Pool Safety

Download PDFBy ThinkReliability Staff

Many of the examples of Cause Maps are investigations of an incident that has already taken place.  However, cause maps are also very useful as a proactive, preventative tool.  A thorough root cause analysis built as a Cause Map can capture all of the potential causes of concern in a simple, intuitive format that fits on one page.  Let’s say you have decided to get a pool for your household.  A Cause Map can help you identify the potential hazards of pool ownership, provide solutions for them when possible, and ensure that your pool experience is as safe as possible.

Preventing pool injuries is extremely important.  About 43,000 people each year are injured in and around swimming pools and 600 people drown.  Of the 600, approximately 260 are children under the age of 5.  Half of pool drownings occur in the yards of single-family homes.  Obviously, drowning is a concern when discussing pool safety, but the other top causes of injuries around pools are head injuries, slipping, and electrocution.  Some solutions to these problems are listed below, and are based on causes derived from the Cause Map. (To see the Cause Map, click on “Download PDF” above.)


1) Control access to the pool by using a self-latching, self-locking fence that is at least 4′ tall, that can’t be climbed.  Ensure the doors open outward from the pool and have a latch out of children’s reach.   Use a safety cover when the pool is not in use.
2) Employ drain safety devices such as pumps that shut off automatically when the pipes are obstructed.
3) Keep children within arm’s reach when near a pool.  Don’t put in a pool for your family until your children are at least 5.
4) Keep lifesaving equipment near the pool, including a hook and an approved life-saving flotation device.
5) Don’t drink & swim, and don’t let those who have consumed alcohol near the pool.
6) Take your whole family to swimming lessons.
7) Never swim alone.  Don’t let anybody else swim alone.
8) Use a pool alarm that senses water motion to determine if someone has entered the pool.  Make sure it is always turned on when the pool is not in use.
9) If a child is missing, look first in the pool (most children who drown are found after 10 minutes).
10) Keep a telephone, and emergency numbers, near the pool at all times.
11) Check the water depth before diving, or don’t allow diving in your pool.
12) Learn CPR.  Take your whole family (when they’re old enough) to CPR lessons, too.
13) Don’t allow running near the pool.
14) Use an absorbent material to surround the pool.
15) Use rough material around the pool (such as cement instead of tile).
16) Stay out of the pool during rain or lightning storms.
17) Keep electrical appliances away from the pool (they can cause electrocution even if they are not turned on).