Pool Service News
Taking a New Career Path During Covid – Lauren Broom, CPO Instructor
Lauren Broom is a relatively new face to some but the CPO instructor has been branching out and making a name for herself in the pool industry. Over the last couple of years, she has reinvented herself during the pandemic as a top-rated provider of virtual CPO courses.
Pool contractors in the state of Florida have known Broom for years. Working for Florida Health for almost 17 years; she was a health inspector and regulator. During the past decade, she’s been interacting daily with them in the course of her day-to-day role. Many don’t realize that Broom has actually been teaching CPO courses just about as long. Now a Certified Pool Operator PHTA Instructor, Broom separated from Florida Health back in August of 2020 to start her own business, Space Coast Pool School.
Changing Career Paths During Covid
Transitioning from regulator and inspector to full-time CPO instructor was a change Broom was longing to make. Like many during the pandemic, Broom suddenly realized that if she was looking for a sign to make a change in her career, this was it. “What COVID did, was it opened doors for me,” said Broom, “It opened up the CPO class to go virtual. Since April of 2020, they’ve had everything set up for us to start teaching virtual certified pool operator courses.”
“I think that the Pool & Hot Tub Alliance, which I’m certified through, has the people and resources to get that training standardized and then get it out to us instructors to able to teach,” said Broom.
Transitioning To Full-Time CPO Instructor
In explaining what prompted her to want to seek a new career path, Broom explained, “I had plateaued at the health department. The room for growth was over. I came to realize that I wanted to pursue education rather than regulation as a passion.”
The space for offering these services welcomes a fresh new approach and so far Broom has been very successful in disseminating her online program. Aside from being one of the leading female instructors offering virtual courses, what Broom says often distinguishes her program is her prior expertise as a health inspector and regulator. “I come from a different part of the industry than a lot of the instructors. I understand the regulations that a lot of people are dealing with because many times they will be dealing with commercial pools,” said Broom.
With her expertise being in health regulation and safety, Broom said she is looking to expand on the courses she offers and plans to begin teaching a live OSHA-10 certification course soon. While this new course will be able to be taken online, the requirements still stipulate that it be a live course and not pre-recorded.
In explaining how she developed her virtual CPO course, Broom explained that over the past decade of teaching face-to-face courses, she had developed many materials that translated well to a video series. “A lot of people like to go to CPO courses for the interaction they get with instructors. During COVID we were unable to do that so I began developing videos of the same material I would cover in my in-person classes,” said Broom.
In developing her content library, Broom said that while she draws inspiration from what others are doing in the industry, her focus is on generating her own educational materials that speak to the content she is teaching.
“It’s all my content, I’m not taking someone else’s YouTubes or borrowing someone else’s material. I create all of my own so it’s done how I would teach it. I’m using my own equipment, so when I pull out my peristaltic pump or my erosion feeder, I’m explaining those components and what they do,” said Broom.
In creating her materials, she explained how she tries to bring value by developing a course that is an engaging online learning experience for students. “I’m a true believer that you have to have some fun in class. If it’s more fun it’s easier to learn. I try to bring that wall down so they can learn better. If they’re not so worried about that test on the second day, they’re going to learn a lot more.”
One of the ways Broom is working towards achieving that goal is with her podcast “Let’s Talk About Pools” which she started earlier this year. During a thought-provoking conversation with Terry Arko over at Hasa earlier this year, they discussed the recent chemical shortages that have been plaguing the industry. It’s that type of material that the industry finds invaluable. This fresh new ‘boots on the ground’ perspective, being what many are seeking for better clarity during this climate.
In understanding Broom’s decision to reinvent herself, making a sudden shift in her career plans was a sentiment shared by millions. In the wake of COVID, many chose to switch career paths rather than go back to their previous employer.
Consequently, the past two years we’ve all had to adapt to doing business differently. Broom choosing to capitalize on the ability to transition to offering courses online and working to establish herself as a leading CPO instructor were a risk she was willing to take. So far the gamble to make a radical transition in her career path has been paying off.
