All posts by Kelsey Azadian

Griffiths_Dave (5)David Griffiths
Insurance by Ken Brown


It’s that time of year! Many young people are out looking for full and part time summer jobs. So what considerations do you have as a business owner?

Young workers can be an asset to your workforce. However, young workers have unique and substantial risks for work-related injuries and illnesses due to a variety of factors. On-the-job injuries to young workers may be significant and costly.

There are also several laws and procedures to consider when hiring a minor:

Posting Requirements
Employers who hire minors must display a poster in a conspicuous place on the property or place of employment notifying them of the Child Labor Law. Child labor posters may be obtained through this website by calling Child Labor Compliance at 1-800-226-2536.

Documentation Requirements
Employers are required to keep waiver authorizations, proof of age documentation, and proof of exemption from minor status for all employees who are under 18. These records must be maintained for the duration of the minor’s employment. Unless exempt from the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act), the records must be kept until the minor turns 19.

Parental Permission to Hire
Employers are not required by law to have permission from the parents to employ their minor child. However, we strongly encourage employers to include parents in the process.

Work Permits
“Work permits” and/or “working papers” are not required in Florida and are not issued by either the schools or any governmental agency in Florida. Please see Waivers.

Hour Limitations
Minors are limited in the hours they may work to permit them to attend and complete their educational responsibilities.

Breaks
Minors may work no more than 4 consecutive hours without a 30 minute uninterrupted break.

Exemptions
Minors are exempt from the hour limitations of the Child Labor Law if they have been married, graduated from an accredited high school or hold a high school equivalency diploma, served in the military, have been authorized by a court order, or been issued a partial waiver by the public school or the Child Labor Program.

Safety
Each year minors suffer injuries in the workplace. OSHA has recommendations and guidelines regarding this area.

Waivers
The Florida Child Labor Law is designed to serve and protect minors and to encourage them to remain in school. At times, however, some minors feel that the law conflicts with their best interest or that their life circumstances are such that they need to work. Minors have the right to request that the Child Labor Office exempt them from parts of the Child Labor Law.

Penalites
Employment of minors in violation of Florida child labor laws may result in fines up to $2,500 per offense and/or be guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor.

More Information
Employers who have an interest in learning more about Florida’s Child Labor Law may request training by contacting the Bureau of Child Labor at 1-800-226-2536.

We support your company giving young people the opportunity to learn your business, learn what it is to have a work ethic and have some spending money or money for future education. It’s great for the future of our country. However, we encourage you to take the right steps to protect both you and them!

 

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson (WLSL) is a world-wide event supported by aquatic facilities, waterparks, pools, swim schools, YMCA’s, and more! The goal of this event is to build awareness about the fundamental importance of teaching children to swim in order to prevent drowning. The Florida Swimming Pool Association has chapters who participate in this event annually!

TEAM WLSL™ holds the current Guinness World Record™ for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson conducted at multiple venues. The official record was set in 2014 with 36,564 participants in 22 countries.

The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson will take place Thursday, June 22. Visit their website to find a facility near you!

 

Myers_Rick (3)Rick Myers
Team Horner


Whatever your feeling or opinion is on the 64-E code, it is the regulation that all companies and properties must adhere to if they either take care of or have a pool on their property. We as professionals must begin to use this code not only as our back-up as we point out to our customers items that their pool is missing or are in need of repair but also to ensure that the commercial pools we take care of are as safe and healthy as possible. What is the end result of doing the right thing? Our sales will increase, our employees will be smarter and more involved in their routes, and our properties will be happy knowing that the pool in their condo, hotel, etc. meets or exceeds state code.

Here are just a couple of violations that the state of Florida considers cause for immediate closure:

  • Cannot see the main drain from the deck.
  • Three or more depth markers missing or illegible.
  • Main drain cover loose or missing.
  • Ladder treads missing or broken.
  • Vacuum line is missing.

Items requiring a fix that takes anywhere from 7-30 days could include broken PH feeder, spa clock missing, weirs missing or broken, and broken or missing filter gauges.

All of these repairs usually include a billable service call and many of them can be fixed in one visit. So how do you turn this into an easily managed revenue avenue for your company?

