Swimming Pools Safety

2018 will see two key updates to swimming pool safety standards, which all schools with their own pool or using a local pool should be aware of. The first change is the newly released RLSSA Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation and the second is the Code of Practice for Victorian Public Pools.

RLSSA Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation (GSPO)

The GSPO brings together the requirements of numerous regulatory and guidance documents to a single, easy-to-read and interpret document. The GSPO sets out the requirements for a safe aquatic facility and is a must for Managers charged with a responsibility for public and occupational health and safety. The latest release of the GSPO was effective from 1st January 2018 and includes sections on Risk Management, Safe Design, Facility Design, Pool Design, Emergency Planning, Aquatic Signage and Safety Equipment. A sections on Supervision is out for consultation and a section on Programs is under development.

It is recommended that all schools with their own pools have a GSPO subscription https://www.guidelines.royallifesaving.com.au/gspo-subscription and are proactive in providing feedback when new content is available for consultation. It is also recommended that schools hiring pools check to ensure that the pool they are using has access to the GSPO and can confirm that their operation is to the standard set out in the document.

RLSSA Equipment and Training Recommendations

A key item in the new guidelines is specific to equipment and staff training needs. The new provisions are summarised below.

“First aid equipment, facilities and first aiders must be accessible to workers whenever they work, including those working night shifts or overtime.” The recommended qualification for these staff is one of;

  • HLTAID003 Provide first aid
  • HLTAID006 Provide advanced first aid

“All Aquatic Facilities should provide oxygen equipment for use by trained personnel in minor and major emergencies.” The recommended qualification for these staff is one of;

  • HLTAID006 Provide advanced first aid
  • HLTAID007 Provide advanced resuscitation
  • PUAEME003C Administer oxygen in an emergency situation

“All Aquatic Facilities should provide a spinal immobilisation equipment for use by trainer personnel in minor and major emergencies.” The recommended qualification for these staff is one of;

  • HLTAID006 Provide advanced first aid
  • HLTAID007 Provide advanced resuscitation
  • PUAEME004A Provide emergency care for suspected spinal injury (and HLTAID001 Provide Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)

“All Aquatic Facilities should provide an automated external defibrillator for use by trainer personnel in minor and major emergencies.” The recommended qualification for these staff is one of;

  • HLTAID001 Provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • HLTAID006 Provide advanced first aid
  • HLTAID007 Provide advanced resuscitation
  • PUAOPE010C Operate an automated external defibrillator in an emergency

Code of Practice for Victorian Public Pools

A 2017 Victorian State budget announcement included a commitments to positively contribute towards water safety initiatives, in the form of a contribution towards the coordination and promotion of public pool safety. This will be centred around the development of a Victorian Code of Practice for public swimming pools.

The Code of Practice is not intended to reinvent the wheel nor replace existing water safety provisions. Instead it has the objective of strengthening the Industry more broadly through a structured and consistent approach to water safety across all Victorian public pools. Key components which will feed into the project will include industry research, the Victorian Water Safety Strategy and Coronial recommendations. Importantly the Code will work with the RLSSA GSPO, by endorsing rather than replicating its content.

The project will consider:

  • Recognition of existing guidelines / provisions
  • Classification and registration of public pools
  • Improved collaboration and communication
  • Increased accountability and transparency
  • Structured reporting and evaluation

The Code of Pool will be released later in 2018, following industry consultation.

Do you need further information? Learn more about our pool safety services on our website.

Leave a reply:

Your email address will not be published.