Here’s some welcome news at the height of summer swimming season: children are far less likely to drown in California than they were in the 1980s — and child drowning rates have continued to fall even in the past decade, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The nation as a whole has experienced a similar, though less dramatic, decline, with drowning rates for children age 14 and younger now about one-third of what they were in the early 1980s.

Experts say state and local laws that require more fencing and security features around family swimming pools have made a difference, along with increased awareness of the dangers of letting young children swim alone.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled the new standard that determines what constitutes an “employee” now applies retroactively.

The May 2 decision of the Ninth Circuit, in Vasquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising, Inc., has major implications for California employers who rely on independent contractors, including pool service companies and builders.  

The decision means that the legal test created by the California Supreme Court in the Dynamex decision that makes it more difficult to classify a worker as an independent contractor, may now be applied not only to cases going forward, but also disputes from up to four years before the test was created.

The “ABC” test helps employers determine whether a worker is legally an employee or can be classified as an independent contractor.  To prove that the worker isn’t an employee, a company needs to show: (A) the worker controls his own work; (B) the worker performs work outside of the scope of the company’s normal business; and (C) the worker works in an independently established occupation. 

In this final survey issue of Service Industry News, the regional trends with respect to chemicals and maintenance equipment are reviewed.  

Specifically, the survey results report the prevalence of different types of sanitizers being used, including liquid chlorine, trichlor, dichlor, and calcium hypochlorite, and the costs of using each, on a regional level. 

Also addressed is the usage of various automatic pool cleaners, such as pressure side, suction side and robot.

The results are in and once again, show some interesting trends.

Across the country, trichlor tabs are the most common method of chlorination, with liquid chlorine a close second.  It hasn’t always been so, but compared to liquid chlorine, trichlor is slightly cheaper.

Hayward Industries, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is recalling and providing replacements for a specific pool heater vent kit.

The vent kit included in this recall is Hayward UHXNEGVT15001 Negative Pressure 6-inch Vent Kit for pool heaters. The vent kit is used exclusively on Hayward H500FD gas heaters. Only Hayward H500FD gas heaters that are installed indoors and use 6-inch negative pressure galvanized vent piping are affected by this recall.

For identification, the name “Hayward” is stamped onto the furnace’s outer casing above the water pipes. The model number H500FD and the serial number are located to the left of the water pipes.

This May, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a revised policy statement on drowning prevention. The document provides guidance and best practices to help pediatricians work with families and communities to decrease the risk of drowning.

Chief among the revisions is the new recommendation that children should begin learning to swim by age one.  

The new recommendation is based on a 2009 study that was published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, in an article entitled “Association between swimming lessons and drowning in childhood: a case-control study.” The study found that there is an 88% reduction in the risk of drowning in the 1- to 4-year-old children after participation in formal swimming lessons.  

With the swim season upon us, Service Industry professionals are hard at work keeping America’s backyard swimming pools in tip-top shape. Industrious service techs have a grueling schedule. Some are working 12 hour days, off to their first accounts at dawn (customers allowing) and they don’t stop until they drop. 

For most, the work doesn’t end with the last visit to a customer’s swimming pool. No, then it is time to review billing, ordering, new client quotes, scouting and more. And in their “spare time,” they are attending meetings and getting new product educational training. 

By Staff Writer

The benefits of belonging to a trade association are not always fully apparent until the decision is made to actually join. Many people join an association with the expectation of attaining a specific goal. 

It is also true that an association may offer many unexpected benefits. 

By Staff Writer

The last issue of Service Industry News discussed swimming pool startup procedures, focusing on the two popular methods to start up plaster swimming pools. 

That’s because for years, plaster-surfaced pools have dominated the market, but with all that is available now, they are not necessarily the best. 

Today’s consumers are presented with a variety of pool surfaces and finishes that provide additional strength and durability.