Listen to our complete discussion with Lauren Broom on the Pool Magazine podcast
California Pool Pros Struggle To Understand OSHA Life Jacket Regs
OSHA has a new life jacket regulation that California pool pros need to be aware of. As pool professionals in California continue to adapt to new safety regulations, one rule, in particular, has caused confusion and frustration: the requirement for pool cleaners to wear a life jacket while on the job. The regulation, known as T8 CCR 3389, was implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as a means of protecting workers from drowning hazards.
OSHA: Pool Cleaners & Life Jackets Go Hand in Hand
For many pool cleaners, the idea of wearing a life jacket while performing their duties seems unnecessary and cumbersome. After all, many would argue that they typically aren’t getting in the actual pool or engaging in activities that would normally warrant the use of a flotation device.
The CPSA had the following to say about the regulations, “We were recently called by one of our larger pool service members who brought to our attention a recent interaction they had with Cal-OSHA. This company was attempting to do the right thing by scheduling a review of their safety practices to make sure they were doing everything correctly and to avoid any potential future audits and/or penalties. The pool service company confirmed that they provided goggles and gloves for their service personnel.”
Well-Intentioned But Does The Regulation Make Sense?
OSHA insists that the life jacket rule is necessary to protect workers in the event of an unforeseen accident or emergency. For example, if a pool cleaner were to slip and fall into the water, the life jacket would provide them with the buoyancy needed to stay afloat until help arrives.
Despite the well-intentioned nature of the rule, many pool professionals are struggling to understand why it is necessary and how it should be properly implemented. Some have expressed concern that the added weight and bulk of pool safety equipment like a life jacket could hinder their movement and make it more difficult to perform their tasks effectively.
Others have pointed out that there are already a number of safety measures in place to protect pool cleaners, such as the use of safety ropes and harnesses, which should be sufficient to prevent accidents.
There Are No Exceptions
Despite these concerns, OSHA has made it clear that the life jacket rule is non-negotiable and must be followed. Pool professionals who fail to comply could face fines and other penalties.
The Net Net
If an employee is required to work in an area where they may be at risk of drowning, their employer is required to equip them with a personal flotation device that has been approved for use by the United States Coast Guard. That includes people who work in the pool industry, like pool techs, repair contractors, and maintenance workers.
As a result, many pool professionals have reluctantly accepted the rule and are doing their best to comply. However, the confusion and frustration surrounding T8 CCR 3389 remain, and it will likely take some time for California’s pool industry to fully adjust to this new safety regulation.
Understanding The OSHA Life Vest Regulation
T8 CCR 3389. Life Rings and Personal Flotation Devices.
(a) Except as specified in subsection (a)(1) for marine terminal operations, at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved 30-inch life ring with not less than 90 feet of 600-pound capacity line attached shall be kept in a readily accessible place where employees’ work exposes them to the hazard of drowning or each employee so exposed shall wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD).
Accident Report Detail – Pool Drownings
Below is a recorded list of recorded incidents that led to the decision.
ARD Pool Drownings by Joe Trusty
Who is OSHA and do you have to follow the regulations?
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was passed by Congress in order to provide safe and healthy working environments. Nonetheless, as advantageous and protective as it may sound, some business owners view the organization as a relatively unscrupulous government agency, particularly in the way it disseminates information to businesses impacted by changing regulations.
The best advice for the time being, invest in some life jackets, train your personnel, and avoid a possible fine by making sure your pool business is adhering to the letter of the law.
Contractors and Builders
PHTA Debuts Pool Professionals Pipeline
Group plans to launch a robust jobseeker education program to fill pipeline with new talent.
(Alexandria, VA) – The Pool & Hot Tub Alliance (PHTA) today announced it is jumping into the waters of workforce development with its Pool Professionals Pipeline, a new program designed to help its members find workers, drive awareness amongst today’s jobseekers, and foster long-term career progression in the pool, hot tub, and aquatics industry.
