Proposal of a Certification Qualify Water Safety Program - Do the benefits overcome costs?

TitleProposal of a Certification Qualify Water Safety Program - Do the benefits overcome costs?
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsDr Szpilman, MD, D, Goulart, PM, Mocellin, O, da Silva, A, Guaiano, OP, Barros, M, Alves, AS, Morato, SMárcio, Cerqueira, SJ, Vilela, JJé M, Smicelato, CE, de Araújo, RT, Pedroso, JP, Krüger, Lís, Barros, E, Cerqueira, A, Sales, RômuloC, da Silva, NS
Conference NameWorld Conference on Drowning Prevention
Date Published09/2007
PublisherInternational Life Saving Federation
Conference LocationPorto, Portugal
Other NumbersPO-05

­In this century, the world aims for high standard services as a way to better target customers. Tourism was one of the first to classify their level of comfort, safety and hospitality by numbering their hotels from 1 to 5 stars. Other service businesses are following the same pathway to classification and qualification. Unfortunately lifesaving does not fit appropriately into this model due to the importance for water safety. The purpose of this presentation is to present a project to reduce drowning and accidents in and around pools if the benefits of certification of qualification water safety programs (PQSS) overcome the costs for everyone.

Project/results: The PQSS is a project created by the Brazilian Lifesaving Society (SOBRASA) in September 2005, to increase water safety using qualification in hotels, Water Park and condominiums. It has 3 possible levels of certification according to the level of efficacy. Certification allows the use of Sobrasa’s logo in their establishment as well as on the lifeguard’s uniform. This also helps the company by receiving a detailed water safety report, which allows rethinking new strategies. The company must attain a minimum of 80% of the requests on the evaluation form to be certified. Certification has a validity of 1 year and can be posted or used in any place. If not successful, a company can submit again after correction of those areas not to the required standard.

Discussion/conclusion: Tourism is a strong income for any country and is the mainstream for hotels and parks. Profit can be greater if expenses are kept as low as possible, but this can be devastating for business depending on what level are you serving to. Although the presence of a lifeguard at the pool is usually expected, in some areas no other prevention measure, equipment or qualification by the professional seems relevant for the business. Furthermore in some situations it is not unusual to see a lifeguard taking care of business other than lifesaving to make further savings for the employer. At the pool drowning is an unexpected occurrence for everyone including the customer and no one cares unless a disaster occurs. Tourism businesses must be aware that a qualified water safety is worthwhile to have working behind the scene. A death in a hotel can be a disaster and the price extremely high to pay for everyone involved. Tourism businesses will become interested in lifesaving qualification when guests start to claim for his or her safety on water entertainment which in turn could possibly change the “hotel stars program” to include a minimum lifesaving standard.

Learning Outcomes
  1. What are the standards for a qualification water safety program?
  2. How can we highlight water safety to the tourism business?
  3. Increasing safety reflects on increasing tourism and incomes?