Whether you live in South Carolina or spend family vacations here, the heat and humidity will likely have you visiting a hotel with a refreshing pool. However, pool decks can be hazardous areas — especially if the hotel manager or owner does not understand the typical swimming pool hazards, and fails to address pool safety concerns. While children are most at risk, accidents in and around a swimming pool can injure anyone.
There are strict pool safety standards with which the property owner must comply to keep guests safe. Victims of swimming pool accidents might have grounds to take legal action against a negligent pool owner.
Common pool safety concerns
Along with proper maintenance, safety and first aid training for staff, and easy access to floatation devices and other life-saving equipment, the hotel must address the following known safety risks:
- Drowning: Children younger than four years are at the highest risk of drowning. However, causes of unintentional drownings at any age include the inability to swim, lack of supervision, lack of protective barriers around the swimming pool, and the presence of alcohol.
- Electrocution: Old or faulty electric wiring of pool lights and other objects in and around the water poses deadly risks. The pool area must be free of extension cords and electrical appliances that could come into contact with the water.
- Exposed drains: The suction force of a pool drain is extremely powerful, and it could cause death or disembowelment. Covers that comply with regulated standards must cover all drains to prevent them from suctioning swimmers.
- Diving dangers: Diving into too shallow water can cause death or spinal cord injuries, and jumping in can lead to fractured ankles or legs. Depth markings along the edge of the pool are essential, and some hotel managers prohibit diving.
- Chemical hazards: While chlorine kills germs and bacteria, adding too much can cause skin problems and lung or throat irritation. The interaction of chlorine with dirt, sweat, personal care products and other substances on swimmers' skins forms chloramines, which can cause respiratory problems, stinging, red eyes and skin irritations.
- Slip-and-fall risks: Pool deck surfaces can be extremely slippery, and with children running around, there will always be a chance of them falling — often into the pool. The best prevention is to use non-slip materials for the surfaces surrounding the swimming pool and on diving boards.
If you think you have a viable claim against a hotel after you or a loved one suffered injuries at a swimming pool, you will have to establish negligence, and it could be a daunting task. This is where the skills of experienced legal counsel come in. A South Carolina attorney can provide the necessary support and guidance needed throughout ensuing legal proceedings in pursuit of compensation for your economic and noneconomic damages.