Contact: John Procter
Phone: (800) 970-8420
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pool Safety Council Announces Insurance Company Awareness Campaign
Public Pools Across the Country Violating
Federal Law, Face Millions in Liability Lawsuits
WASHINGTON, DC – July 8, 2009 – Pool Safety Council, America’s foremost authority on drowning and entrapment prevention, today announced an insurance group outreach campaign that will inform companies about the provisions of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act and the related liability issues.
Public pools across the country have been slow to adopt the measures necessary to come into compliance with the pool safety law and insurance groups may face liability issues by insuring non-compliant public pools. As part of an on-going Pool and Spa Safety Act awareness campaign, PSC is working to help insurance companies understand what it means for a pool to be in compliance and why it is important for both their clients and general risk mitigation. PSC will be creating informational materials for companies and their brokers and will be available to answer questions and serve as a technical resource.
The Pool and Spa Safety Act, which went into effect in December, requires all public swimming pools
install specific pieces of safety equipment that can prevent drain entrapment, which occurs when a swimmer is trapped by the suction power of a pool’s drain. But reports have surfaced around the country of localities failing to meet these modest requirements, putting swimmers at risk for horrific tragedy while creating serious liability issues for the owners and those that indemnify these facilities. The Today Show, for example, reported on July 6 that just 10 percent of pools in Los Angeles County were meeting the requirements of the Pool and Spa Safety Act.
Inez Tenenbaum, chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the agency tasked with enforcing the Pool and Spa Safety Act, stressed on The Today Show that compliance was required by federal law. “Compliance is mandatory,” Tenenbaum said. “There is no grace period. [All public pools] have to comply with this law now.”
“Devastating injuries or death are often the result of entrapment accidents,” PSC spokesman John Procter said. “We urge insurance organizations to work with their members and communicate with their customers about the importance of bringing public pools into compliance with the law in the most cost effective manner possible. Doing that will help keep swimmers safe while providing peace of mind for pool owners and operators.”
PSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of child drowning nationwide. For more information, please visit our web site at: www.poolsafetycouncil.org.