Legal Precedents

Court and Inquest Findings

Court decisions often establish legal precedents. Coroner's inquests produce recommendations designed to help avoid similar fatalities in future. While these can provide valuable information to aquatic facility operators, the recommendations often do not reach all operators. The coroner often authors a detailed report, which goes much beyond the jury's recommendations, but this report is not circulated.

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Lifesaving Society Position Statements and Aquatic Standards

The Lifesaving Society analyzes and reports on court decisions and inquest findings related to aquatic injuries and fatalities. In consultation with Lifesaving Society affiliates and relevant agencies, stakeholders and governments, the Society develops position statements and aquatic standards. These are published in the Society's Standards Journals.

Standards Journal 1 (2001 edition) analyzes two court decisions and three inquests, and presents the Society's position on:

  1. Breaks from direct supervision
  2. Staff training
  3. Meaning of "within call"
  4. Change in a lifeguard's health status
  5. Criminal reference check policy

Standards Journal 3 (2010 edition) analyzes five inquests, and presents the Society's positions on:

  1. Admission and supervision of children in non-instructional swim settings
  2. Within call
  3. Breaks from direct supervision
  4. Change in a lifeguard's health status
  5. Off-location trip policy
  6. Procedure for pool fouling: fecal matter, blood or vomit
  7. Supervision of swim meets