Panel: Bites, Chemicals and Training

Derrick Todd
CPO, owner
AquaNut Pool Care
Greenville, South Carolina

Facebook: @AquanutPoolCareGreenville
Twitter: @Aquanutpoolcare
Instagram: @Aquanutpoolcare
YouTube: AquanutPoolCare

residential/commercial, service, repair, renovation, retail
employees: 9
accounts: 140-180

As far as jobsite safety goes, we have a list of protocols or rules we follow. As a result of following our safety protocols, we don’t have many injuries to speak of. For instance, here are a few of our policies:

Our No. 1 rule is do not mix chemicals. Everybody who comes to work for us learns that rule first and foremost. It gets repeated and reiterated.

Another one is, whistling when you come to a gate. This might seem kind of silly, but if you walk up to a homeowner’s property and you jiggle the gate and whistle, the dogs will let you know they’re there. As a result, we haven’t had a dog bite in years.

Another silly policy is when you’re on the deck, lay the pool pole flat on the pool deck. Don’t lean it against a fence or chairs, anything like that. If it’s leaned against something, the likelihood of tripping over it goes up exponentially. I’ve never had anyone slip on a pool pole that was lying flat on the deck.

There are many others to go with these. I find if you have good procedures in place and learn from mistakes, jobsite safety becomes very easy.

Brian Diglio
CPO, AST, CSP, president
Blue Wave Pool Service and Supplies, Inc.
Hamden, Connecticut

Facebook: @BlueWavePoolSpa
Twitter: @MarvTheDolphin
YouTube: Blue Wave Pool Service & Supplies

residential/commercial, service, repair, renovation, retail
employees: 5 year-round; 12 in season
accounts: 300

One of the first things we do with anyone we hire for service is have them do a hazardous communication training. I learned the hard way not to tell a new helper to get chlorine and algaecide from the truck, because they might mix them together. Or having someone run into the office to tell me the dumpster is on fire because they swept up some calcium hypochlorite and threw it away. Proper chemical handling, storage and transporting is a major function of our job.

Hazardous communication is also OSHA’s No. 2 fine. We use the online course that is offered through the NSPF (now PHTA). The cost is low, and we can show a record of completion that we put in the employee’s file. Another good resource to look to may be your insurance company. Most of the bigger companies will have risk management recourses. Sometimes they may even have someone come out to take a look at your operation and make suggestions.

OSHA’s Most Cited Violations in 2018

  • Fall protection
  • Hazard communication
  • Scaffolding — general requirements
  • Respiratory protection
  • Control of hazardous energy — lockout/tagout
  • Ladders
  • Powered industrial trucks
  • Fall protection — training requirements
  • Machine guarding — general requirement
  • Personal protective and lifesaving equipment — eye and face protection


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