Every aquatics facility has its share of rule breakers. But a waterpark staff has to pay special attention to rule breakers because the risks can be far greater than an ordinary swimming pool. An example is horse playing; horse playing at a swimming pool can lead to a head injury if a patron were to fall into the pool. At a Waterpark, however, horse playing can lead to people falling from high elevations or falling down stairs leading to water rides.
Waterpark managers have to push their staff into FULL enforcement of all rules, even if they don’t think it’s an important rule. Patrons are supposed to visit waterparks to have fun, safely. Nothing ruins a family fun day out more than a severe injury. Some patrons may think your facility is being too strict with rule enforcement. This is the perfect time to inform them that their family’s safety is your facility's top priority.
The first and most important step of ensuring your facility is strictly enforcing rules is to educate your staff, the rule enforcers. Educated staff are more likely to enforce rules because they WANT to prevent the injuries, instead of doing it simply because a supervisor said so. For example, don’t just tell staff to enforce height requirements. Explain why it’s important and take the time to share the statistics behind the enforcement of the rule and what could happen if it’s not enforced. Educated staff seem to be more loyal to their facilities and become better employees overall. Educated staff also react faster when incidents occur than those that are simply told to react.
Strict rule enforcement is important, and educating the staff to enforce them is the best way to ensure strict enforcement. This action of educating your staff will help ensure your staff are properly trained and ready to act in preventing injuries and reacting to injuries. Training is not just reviewing CPR, First Aid, and Llfeguarding skills; its ensuring the staff understand WHY rules are being enforced. Lifeguard skills are an important baseline, but it’s just that a baseline. Furthering your staff's understanding of their duties and the rules themselves is what makes a staff member great and a facility safe. Expand your in-service training to cover rule enforcement and why, so your facility will be a safer place, and your staff more ready to respond.