One Illinois hotel owner has concerns about new federal regulations that would require public swimming pool and spa owners to have chair lifts. The purpose of the requirement is to accommodate disabled individuals that would like to use the facilities, but putting in such chair lifts may lead to other unanticipated safety issues.
The hotel owner complains that little direction has been given as to how the chair lifts should be installed, and he's also concerned about the possibility of children using the chair lifts as a plaything. Because so many other public pool owners share these concerns, many of them are lobbying for an extension on the deadline requiring that such chairlifts be installed.
The deadline is for pool owners to either have the chairlifts installed or have a sloped surface to the pool to provide access for the disabled was March 15th. The deadline has been extended to May 21 due to confusion as to how to comply with such regulations. Now there is the possibility that such a deadline will be extended until September.
This proposed change follows a number of other federal regulations that were originally designed to keep pools safer including the upgrading of drainage systems to prevent swimmers from becoming entrapped. Such safety changes are often quite expensive and may require additional manpower. In addition, some of the chairlifts have been so heavily marketed by manufactures that not every pool owner is going to know which devices are or are not safe.
This shows that something seemingly as straightforward as pool safety can become entangled in controversies over financing and legislative red tape. Attorneys will continue to be needed to provide guidance as to what is and is not a safe or unsafe pool design.
Source: The State Journal-Register, "Public pool owners struggle to meet chair-lift deadline," by Natalie Morris, March 25, 2012