Swimming Pool Safety
Mar 29, 2012
With Summer just around the corner, hopefully your park will soon be full of holiday makers ready to relax so it’s important to ensure your guests are safe in all areas of your park.
Each year there are tragic stories of accidents in and around swimming pools which, all too often, lead to fatalities. Parks with swimming pools must ensure they do all they can to prevent pool incidents, not only because of the human suffering involved but also because of the negative publicity that naturally surrounds these events which of course can be massively damaging to a park's reputation and can potentially lead to prosecution and large fines.
Although there are no specific “Swimming Pool Regulations”, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has produced an excellent guidance document “Managing health & safety in swimming pools (HSG 179)’’ which sets a standard that enforcement authorities would use when assessing a pool operator’s safety management. Each swimming pool should have a written Pool Safety Operating Procedure (PSOP), which should include two key documents detailed in the guidance.
Normal Operating Procedure (NOP)
The NOP should set out the way a pool operates on a daily basis. It should include details of the layout, equipment, manner of use, user group characteristics and any hazards or activity-related risks.
The NOP can be used to explain the pool operator’s strategy with regard to supervision and the provision or absence of lifeguards on a continual basis. There is a well laid out flowchart within the guidance for working through the key factors which determines the need, or otherwise, for constant poolside supervision.
Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
The EAP should give specific instructions on the action to be taken by all staff in the event of any emergency such as a serious injury to a bather, disorderly conduct, overcrowding or emission of toxic gases.
Staff must not only be aware of the NOP and the EAP but also should be instructed, and trained, in implementing these procedures.
Swimming pool operators should regularly review the NOP and EAP to ensure they are kept up-to-date and continue to be relevant.
Wilby Risk Management consultants have worked with clients in devising or reviewing pool safety operating procedures for their swimming pools. If you would like assistance with your PSOP or feel you would benefit from an audit of your swimming pool safety management in line with the guidance in HSG 179, please contact us.