There are several ways of doing this, all of which are low tech, and best of all they produce results. What if you asked your service personnel to take a picture of all the pressure gauges one week and the wall clocks on the spas the next week? If every week you took one possible infraction and concentrated on that infraction, over a period of time you would have covered the entire pool code.

This could also be done by sending your customers a quick note via email or social media asking them the same question. Over time your customers will appreciate this “extra service” and depend on you even more.

Hopefully this short article gets you interested in the safety business and you will be able to have safer pool and a business that is growing annually.

A pool is a valuable investment. Like all other investments, you want to make sure you receive the most out of it. That is why it is important to keep it running properly. The following terms will help you to keep your pool running properly and allow you to get the most out of your investment!

Chlorination

In order to keep the pool water free of contaminants, it is necessary to add a chemical, which is capable of killing algae before it becomes visible, or a health hazard. As a rule, the presence of algae in water does not pose a significant risk to health, but it can enter open cuts or sores and cause infection. Once the concentration of algae in the water becomes great, it is visible to the naked eye as discolored water or blemishes on the pool surface.

The Chlorine Scale

The concentration of chlorine in water is measured in parts per million (ppm), that is, parts of chlorine per one million parts of water. A standard test kit is graduated on one side from zero ppm to 3.0 ppm. Most test kits are labeled with an “ideal” level for chlorine, usually between 1.0 and 1.5 ppm. While this level is adequate for most pools, it is recommended to maintain a higher chlorine concentration than this during the hot summer months often experienced in Florida. It has been found that a concentration of 1.5 ppm dissipates too quickly during days with temperatures above 95-100 degrees.

Superchlorination

Superchlorination refers to a process in which the chlorine level in the swimming pool is raised to abnormally high levels over a very short period of time, usually a few hours. Another common name for superchlorination is “shocking”. Over time and with extended use, organic wastes build up in the pool water. These wastes include body oils, sweat and other body fluids, and suntan lotions. Generally, 1 gallon of liquid chlorine is needed for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. It is recommended that superchlorination take place in the evening, after the sun has set, since this is when the pool is not being used and treatment will not be removed by UV rays from the sun before it has the opportunity to perform its function.

Conditioner

Conditioner is a name given to a chemical that inhibits the degradation of chlorine by UV light. Other commonly used names for conditioner include: stabilizer, sun-shield or the chemical name cyanuric acid. The recommended ideal level for conditioner in a swimming pool is between 40 and 100 ppm.

Total Alkalinity

Total alkalinity is a measure of the total amount of dissolved particles in the water whose pH is higher than 7.0. Examples of particles include dirt, sand, and baking soda. Alkaline particles in the pool water, at certain levels, act as a buffer to prevent rapid changes in the pool’s pH. Thus, when the total alkalinity of the pool water is within the ideal levels, the pH of the water will tend to stay balanced for longer periods of time. For all pool surfaces, the recommended level falls between 120 and 140 ppm.

The pH Scale

On a standard test kit, the pH scale is graduated from 6.8 to 8.2. The numbers refer to the concentration of hydrogen (acid) in the water but the scale is somewhat reverse. The ideal level for pH is generally the same for all swimming pools regardless of climate, amount of use, temperature, or pool surface. This ideal level falls between 7.4 and 7.6 for all pool surfaces.

Pool Surface

The type of surface on a swimming pool can also affect the pH of the pool water. Plaster or plaster based pool surfaces such as quartz, are porous, alkaline materials. They can absorb and neutralize acid in pool water, thereby raising its pH. In this case, small amounts of acid are generally needed to maintain a proper pH balance. Fiberglass, vinyl, and painted plaster pools, on the other hand, do not have porous surfaces, and thus do not absorb or neutralize acid in the water. Here, small amounts of soda ash or baking soda may be needed to keep the pH at a proper level after acid is added in the form of rain, citrus leaves, etc.

The Pump

The pump is essentially the heart of the swimming pool’s circulation system. It pulls water from the pool through the skimmer and main drain, pushes it through the filter and returns it to the pool through the main returns. The entire operation of the swimming pool is dictated by the operation of the pump. The cleaning system cannot, in general, operate without the main pump, and the pool water cannot be filtered without the main pump operating. It is crucial, therefore, to be aware with the proper schedule for the operation of the main pump. It is recommended that the pump run 12 hours per day during the hottest summer months, and 4-5 hours per day during the winter months, and to varying degrees during the spring and fall. The daily cycle can be divided into multiple cycles, but each cycle should be no shorter than 4 hours since this is the minimum time it takes for all of the water in the pool to pass through the filter at least once, it is also the recommended time between the addition of chemicals and the next water test/or pool use.