“It’s no secret that many industries and businesses today are struggling to find and retain employees, and this is particularly true in trades such as ours,” says PHTA President and CEO Sabeena Hickman, CAE. “Our members are looking to PHTA to help fill that gap and we’re ready for the challenge. We are incredibly excited to share this new program with our membership and give them the tools they’ll need to compete in today’s labor market while working to attract a skilled, diversified, and thriving workforce.”
Underneath the PHTA’s Pool Professionals Pipeline workforce development umbrella is its external industry awareness campaign and jobseeker website, Work in Aquatics and workinaquatics.com, launching in 2023. Work in Aquatics will seek to advocate for trade professions by highlighting the numerous advantages, training and apprenticeship opportunities, job openings, and potential career progression tracks that are available working in the pool and hot tub industry. From construction labor to lifeguards, sales representatives, entrepreneurs, and even engineers and designers, there are many industry sectors and paths along the way that PHTA wants jobseekers to explore.
“This program is a game-changer for our industry as it works to drive qualified talent to our respective businesses and our industry as a whole,” says PHTA Chairman Charlie Claffey, owner of Claffey Pools. “To be successful, we’re going to need everyone on board as we work to put the industry on the radar of those searching for an alternative path to college; a rewarding career in a healthy lifestyle environment; the ability to work away from a desk; creative freedom through modern design; and lifesaving skills through swim instruction. The possibilities that exist in the aquatics industry are endless and once you begin in this line of work, you’ll never want to walk away. Let’s share that passion with the next generation of workers.”
A steering committee comprised of PHTA members, industry partners, and PHTA staff will serve in an advisory role to help guide programming, funding, and more:
- Charlie Claffey, Claffey Pools
- Joseph Laurino, Ph.D., Periodic Products, Inc.
- Andrew Levinson, PoolCorp
- Elizabeth McMurray, Florida Swimming Pool Association
- Albert Miller, Hayward
- Dominick Mondi, Northeast Spa & Pool Association
- Kevin Post, Counsilman-Hunsaker
- Teri Wiltshire, Master Pools Guild
- Lisa Zarda, CAE, US Swim School Association
Members, partners, and others interested in becoming involved in the PHTA Pool Professionals Pipeline can contact Seth Ewing, PHTA Senior Director of Member Programs & Services, at [email protected]
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications
703-838-0083, ext. 121 | [email protected]
Pool Service News
Pinch A Penny Title Sponsor of Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships
CLEARWATER, FL / ACCESSWIRE / November 4, 2022 / Pinch A Penny, the nation’s largest swimming pool retail and backyard services franchise, will be the presenting sponsor of the Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships.
The Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships presented by Pinch A Penny will take place at the Sailfish Splash Waterpark and Aquatics Center in Stuart, FL. The Class 3A Championships will be held on Friday, November 4 and the 4A Championships will take place Saturday, November 5. The Class 1A Championships will be on November 11 and the 2A Championships will take place on November 12.
Pinch A Penny is the top pool supply store in the country, providing customers with best-in-class pool chemicals, equipment, repair parts, and accessories. In addition to pool supply retail, Pinch A Penny offers ongoing maintenance and repair services, like water testing and pool service, as well as pool renovations, pressure washing, landscape lighting and more.
Earlier this year, Pinch A Penny served as a sponsor for teams from Texas and Florida teams in the Special Olympics USA Games, where more than 5,500 athletes and coaches from all 50 states and the Caribbean competed across 19 sporting events. It was part of Pinch A Penny’s charitable giving program, Be the Splash, which is a long-time partner of the Special Olympics organization.
“Pinch A Penny is excited to extend its longtime partnership with the Florida High School Athletic Association by once again sponsoring the Swimming & Diving State Championships,” said Kendall Large, Pinch A Penny’s Vice President of Marketing. “Pinch A Penny has a tremendous presence across Florida, and we’re committed to supporting the communities we serve. We look forward to a great competition in Stuart over the next two weekends and wish all of the athletes the best of luck!”
