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Forensic Engineering Experts: Swimming Pools

By: Dr. Irving Ojalvo

Tel: (800) 358-9909
Fax: (888) 358-9901
Email: Technology Associates

Though swimming pool accidents are sometimes the result of reckless participant behavior, they can also be caused by inadequate supervision, warnings, structures, or defective pool design. Structures commonly found in or near swimming pools include slides, ladders, diving surfaces and fencing. Pools must also be equipped with appropriate markings, signage and warnings indicating pool depths and other potential hazards. In addition, the safety of a pool's design and surrounding walkways, which may become too slippery when wet, must be considered. For this reason, many municipalities publish ordinances and associations provide detailed information regarding pool safety.

Expertise

Questions Answered

We have extensive experience in many aspects of swimming pools including:
  • Swimming pool depth surveys
  • Building codes & standards
  • Safety lines for separating deep from shallow areas
  • Signs, appropriate pool markings and warnings (e.g. No Diving)

Case Examples

Drowning in Public Pool:
A young child entered the shallow side of a swimming pool and began walking toward the deep side. At a certain point along the way, he lost his footing and eventually drowned. Our investigation revealed that the safety line, a rope attached to floats that separates the shallow and deep areas, was absent. In addition, the slope of the pool bottom was too steep, in violation of standards. These two factors, which we cited, contributed to a rapid settlement.


Dr. Irving Ojalvo was, at the time of this article's publication, the Chairman of Technology Associates (www.technology-assoc.com), a forensic engineering firm with offices in New York City and Connecticut. The firm's technical personnel, all of whom have advanced degrees, perform accident reconstruction involving issues of biomechanics, mechanical, traffic, and human factors engineering.

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