Brushing the Pool

There is no substitute for a thorough brushing of the walls and bottom of the pool. Most automatic cleaners can’t scrub the floor to remove small debris and algae spores from the pores in the pool surface, and this must be done to ensure a stain and algae free pool surface. Be sure to brush the pool while the pump is operating, and to cover the entire pool from the tile line to the main drain. Sweep slowly and push the brush toward the main drain so that the debris will be pulled into the drain and then into the filter, where it will be removed from the water. If large amounts of debris were removed during the process, it is advisable to clean the filter afterward.

Vacuuming the Pool

If the amount of debris in the pool is too great to be removed by either the automatic cleaning system or by brushing, the pool should be vacuumed to remove the debris before it becomes attached to the pool surface and requires special methods to remove.

Skimming the Pool

While vacuuming and brushing remove dirt and debris from the bottom of the pool, they do not remove the debris such as grass, leaves, and bugs which float on the water surface. The skimmer built into the pool deck usually removes this debris, but it can accumulate in large amounts, and it may take the built-in skimmer an appreciable time to remove it. By using a hand skimmer, the debris can be quickly removed before it has the opportunity to become saturated with water and sink to the bottom.

Energy Efficient Pumps

Ken-McKenna-webKen McKenna
FSPA President


Recently about 40 of our dedicated members attended Legislative Days in Tallahassee to meet, talk and mingle with House Representatives and State Senators. Our goal is to educate them on our industry and discuss the current issues we may be facing. This has been successful over the years in developing relationships that can help us with issues if they arise. Unfortunately, due to election cycles and term limits, the players change and we have to create new relationships.

The FSPA government relations consultant, Jennifer Hatfield, has been instrumental over the last decade in gaining a voice for us in Tallahassee. We are now seen as the go-to association for anything concerning pools. She has worked tirelessly in growing our relationships and representing the industry. However, with everything she does, we need to help and pitch in more.

It is time for us to begin using our numbers to protect and promote our industry when it comes to the political process. There are several ways we can accomplish this:

  1. Donate money to PIPAC (Pool Industry Political Action Committee) — everyone knows money talks. Donating to our PAC or writing a check to a local politician creates access and establishes a relationship. This is the best way to get yourself and FSPA recognized.
  2. Donate your time to a candidate. Hold signs for them during their campaign. Work in their office stuffing envelopes or whatever they need. This is a great way to get to know the candidate and their staff. Again, it’s about developing a relationship.
  3. Visit them in their local office. Make an appointment to introduce yourself and tell them what issues are important in our industry. Make them aware of changes we may be looking to make or things we are trying to prevent from happening. We are their constituents and they will make time for you.

Trying to get the kids out of the pool for lunch or for snacks is no easy feat. They’re having so much fun and don’t want to stop just to eat! Make it worth their while by creating fun, irresistible snacks!

We have a Pinterest board dedicated to snacks by the pool. Check it out for more inspiration!

sourwormpopsicles

Beat the heat with DIY popsicles! Add sour gummy worms for a tart flavor (and they’re fun to eat!).

pizzawheels

Pack some protein with pizza wheels! Easy, hands-on snack that’s guaranteed to get them to take a break.

lunchbox

Are you heading out to a pool? Pack a lunch in advance!

goldfish

What a fun way to “go fishing!” Kids will have just as much fun getting their goldfish as they will swimming.

sprite

If your kids have friends over, this is a cute idea for beverages!

Want more ideas? Visit our Pinterest page!

Ava Jones
FSPA Member Information Specialist

Trade Association: noun

  1. An association of people or companies in a particular business or trade, organized to promote their common interests.

The Florida Swimming Pool Association is comprised of 700 member companies. I wonder how many of our members know the history behind associations and what it means to be a member of an association?

