According to the popular TV show 60 Minutes, over 7 million American families have backyard pools that have diving boards. While these pools are fun and can lead to hours of enjoyment for the whole family, everyone who uses the diving board is at risk.
Many pools that are found in backyards are dangerous not because of the diving board itself but due to the design and construction of the pool. The poor design of pools leaves divers at risk of sustaining serious injuries. Everyone knows of the dangers that exist when diving in shallow water. The problem with these pools is that they leave divers at risk of injury even when diving into the deep end of pools.
Residential pools are generally built to the standards of the national Spa and Pool Institute (NPSI) which is an industry trade organization. Critics of this organization feel that the standards of the NPSI are deficient. They are deficient because even when the pools are built in compliance with the standards are too shallow which puts divers at risk regardless of where they dive.
For comparison, the YMCA and the American Red Cross recommend that the area of the pool directly under the board be a minimum of 11.5’ deep. The NPSI requires only 7.5’ deep. There is a significant difference in the upslope recommendations as well. The American Red Cross and YMCA require 16.5’ and the NPSI requires only 7’. The upslope is the area where the pools level starts getting shallower. The distance is measured from the tip of the board to the place on the bottom of the pool where things get shallower. The Red Cross recommendation allows people to dive into the water and then resurface without touching the bottom of the pool. The NPSI recommendation does not allow for that.
The problem with NPSI pools all relates to the upslope and where the upslope area begins. When an individual dives into the deep end of a backyard NPSI pool, they are likely to make contact with the upslope which can result in facial injuries, lacerations, head injuries, and even spinal cord injuries.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a backyard pool diving accident, contact the Sheboygan personal injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® at (920) 459-8000 to discuss your case and to schedule an initial appointment.