For more information about Florida High School Swimming & Diving State Championships presented by Pinch A Penny, please visit https://fhsaa.com/.
About Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa
Founded in 1975, Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa has grown from one store to nearly 270 locations across the Southeastern U.S. and Texas. Pinch A Penny has developed a reputation for delivering best-in-class customer service and expertise in pool care while offering the highest quality in products and supplies. These qualities have earned Pinch A Penny inclusion in top industry rankings, such as the 2021 Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Franchise Business Review Top 200, Franchise Gator Top 100, and Franchise Times Top 200+, as well as Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchises for Women and Top Franchises for Veterans. Additionally, Pinch A Penny was selected as the silver winner for Franchise Update’s prestigious STAR Award for Franchisee Satisfaction and named one of the Top 50 Recession-Proof Franchises by Franchise Business Review.
Taking a family approach to business, Pinch A Penny provides its customers, franchisees, and employees with all the necessary resources to carry on its tradition of quality, reliability, and expertise in a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. The brand also provides customers a one-stop-shop for all their pool and spa supply needs with complete lines of pool chemicals, equipment, as well as maintenance parts and accessories.
For more information about Pinch A Penny, please visit https://pinchapenny.com/.
SOURCE: Pinch A Penny
Let Your Pool Dreams Take You To Dubai
Five Benefits of Vinyl Pool Liners
Chlorine Poisoning Incident at Swimming Pool in Italy
Structure Studios Announces Version 3 of Industry-Leading Design Software
Chatting with Pool Design Innovator – Noah Nehlich
Best Automatic Pool Cleaners & Robotic Pool Cleaners
Recent Pool News
- Let Your Pool Dreams Take You To DubaiWe take a look at two incredible pools making headlines in Dubai. […]
- Chlorine Poisoning Incident at Swimming Pool in ItalyChlorine poisoning sent 25 swimmers to the hospital at a pool in Italy, according to reports. […]
- Claiming Your Swimming Pool as a Tax DeductionIf you or a loved one has a medical condition that […]
- Floating Swimming Pool Proposed For San Francisco Bay AreaA floating swimming pool has been proposed for the […]
- Smugglers Use Swimming Pool To Transport Illegal ImmigrantsRecently, a strange and shocking incident made […]
- Cyberattack on Pool in Israel a Wake-Up Call For Pool ProsA recent cyberattack on a swimming pool in Israel should be a wake up call for pool professionals everywhere. […]
- Outdoor Living Trends – 5 Major Trends Taking Over The BackyardWe've narrowed down 5 important outdoor living trends you'll be seeing more of in 2023. […]
- Texas-Shaped Pool a Must When Visiting HoustonPool Magazine was recently in Houston for the annual […]
- One on One With Lucas Congdon of Lucas LagoonsLucas Lagoons has rapidly become a household name when it comes to resort style pools. We go one on one with owner / founder, Lucas Congdon. […]
- Foam Core Construction in the Pool TradeFoam core construction is becoming increasingly more popular in the pool trade says Nathan Giffin of Vertical Artisans. […]
- Pools3 weeks ago
Movable Floors are Taking the Pool Industry by Storm
- Pool Builder2 weeks ago
Pool Builder Accused of Faking His Own Death Amid Bankruptcy
- Press Releases3 weeks ago
RB Pool & Spa Offers ‘Job Progress’ Construction Software for Builders
- News4 weeks ago
Florida Swimming Pool Association (FSPA) Member Reappointed to Florida Building Commission
- Press Releases2 weeks ago
Water TechniX Launches SoniX SX11 Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner for Effortless Pool Maintenance
- News3 weeks ago
Riverbend Sandler Announces Acquisition of Pool Steward
- Newsletter2 weeks ago
Cyberattack on Pool in Israel a Wake-Up Call For Pool Pros
- News3 weeks ago
Fluidra Makes Dedicated Shift to More Efficient LED Pool Lighting