Magazine article Risk Management

A Glance at Aquatic Risk Management

Magazine article Risk Management

A Glance at Aquatic Risk Management

Article excerpt

Drowning and water-related accidents have an emotional and economic impact on society that is impossible to calculate. Every year nearly four thousand people drown, and one hundred thousand more suffer from a water accident serious enough to require some form of medical intervention.

Because water is generally regarded as an attractive nuisance, and most accidents occurring in the aquatic environment are preventable, aquatic accidents are often the subject of lawsuits, sometimes resulting in large financial awards as a result of negligence. It is therefore vital that aquatic safety assume a high level of cognizance among risk managers and the insurance industry.

There are at least three factors that are responsible for making aquatic risk management a challenge that most risk managers are unprepared to meet because of lack of experience and resources.

1. Most aquatic environments are highly dynamic, sometimes changing day-by-day and even minute-by-minute. Consequently, aquatic risk management is an ongoing process, requiring considerable time commitment and focus on a regimen of monitoring and re-evaluation.

2. Many aquatic hazards are not easily recognizable, even by experts, and warnings about a specific hazard are not as effective as they are intended to be for some not so obvious reasons. A significant percentage of the population are functionally illiterate, and because of a phenomenon sometimes called "sign pollution," many people simply ignore aquatic warning signs. …

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