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Servicing Californian pools? Wear a life preserver

Servicing Californian pools? Wear a life preserver Servicing Californian pools? Wear a life preserver

Did you know that if you work around California pools and are not equipped with a life preserver, you are breaking the law?

This is not a joke. The October California Pool and Spa Association Newsletter is chock full of recent legislation and regulations that have passed and will become effective Jan. 1, 2023.

But the Newsletter mentioned an existing bit of California regulation that caught us by surprise.

Here’s what the CPSA said: We were recently called by one of our larger pool service members who brought to our attention a recent interaction they had with Cal-OSHA. This company was attempting to do the right thing by scheduling a review of their safety practices to make sure they were doing everything correctly and to avoid any potential future audits and/or penalties. The pool service company confirmed that they provided goggles and gloves for their service personnel.

But what about life preservers and safety rings?

What? They were then informed by the Cal-OSHA safety engineer of the existence of T8 CCR 3389, which provides: (a) Except as specified in subsection (a)(1) for marine terminal operations, at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved 30-inch life ring with not less than 90 feet of 600 pound capacity line attached shall be kept in a readily accessible place where employees’ work exposes them to the hazard of drowning or each employee so exposed shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD).

Dead serious. This regulation that is current California law requires employers to provide a U.S. Coast Guard Approved Flotation Device to any employees who work in an environment that could expose them to the risk of drowning. That would mean pool service and maintenance personnel, those who might do estimates for repairs to existing pools or work on existing pools, landscape workers and gardeners who may work around pools, fence builders, construction workers, or cement contractors working around existing pools. Cal-OSHA explained that some of these individuals may not know how to swim or could be unconscious from a fall and drown in the pool.

They even had a summary of cases like this to support the risk and the regulation.

Who knew? It seems likely that every pool service and landscape maintenance company in California is in violation of this regulation.

CPSA will be reviewing this regulation and the opportunity to have it modified or repealed.

Click Here for the October CPSA/ PHTA Newsletter. It details new California laws pertinent to your small business.

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