Issue 111 - May 2021
Preparing for Summer
As federal, state, and local public health authorities begin to relax restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, now is an opportune time to begin thinking about managing risk associated with increased use of public facilities such as parks, playgrounds, and swimming pools.
Parks & Playgrounds
Creating a safe environment for children while they enjoy the parks and playgrounds in our communities is of paramount importance. This is a great time of the year to review your agency’s written Parks and Playground Inspection and Maintenance Program, ensure that regular, documented inspections are occurring, and take any necessary corrective action. A Parks and Playground Inspection and Maintenance Program template can be found in the Resources section of the California JPIA’s website.
If playgrounds owned or maintained by your agency have not received an audit from a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI), this should be made a priority to ensure your playgrounds meet nationally recognized standards. You can locate a CPSI in your area through the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) website.
Injuries that occur at member-owned swimming pools and aquatic centers have the potential to be both traumatic and costly. This exposure can be managed in a number of ways:
- Ensure lifeguards are trained to follow specific operational and emergency procedures and possess current lifeguard and first aid/CPR certifications. In addition, regular in-service trainings provide lifeguards with simulated experiences of potential real-world incidents (victim retrieval, unruly patron intervention, etc.)
- Regularly inspect the pool, locker rooms, showers, and other areas of the facility to identify and correct any hazards such as broken glass, bodily fluids, inappropriate behavior, etc.
- Ensure that rescue equipment such as backboards, rescue tubes, and throw ropes are readily accessible and that staff has been trained in the effective use of these devices.
Larger crowds coupled with an increase in temperatures during summer months makes it more likely that agency staff will have to respond to an ill or injured member of the public. The odds of a favorable outcome can be improved by ensuring that key staff are formally trained in first aid, CPR, and AED use. The California JPIA offers American Heart Association (AHA) first aid, CPR, and AED training to members at no additional cost. The AHA requires re-training every two years, so if it’s been a while since your employees received this training, it would be a good idea to review your records and determine if certifications have expired.
Special Events Program
Summertime also brings with it an increase in the number of special events hosted by public agencies. Event organizers or members of the public wishing to use member-owned facilities may have difficulty obtaining minimum liability insurance limits recommended by the California JPIA (typically $1 million per occurrence). This is where our Special Events Program can help. The program provides liability insurance when member-owned premises are used for special events or short-term activities. Examples include weddings, art festivals, parades, yoga classes, and member-sponsored events such as fairs, carnivals, and swap-meets. There is no deductible for this coverage, and members are automatically added as an additional insured. For more information, visit the Special Events page of the California JPIA’s website.
If you have questions or would like more information, please contact your regional Risk Manager.< Back to Full Issue Print Article