Do Community Association Pools Need Lifeguards?
In New Jersey, community associations may not realize that the rules surrounding pool safety implementations are not the same as they used to be. However, Associations may fall into an exemption from the requirements relating to lifeguards under New Jersey Statute and thus, may be exempt from such requirements.
New lifeguard requirements and Exemptions
In early 2018, New Jersey enacted new regulations concerning lifeguard requirements. The initial reaction to the new regulations was that community associations can no longer have one lifeguard perform duties such as pool supervision and observation, while also checking the badges of members or guests. Additionally, it has been argued that the new code requires a second lifeguard at swimming pools with greater than 2,000 square feet of surface area. N.J.A.C. 8:26-5.2(d)(2). However, there is further language in the new regulations that appear to make these requirements inapplicable to community associations. The plain language of certain paragraphs would seem to indicate that community associations are therefore exempt from these requirements under revised regulations.
Specifically, the scope of the new code governs “all public recreational bathing facilities in New Jersey.” N.J.A.C. 8:26-1.2. However, the definition section defines the words, “specifically exempt facility” to include, “A private non-profit common interest community that restricts the use of its … pool… to the owners or units thereof and their invited guests.” N.J.A.C. 8:26-1.3.
There are only a few areas in which “specifically exempt facilities” do not have to comply with the new regulations. One of them, however, is N.J.A.C. 8:26-5.1, which states that “specifically exempt facilities shall be exempt from mandatory compliance with the first aid personnel and lifeguard requirements of this subchapter at N.J.A.C. 8:26-5.2(b), (b)1, (d) and (e)…” Since the lifeguard requirements are mentioned in N.J.A.C. 8:26-5.2(d), they would fall within the exemption. Thus, community associations who restrict the use of its pool to Members and their guests are exempt from complying with the new lifeguard requirements mentioned above.
It’s also worth noting that the exemption will not apply to community association pools that has a functional diving board, water slide or other recreational appurtenance that may present an increased safety risk or hazard. N.J.A.C. 8:26-5.1(a)(2).
Consult an Attorney Experienced in Handling New Jersey Community Association Law
Here at Griffin Alexander, P.C., our attorneys have decades of combined experience representing the interests of community association boards and their members in a wide variety of disputes in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
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The information in this Client Alert is provided solely for information purposes. It should not be construed as legal advice on any specific matter and is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based upon particular circumstances. Each legal matter is unique, and prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.
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