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RULE §265.202Lifeguard Personnel Requirements and Standards at Pools

(a) Lifeguards required. Pools and spas shall be required to meet the operational standard that is most applicable to their respective use. For example, a pool or spa that is occasionally operated as a Class C pool or spa but is generally made available to the public, with or without a fee, shall meet Class B lifeguard standards. A minimum of two lifeguards shall be provided at:

  (1) Class A pools during competitive events;

  (2) Class B pools whenever the Class B pool is open;

  (3) any pool where a user enters the water from any height above the deck or wall, including from diving boards, diving platforms, drop slides, waterslides, starting platforms, zip lines, or climbing walls that are open for use;

  (4) any wave or surf pool; or

  (5) any pool while it is being used for the recreation of youth groups, including youth camps, visiting childcare groups, or visiting school groups.

(b) Closing diving boards, diving platforms, drop slides, waterslides, starting platforms, zip line or climbing wall. A diving board, diving platform, drop slide, waterslide, starting platform, zip line, climbing wall, or any other structure that allows entry from any height above the deck will be considered open unless there is a lock or chain, or other method used to prevent access to these structures and a sign is posted on the entry to these structures stating that they are closed.

(c) Lifeguards at spas. Lifeguards are not required at spas.

(d) Lifeguard staffing plan required. A staffing plan specifying the number of on-duty lifeguards shall be prepared by the pool operator, lifeguard supervisor, or pool owner and shall be sufficient to provide adequate supervision and close observation of all users, at all times. A copy of the plan shall be available on-site and be provided to a department or local regulatory authority inspector upon request.

(e) Surveillance area. Each lifeguard shall be given an assigned surveillance area commensurate with ability and training. The lifeguard shall be able to view the entire assigned surveillance area.

(f) Other duties shall not distract. Lifeguards conducting surveillance of users shall not be assigned duties that would distract the lifeguard's attention from proper observation of the users, or that would prevent immediate assistance to persons in the water.

(g) Lifeguard rotation required. When lifeguards are provided or required, a rotation procedure for lifeguards is required. Lifeguards shall have sufficient break time from guarding activities as recommended by ARC or equivalent aquatic safety organization.

(h) Lifeguard training and drills. When lifeguards are provided or required, alertness and response drills and any other training shall be provided as follows:

  (1) A pre-season training program.

  (2) A continual "in-service" program totaling a minimum of 60 minutes for every 40 hours of employment by a lifeguard or other aquatic safety personnel.

  (3) Review of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards for responding to formed-stool contamination, diarrheal-stool contamination, vomit contamination, and contamination involving blood.

  (4) Performance audits as recommended by the ARC, Young Men's Christian Association, or by an equivalent aquatic safety organization.

  (5) Facility Emergency Action Plans for events such as submersions, suspected spinal injury, medical emergencies, thunderstorms, missing persons, bad weather, or chemical exposure.

(i) Emergency action plan. Any pool or spa emergency action plan shall contain the following:

  (1) a list of emergency phone numbers and contacts, including the trained and certified operator;

  (2) the location of the first-aid kit and other rescue equipment such as the AED, BVM, and backboard;

  (3) a response plan for inclement weather such as thunderstorms, lightning, or high winds, including evacuation areas; and

  (4) a plan following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention standards for responding to formed-stool contamination, diarrheal-stool contamination, vomit contamination, and contamination involving blood.

(j) Lifeguard records. All training shall be reviewed as necessary and kept current. Lifeguard records shall be kept on-site or shall be made available to the department or local regulatory authority within 3 business days of the inspection. The following records pertaining to lifeguards shall be kept 3 years:

  (1) each lifeguard's certification including the expiration date; and

  (2) records of the most current training, including date, length of training, training topic(s), trainer name(s), and attendees.

(k) Lifeguard access to safety equipment. Lifeguards shall have access to safety equipment including:

  (1) an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-compliant, minimum 24-unit first aid kit housed in a durable weather-resistant container that is fully stocked and ready for use. The kit shall include disease transmission barriers and cleaning kits meeting OSHA standards;

  (2) at least one backboard equipped with a head immobilizer and with sufficient straps to immobilize a person to the backboard, in locations sufficient to affect a two-minute response time to an incident; and

  (3) at least one portable AED and one BVM kept in a secure location that can be easily and quickly accessed by lifeguards or other trained personnel.

(l) Platforms or stands for lifeguards only are required where water depth is greater than 5 feet and shall have a protective umbrella or sunshade high enough to give lifeguards a complete and unobstructed view of the assigned area of surveillance for the lifeguards.

(m) Personal lifeguard equipment. Each lifeguard shall be provided with the following personal equipment:

  (1) uniform attire that readily identifies the lifeguard as a staff member and a lifeguard;

  (2) a rescue tube with attached rope or strap;

  (3) personal protective devices including a resuscitation mask with one-way valve and non-latex, non-powdered, single use disposable gloves worn as a hip pack or attached to the rescue tube; and

  (4) a whistle or other signaling device for communicating to users, other lifeguards, or staff.

Source Note: The provisions of this §265.202 adopted to be effective January 1, 2021, 45 TexReg 9529

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