Aquatics Blog

Just because “the health department says so”? Not quite.

If you’re an aquatic facility operator, you’ve likely spent a lot of your time documenting actions, certifications and items at your facility.  Have you ever thought about why you are documenting, and why it’s so important?  Let's take a look at your facility documentation, pool documentation, and staff documentation, and why it’s so important to keep these records, beyond “the health department says so".

Facility Checklists

Throughout your facility, there are probably several forms and checklists you keep up with: safety checklists, maintenance logs and daily reports.  These are not usually required by health departments but are useful for facility operators to have and to use daily to ensure the facility is safe, clean and running efficiently.

  • Equipment checklists
    • These include first aid equipment checks, cleaning equipment (sanitizer, brooms, mops, biohazard cleaning kits) stock checks and others.
    • Why they’re important: These checklists help to ensure your facility is prepared and well stocked to address issues that arise at aquatic facilities.
  • Daily checklists
    • These include opening checklists, closing checklists and daily checklists.
    • Why they’re important – They ensure the facility is prepared and ready to open, or ready to close and is properly locked down for the night.
  • Sweep logs
    • Sweep logs are periodic checks and spot cleaning for restrooms or other heavily trafficked areas. They can include restrooms, party rooms, meeting rooms, or lounge areas.
    • Why they’re important – They ensure the facility is presentable and inviting for guests. They also ensure that spaces are cleaned and ready for use.

Maintenance checklists and logs

Maintenance checklists help to provide not only a record of what maintenance has been performed on specific pieces of equipment, but also provide a record that the facility is keeping up with broken items and safety hazards and keeps records that they have been fixed or corrected.

  • Monthly and Annual Preventative Maintenance Logs
    • Work orders that correspond with preventative maintenance required by equipment manufacturers.
    • Why they’re important – They help to show historical maintenance information for equipment. If equipment breaks down, they can also serve as proof to the manufacturer that they facility performed all required maintenance.
  • Word Order Logs
    • Work Orders log hazards or broken items and when they are fixed. They should include what was wrong, when it was discovered and how and when it was fixed.  Great work order systems will even have the ability to use pictures.
    • Why they’re important – They show that the facility is reactive whenever things break, or hazards are found. They help to make sure things do not get overlooked or fall through the cracks and the facility continues to operate optimally.
  • Regular equipment/pump room checks
    • These include interlock challenge tests, chemical feeding equipment checks, chemical controller recalibration and pump room cleaning logs
    • Why they’re important – they log critical safety checks to ensure your guests and staff stay safe and that you continue to have great water quality.

Staff Related Documentation

Staff related documentation track staff certifications, staff training and confirmation of information or expectations that are shared with staff members.

  • Certification Tracking
    • Track staff certifications that are required for job positions
    • Why they’re important - staff must have all the training necessary to perform their jobs, and most certifying agencies have an expiration date to their certifications. So it’s important that operators keep close tabs to ensure staff are current in all necessary certifications.
  • Training documentation
    • These include pre-service, seasonal, annual and periodic staff training and updates on job duties.
    • Why they’re important - It’s not enough to write down their names and the date of meetings on a piece of paper. Operators need to document what trainings/meetings took place, what was discussed and who was present.  This is especially helpful when the same training needs to take place in several groups, you can ensure that each group is trained the same.
  • Staff reviews and expectations
    • These include staff audits, documentation of discussions and confirmation of job expectations.
    • Why they’re important - Operators regularly need to rate and give feedback to staff on their performance, this can be done through annual reviews regular audits, or may sometimes need to be done when staff do not perform as they are expected to.

Proper documentation is important for an effective, safe, and high performing facility, and knowing why documentation is so important can help to motivate facilities and staff to make sure it gets done.  Interested in learning more about what records you need to be maintaining? Check out our blog about Keeping Records plus read more about the benefits of digital documentation here in this blog by Kevin Post.

Joe Hunsaker - College Senior

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