Does a Hotel Have to Provide a Swimming Pool Lifeguard?

Vacations are the highlight of the year for many people. The planning and anticipation surrounding the trip is enough to make anyone count the days on the calendar. You may have activities planned or plan on relaxing by the pool at your resort. Either way, you are in for an unforgettable trip.

When it comes to swimming, even if you consider yourself to be a good swimmer, you are probably already aware that drowning accidents can happen to anyone in or around a pool. Your hotel will likely have signage throughout the resort that indicates there is no lifeguard on duty. Basically, that means swim at your own risk. The disclaimer might not mean a lot to you, however, that doesn’t mean you can’t wonder about the consequences should anyone suffer an injury.

Most pools are required to have one or more licensed professional lifeguards on duty. There are, though, certain facilities in which lifeguards are not mandated. Learn to familiarize yourself with the following locations that do not necessitate lifeguards:

  • Hotel and motel pools that are 5 feet deep or less as well as 2,500 square feet in size
    • The pool must only be used by registered guests
  • Physical therapy pools
  • Pool located at 55 and older communities when it is under 2,500 square feet in size
    • Use of pool is limited to only community residents
  • Pool at health clubs when it is 5 feet deep or less and under 2,500 square feet in size
    • Use of the pool is limited to guests 18 years and older

Since lifeguards are not required by law to be in place for a hotel pool under certain conditions, a pool operator must be on-site at all times whenever a pool or spa is open. A certified CPR and first aid individual needs to also be on the premises.

It is the duty of the hotel to keep the following items near the pool at all times:

  • First aid kit with band-aids, gauze, tape, eyewash, etc.
  • CPR Mask
  • Disposable latex gloves
  • Bloodborne pathogen control kit
  • Backboard with head immobilizer
  • 10-foot pole
  • Rescue tubes
  • Automated external defibrillator
  • A working telephone at all times

All serious injuries that happen at a pool must be reported to the Department of Health within 24 hours. Any waterborne illness contracted at a pool also needs to be reported to the Department of Health within 24 hours given the owner’s knowledge of the illness.

Lastly, many hotels post a pool waiver that informs the swimmers that they use the pool at their own risk. The moment a swimmer steps into the water it is assumed that they have agreed to the hotel’s pool waiver conditions. Hotel owners need to be careful because if not worded properly, the waivers will not cover negligence or any intentional acts carried out by staff.

While having all the signs posted and taking the necessary precautions, these still may not help hotel owners or operators avoid some liability. In the event an accident occurs and the property owner refuses all liability, the court will typically find the waiver unenforceable due to its broad nature. In addition, if a member of the hotel staff intentionally carries out an act that results in injury or death to a person around the pool, the hotel might be responsible.

For the sake of protection, even though hotel pools are not required to have a lifeguard, they must exercise extreme caution and cover themselves. Having a lawyer thoroughly review a pool waiver is a great way to ensure the hotel is protected from legal claims.

Call Kwartler Manus Today

If your child was injured in a Philadelphia hotel swimming pool accident or drowned, it is time to protect your rights. Call the experienced Philadelphia drowning accident attorneys at Kwartler Manus at 267-457-5570 to schedule a consultation.

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