New regulations regarding the use and operation of swimming pools were recently added to the New Jersey Public Recreational Bathing Code and became effective January 16, 2018. Included in these new rules and regulations are a number of updated first aid and lifeguard requirements that community associations should be aware of.
What are the new first aid and lifeguard requirements?
Below are a few of the new first aid and lifeguard requirements:
- At least one certified lifeguard must be on duty at swimming pools with less than 2,000 square feet of surface area and 60 or less bathers at all times when the swimming pool is in use.
- At least two certified lifeguards must be on duty at swimming pools with greater than 2,000 square feet of surface area at all times when the swimming pool is in use.
- Swimming pools that have a lifeguard are required to have an automated external defibrillator (AED).
- Lifeguards who are on duty may not perform any activities that distract them or intrude upon their attention from proper observation of persons in the swimming pool area or that prevent immediate assistance to persons in the water.
- Lifeguard platforms or stands must be provided for swimming pools where water surface area is greater than 2,000 square feet, or where there are diving areas, or where the depth of the water is greater than five feet.
How does this affect community associations?
The law carves out an exemption for private, nonprofit common interest communities that restrict use of the pool to members and invited guests– meaning community associations do not have to comply with all first aid and lifeguard requirements.
Most importantly, community associations are exempt from mandatory compliance with the lifeguard requirements. A community association can choose to follow the lifeguard requirements or not to comply with those provisions. This exemption, however, does not apply to facilities that have a functional diving board, water slide, or a similar structure that may present an increased safety risk or hazard.
If a community association uses lifeguards, however, the lifeguards are prohibited from performing any activity that distracts them. This includes checking pool passes and managing the entrance to the pool. A community association that uses lifeguards must also have an automated external defibrillator by the pool.
What should community associations do?
A community association can decide if it wishes to comply with the exempt provisions. An association that chooses not to comply with the lifeguard requirements must post a sign (at least 3 feet by 4 feet). The sign must comply with the following requirements:
- The sign must be prominently displayed at every pool entrance
- The sign must state “No lifeguard on duty”; “Persons under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult”; and “No swimming alone”
- The sign must include the hours that the pool is open
- The information on the sign must be easily readable with contrasting colors
The association must also inform the local health authority whether it is going to use its exemption or comply with the exempt first aid and lifeguard requirements.
To ensure compliance with the new pool regulations, we recommend you contact us to prepare your pool contracts or with any questions.