Summertime Safety: What responsibility/liability do lifeguards have?

As the summertime draws near, families and sun-seekers worldwide gravitate toward the sun-kissed shores of Florida. According to a study conducted by Florida Tech, it is projected that the number of visitors to Florida’s beaches will double over the next 13 years. With this surge in people, the demand for lifeguard interventions is expected to rise. This prompts the question: what specific duties and legal obligations are lifeguards responsible for in ensuring the safety of beachgoers? At Goldman & Daszkal, we are committed to advocating for safety, and understanding lifeguard responsibilities aligns with our mission to protect individuals in our community.

Responsibilities of Lifeguards

Lifeguards hold a significant responsibility for the safety of the beach. Their primary duties include:

  • Surveillance: Lifeguards must maintain constant vigilance over the designated swimming area, scanning for any signs of distress or potential hazards.
  • Rescue: In the event of an emergency, lifeguards are trained to respond swiftly and efficiently to rescue individuals in distress, providing first aid and CPR as necessary.
  • Enforcement of Rules: Lifeguards enforce safety rules and regulations, such as swimming only in designated areas, not diving in shallow water, and adhering to capacity limits.
  • Education: Lifeguards often engage in proactive measures, educating the public about water safety, including the dangers of rip currents, the importance of swimming near a lifeguard tower, and the significance of staying hydrated.

Liability of Lifeguards

While lifeguards play a crucial role in ensuring water safety, they also bear certain liabilities:

  • Duty of Care: Lifeguards owe a duty of care to beach patrons. This duty entails taking reasonable steps to prevent foreseeable harm and providing assistance in emergencies.
  • Negligence: Lifeguards may be held liable for negligence if they fail to fulfill their duties adequately. Examples of negligence include inadequate supervision, distraction on duty, or failure to respond promptly to an emergency.
  • Training and Certification: Lifeguards must undergo proper training and certification to perform their duties effectively. Failure to maintain current certifications or comply with standard protocols could result in liability in the event of an accident or injury.
  • Equipment and Maintenance: Lifeguards are responsible for ensuring the proper maintenance and functionality of rescue equipment, such as flotation devices and first aid kits. Neglecting to maintain equipment or using defective gear could contribute to liability in emergencies.

Goldman & Daszkal: Advocates for Safety

At Goldman & Daszkal Personal Injury Attorneys in Florida, we recognize the importance of summertime safety and the critical role lifeguards play in protecting beach and poolgoers. Our experienced team is dedicated to advocating for victims of negligence, including cases involving inadequate lifeguard supervision or response. If you or a loved one has been injured due to lifeguard negligence, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for expert legal guidance.