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26-39 50th ANNIVERSARY:SPN Master pages 15/09/2009 10:22 Page 39
Celebrating 50 years of Swimming Pool News spnfeature
to come in!
So what does the law say now?
HSG179 which covers the running of swimming pools is not a “compendium of legal
requirements”. It is says the Health & Safety Executive intended to help pool operators
meet the goal-setting requirements. There are no specific health and safety regulations
governing swimming pools As far as public safety is concerned, Section 3 of the Health
and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 requires employers to conduct their undertaking in such a
way as to ensure the public is not exposed to risks to health and safety. This general duty
is supplemented by the requirement under regulation 3 of the Management of Health and
Safety at Work Regulations 1999 that employers make a suitable and sufficient assessment
of the risks to members of the public to help decide what measures need to be taken. The
law does not prescribe what control measures would be reasonably practicable in each
and every case. That is a judgment that has to be made by individual operators on the
basis of the particular risks, which they are best placed to assess.
can enter the pool and enjoy themselves in Water that is hygienically safe
conditions which are comfortable, and Water at a pH that provides optimum
which are guaranteed to be hygienic and conditions for effective disinfection and
free from hazards. protects the pool fabric
To ensure this the water in the pool has Water that is clear and bright where all
to be maintained in a safe hygienic parts of the tank can be clearly seen for
condition. The water should have an life guarding and bathers safety
attractive appearance and acceptable Optimisation of safe operation in relation There are now thousands of pools and
temperature. It also goes without saying to design and day to day running spas in domestic residences maintained in
that all persons involved in the provision of a safe condition using methods of water
this service should not be exposed in the Desirable treatment. Levels of safety have improved.
course of their occupation to any Water that is neither corrosive, erosive Yes there are accidents and as in the past
unnecessary hazards. or scale forming the industry’s ability to learn from them
To achieve these conditions the pool and improve systems is critical.
operator needs the competence to The demands for safety linked to choice of High risk has hopefully been eliminated.
maintain the water treatment equipment water treatment methods used depended A recent consumer report said the public
to ensure that the operational criteria are on a number of factors which include: had confidence in the quality being offered
met. They also require the knowledge of Bathing load by public swimming pools and the systems
how to achieve these parameters safely, Finances available in place.
economically and as effectively as Usage trends Around the world, the value of
possible. Training has improved, product The nature of the water supply and its swimming is widely recognised. However
choice has increased and support systems variations all facilities have common operational
more elaborate. The methods of purification objectives in terms of the treatment of
Courses are designed to provide the Pool design including such additions as the water and the provision of a safe and
information and training necessary to fulfil play features comfortable environment for bathers.
demanding requirements and assist in There was a time when no-one really
compliance with Health & Safety legislation Swimming pools have historically lost knew what was happening in our pools,
and lead body recommendations. money and are customarily dependant on neither how safe it was nor how water
In the development of swimming pools the providers ‘philosophy of use’. Local was being treated. Now things have
and safety requirements the pool plant has Authorities have never had a statutory changed and there is a confidence that
been a focal point and a hub of the requirement to provide leisure facilities, the right systems are in place. It is
systems. The pool plant and the people although they have duties to provide other important that no one is complacent but
operating them for commercial pools have services such as street cleansing, refuse through the years the right things have
been challenged to provide: collection, etc. been done. spn
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