Associations have been around much longer than most people think. You can find examples of trade associations back to Elizabethan England (16th Century) with the formation of guilds. The guilds were formed by merchants and individual artisans coming together to protect their interests and provide services for the industry. The guilds offered regulations on work hours and wages as well as education in specific fields relating to the guild’s industry (sound familiar?). As the world expanded and grew to today’s modern world, guilds grew and expended to reflect the needs of the ever advancing members.

The United States of America has a proud history of association involvement. In fact, you can see how important having the availability to be a part of an association was to our founding fathers by looking at our constitution. Freedom to assemble and freedom of speech are key factors for an effective association which are protected in our constitutional rights. The earliest association in the US is the Chamber of Commerce of the State of New York that was founded in 1768. A group of 20 merchants pooled together to form the Chamber of Commerce with the goal of serving the needs of the local community. They gradually grew to become the industry’s leading advocates and attracting participation from some of America’s most famous business families: Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Murray,and Astor. The US boasts tens of thousands of associations that represent various groups and industries that make up our vast nation.

You have been accepted into the Florida Swimming Pool Association because of your commitment to a code of ethics, your credentials, and your dedication to advancing Florida’s swimming pool industry. You have chosen to continue on the path laid down by our forefathers. FSPA is only as good as our membership. We look forward to many more years of fighting for the swimming pool industry with our loyal and hardworking members leading the way.

 

Hurricane season takes place June 1 through November 30.

There are many myths regarding throwing outdoor furniture inside pools and even draining a swimming pool before a hurricane. Both of these actions can be dangerous and detrimental to a swimming pool. Below are some tips from FSPA to help you become better prepared for a storm.

  1. Do not drain your pool before a storm. Keeping sufficient water levels in your pool provides the important weight to hold sides and bottom in place.
  2. Before and after the storm it is recommended to super chlorinate pool water.
  3. It is important that all electric power be turned off at the circuit breakers before a storm hits. Any exposed electrical equipment such as motors for the pumps should be tightly covered with plastic wrap. If flooding is expected, disconnect and remove.
  4. Storms can cause ripped lanai screens which can be expensive to replace. This can possibly be avoided if you provide a “vent” for wind to escape through. Screen panels may be removed on either side of the pool area.
  5. Remove any loose objects such as chairs, tables, pool equipment and even toys. These items can become weapons in high wind storms. Do not throw your furniture in the pool, or anything else for that matter. If you cannot store items inside a building, carefully place items in the pool, this is not recommended.
  6. After the storm use a “pool rake” or other net/skimming device to remove small debris from inside the pool. Do not use your regular pool vacuum equipment or pool pumps as they are likely to clog the plumbing.
  7. Before touching any electrical equipment after the storm, be sure that everything is dry. Check circuit breakers to be sure they are off before attempting to reconnect electrical equipment such as pump motors. Inspect wiring for proper connections. If electric motors have been exposed to water, they should be checked by a professional.
  8. Be sure clocks, timers, etc. have been properly reset and balance the water chemistry. Keep a close eye on your operating systems for a few days to ensure everything is in working order.

For more information on how to prepare for a hurricane, click here!

The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention reminds you to enjoy the outdoors safely. They have named the Friday before Memorial Day “Don’t Fry Day.”

What You Can Do to Be Safe in the Sun:
  1. Do Not Burn
    Overexposure to the sun is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer.
  2. Avoid Sun Tanning and Tanning Beds
    Ultraviolet (UV) light from tanning beds and the sun causes skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look like you’ve been in the sun, use a sunless self-­-tanning product instead.
  3. Cover Up
    Wear protective clothing, such as a long-­-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-­-brimmed hat, and sunglasses,where possible.
  4. Seek Shade/Use Umbrellas
    Seek shade when appropriate. Remember that the sun’s UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  5. Generously Apply Sunscreen
    Generously apply sunscreen to all exposed skin using a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 30 that provides broad-­-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. Reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  6. Use Extra Caution Near Water, Snow and Sand
    Water, snow and sand reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  7. Check the UV Index
    The UV Index provides important information to help you plan your outdoor activities in ways that prevent overexposure to the sun. Developed by the National Weather Service (NWS) and EPA, you can find the UV Index for your area online at: www.epa.gov/sunwise/uvindex.html
  8. Get Vitamin D Safely
    Get vitamin D safely through a diet that includes vitamin supplements and foods fortified with vitamin D.  Don’t seek the sun or indoor tanning.