Today I saw something I had never seen before – a lifeguard text messaging while on duty ! While I have seen swimming pool staff working while listening to music from a radio or the pool sound system (as opposed to “ear buds” or headphones), I had never seen an aquatic safety worker texting while in the chair. Because drowning can happen so quickly, and the cell phones and Blackberries require so much of the user’s attention, this is a recipe for disaster. I believe that swimming pool and diving life guards should not even have cell phones, blackberry or similar devices on them when they are patrolling and scanning the pool. It flies in the face of safety and the vigilance expected of water safety and rescue personnel.
Texting life guards is my unfortunate prediction for future litigation. Lawsuits in the past have been filed for claims involving:
- Lifeguards actions, inaction and oversight,
- Analysis of pool chemical handling, disease transmission and indoor air quality,
- Pool and aquatic facility construction, design and operation,
- Regulatory compliance (i.e., pool drain covers),
- Reconstruction of drownings, diving injuries, falls, etc.
If you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a pool or aquatics injury, please contact us at ABRAMS LANDAU or call (703)-796-9555.