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Occupational Health Branch

Occupational Health Watch: September 2018

Protecting Pool Workers from Chemical Injuries & Illnesses

A lifeguard sits in an elevated lifeguard seat at an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by palm trees with a building in the background. He is turned around to look behind his chair while wearing a T-shirt that says Lifeguard on it.Swimming pool chemicals help keep pools clean and safe. However, the chemicals used to clean and disinfect pools can be hazardous.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) tracks cases of pool chemical-related worker illness and injury and has found that workers in many different swimming pool jobs have been injured or become ill while on the job. Common problems include eye damage, difficulty breathing such as from asthma, and skin burns. Injuries can occur among lifeguards, swimming instructors, maintenance employees, pool supply retail and delivery workers, janitors, and others who work near pools.

The CDPH Occupational Health Branch has a new booklet that pool operators, managers, and workers can use to learn how to prevent pool chemical injuries and illnesses. A new web page has additional resources for pool chemical safety.

Photo: Lifeguards should be trained about pool chemical hazards.


Protecting Pool Workers from Chemical Injuries & Illnesses (PDF) - booklet

Pool Chemical Safety – CDPH web page

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