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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    How easy is it for swimming pool lifeguards to switch off?


    Properly trained, certified lifeguards are very aware of how tiring continually watching a pool full of swimmers can be. To reduce the risk of their attention waning and prevent potentially fatal pool accidents, they constantly change position, changing their view of the pool regularly thereby keeping alert.

    Other ways to focus attention

    They will also avoid being distracted by not eating, listening to MP3 players, using mobile phones or chatting to pool visitors. Aware that their brain functions may be diminished by the effects of dehydration and the exposure to too much sun, they also carry sufficient supplies of drinking water and protect themselves as much as possible against the sun.

    Slips, trips and falls

    In addition to continually scanning the water, pool lifeguards also have to prevent people being injured by slipping, tripping or falling in the areas around the pool. This includes stopping individuals (in particular children and teenagers) from running or wildly ‘messing around’ on wet, slippery surfaces, looking out for potential trip hazards and making sure visitors do not fall off stairs or ladders leading to diving boards. The necessary continual vigilance will tax the lifeguard’s brain tremendously.

    Lifeguards switching off

    Unfortunately, even experienced lifeguards who take all the necessary precautions to prevent becoming distracted, will find that their effectiveness decreases substantially after approximately 30 minutes. After this, the lifeguard’s brain becomes too tired to make the right connections and may cause them not to react even if they are directly looking at a swimmer in distress. At this point, the lifeguard ‘switches off’ and swimming pool injuries can no longer be effectively prevented.

    Preventing swimming pool accidents

    To prevent this from happening and ensure no potential pool accident is ‘overlooked’, lifeguards must be allowed to have a proper break of at least five to ten minutes every half hour. Ideally, there should also be a minimum of two guards present at all times. Sadly, some pool owners and operators try to save on expenses by employing just one lifeguard and expecting them to keep alert for hours at a time. The resulting accidents in swimming pools can be devastating.

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    Public liability compensation

    If you suffered an accidental injury at a swimming pool because a lifeguard ‘switched off’, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Accident Advice Helpline, a law firm specialising in compensation claims for over 15 years, can help you to successfully make your claim.

    Date Published: February 13, 2014

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.