Enforcement, while sometimes not a fun aspect of being an aquatics professional, plays a key role in the overall safety and quality of any aquatic facility operation. Several key areas exist for enforcement, primarily facility rules, policies and procedures. And, ensuring that enforcement occurs fairly and consistently can make or break the perception of your operation by your guests. Proper enforcement of rules and policies will make your operation safer and more guest friendly. While guests may not agree with every rule or policy in place, they will hopefully come to appreciate the “why” behind them and how they ultimately provide an atmosphere of safety and service at your facility.
The key areas of enforcement deal with making sure guests follow the facility’s rules created to keep them safe. For rules and policies to keep your guests safe, they must be prominently displayed and consistently enforced by your team at the entrance to you park, as well as including them on all of your promotional literature. Aquatic facility staff need to be on the lookout for guests running, children wearing unapproved floatation devices, parents not staying within arm’s reach of their children and guests horseplaying in the water where the safety of them and the guests around them becomes compromised. Guest services team members need to diligently check guest coolers and bags at your park’s entrance to make sure they aren’t bringing glass items, weapons or knives into the facility.
Weight and height restrictions on waterslides and how to enforce it top the list of hot topics in the aquatics industry these days. Proactivity and consistency in informing guests of the restrictions before they get on a ride are the keys to success. Facility staff should make announcements while guests wait in line, prominently display signage, requirements and rules at the entry to the ride, and install measuring sticks and scales to accurately measure and weigh guests. If your park does install scales for use, they should not display the actual weight of your guests, instead using a red or green light to indicate whether they fall within the weight requirements for the ride. Using this three step process will improve the communication and enforcement of these restrictions with your guests, providing a better overall experience for everyone.
Enforcing the capacity in pools and on attractions also proves challenging for aquatic operators as they must maintain proper count of the number of guests in the park and at each attraction. Operators should carefully read all literature accompanying their attractions, as most have limits for the number of guests that can each attraction can hold at any given time, both on the ride itself, as well as the stairs leading up to the ride. Park team members should be properly trained on capacity limits for each ride, as well as the facility as a whole, and have a plan in place in order to monitor the number of guests that have entered the park at any time. Keeping track of capacity limits of your park, rides and attractions plays a major role in keeping your guests safe on a daily basis.
Enforcement won’t be the most glorious part of your aquatic operation, but it’s one of the most important areas for you and your staff to concentrate in order to ensure the safety of your guests on a daily basis.