Six months ago, I was hired as managing editor of Pool & Spa News. Since then I’ve learned a lot about the industry.
Recently, I was discussing some initial
impressions with Erika Taylor, who usually writes this column. She
suggested I share them with you.
The first article I ever read i n
this magazine appeared in the March 12, 2007, issue. It was called
“Slow Burn,” a special report on skin cancer and
outdoor workers. And it was stunning.
As we reported, no disease is more
widespread among men over age 50 — not prostate, lung or
colon cancer. Skin cancer has afflicted builders, plasterers,
service technicians. Everyone under the sun.
But the statistics, while sobering, only
tell part of the story. Nearly one-quarter of industry
professionals we surveyed say members of their staffs have been
diagnosed with skin cancer. Yet only 3 percent offer comprehensive
training or education programs for employees.
I bring this up for a couple of
First, because it’s almost summertime.
Swim season is here. And that means long days in the
A few months ago, we reported on the
National Plasterers Council’s development of new
educational materials, and its partnering with various industry
organizations to spread skin cancer awareness.
“We want to provide an easy-to-use
training program to every company and trade association in the
United States,” NPC Executive Director Mitch Brooks told us.
“If half of them use it, we hope we can stop some people from
getting skin cancer.”
It’s a great example of leadership. And it should be
But let’s take it a step further.
Isn’t this one of those issues the industry should address
collectively, with the combined resources of all pool and spa
That brings us to another nugget from the
March 12 issue. The headline on that news story read: “Senate
Version of Pool Safety Bill Dies in House.” It’s the
same bill that less than a year later would become t he
Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act.
This federal law never would have passed
without various forces coming together for the common good.
Strength in numbers was never more evident or more necessary. Until
Perhaps there’s another opportunity on
the horizon, another chance to save lives through education and
One more thing: Earlier this month,
“Slow Burn” was honored with a Maggie Award from the
Western Publications Association for best feature article in a
It’s a tribute to Erika and the
outstanding staff at Pool & Spa