivers
If you’re looking for an easy way to administer your pool liability waivers, WaiverForever can help.
Our easy online signing system makes collecting waivers simple, regardless of whether you’re just sending them to friends or are taking waivers from every person who enters your water park.
We allow secure online signatures along with ID capture to ensure they’re easy to reference later. Once your guest reads and signs the waiver, we store them online in our secure and encrypted facility so they’re always accessible.
Want to see how the liability waivers from WaiverForever can make managing your pool a little easier? Get in touch today to start a free trial.