What Are The Risks Of Being A Lifeguard


During the summer, unemployment falls due to temporary jobs, including lifeguards. The beaches require their services and the public and private swimming pools of the urbanizations fill up with bathers, children, and parents, in some cases imprudent ones.

To get the job of lifeguard you must obtain the lifeguard qualification from an appropriate associate in your province. To get started, you can just open Google, and look for Lifeguard courses near me. This should display the nearest institutions offering lifeguard courses around you.

However, you can also obtain this qualification from the Red Cross and by taking a higher level training course in Physical and Sports Activities Management.

In addition to learning how to react in the event of a rescue at sea, beach or swimming pool, you must be an expert in first aid, as many lives depend on you.

But you must know the occupational risks involved in being a lifeguard and what preventive measures you must strictly comply with.

Risks for lifeguards

When working in swimming pools, lifeguards are exposed to risks such as falls at the same level when walking in wet areas adjacent to the pool; or falls at different levels.

They are also exposed to overexertion. In addition, they are constantly exposed to extreme environmental conditions of heat, cold, humidity, and solar radiation, as well as to biological agents such as protozoa, fungi, bacteria and viruses that grow in the swimming pool environment. They are also exposed to chemical agents such as disinfectants, pesticides, and chlorine, which are added to swimming pools.

In the case of beach lifeguards, the risks increase. In addition to the previous risks such as falls from different levels when climbing up and down the watchtower, or being exposed to extreme temperatures. We must bear in mind that there are unlimited users on the beach, unlike swimming pools, which have a controlled capacity.

In addition, the mass of water is unpredictable, just think of doing a rescue in a swimming pool and in the open sea, subject to sea currents and, in addition, to the physical fatigue involved in reaching the bather in distress. Even to mention the aquatic species that exist in the sea, from jellyfish to sightings of small sharks, risks that do not exist in swimming pools.

Psychosocial aspects

In all cases, the lifeguard assumes a great responsibility: to ensure the safety of bathers. This involves a risk of psychosocial origin. The lifeguard remains alert throughout the 8 hours of his or her working day, causing increased stress. Both in swimming pools and on beaches, they must pay attention to children, whose behavior is unpredictable.

Likewise, they must keep an eye on those brave enough to venture out to sea with their mats or those elderly people who, due to overconfidence, can get caught in currents or suffer a ramp or panic situation when they find themselves far from the shore.

All this stress is increased when the lack of consideration of the swimmers is present. Failure to respect red and yellow flags, as well as safety warnings from lifeguards.

These situations can lead to confrontations between swimmers and lifeguards, who are only trying to do their job properly. The pressure, the stress of being alert to the movements of bathers, the extreme temperatures, and the risks mentioned above make the work of lifeguards an essential profession for safeguarding lives on the beach or by the pool and contribute to a trouble-free holiday.