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POOL & SPA INDUSTRY


Hot Tubs In The News O


ur industry should continue to promote hot tubs and swim spas for the positive benefits they can have on health and lifestyle. The sense of wellbeing, enjoyment and relaxation, with numerous therapeutic benefits that users are provided with, over many years, is second nature to us. However, we must remain alert to media interest in the isolated issues that can arise, when incidents occur, even when the issue is caused by misuse or neglect. BISHTA has been working on a number of issues recently to benefit both Members and the wider industry and a flavour of this work is outlined below.


SAFETY CONCERNS OVER BIRTHING POOLS AND THE THREAT OF LEGIONNAIRES’ DISEASE SPN’s August issue (p25) covered the story of how Public Health England and the NHS had issued a warning, of a temporary suspension of heated home birthing pools filled in advance of labour in home settings. Expectant mothers were warned not to use certain types of heated birthing pools at home after a baby born in one acquired Legionnaires’ disease. Since this story broke, it has become clear that some companies (including some BISHTA members) have been selling inflatable spas for home birth use. In some cases, following a risk assessment, the spas had their blower disabled to reduce the risk of any Legionella bacteria being able to be formed into an aerosol. Some companies have also used a liner inside the spa for ease of cleaning afterwards. Most importantly, they have been following the water hygiene management guidance about having a recognised background sanitiser in the water. BISHTA will be liaising with Public Health England colleagues about what is (and is not) acceptable to ensure the advice provided is current, up to date and proportionate. More advice will follow in the revised version of ‘Management of Spa Pools – Controlling the Risk of Infection’. Members are reminded about other publications such as ‘Legionnaires’ Disease – The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems’ and the associated Health and Safety Guidance (HSG 274, especially Part 3: The control of Legionella bacteria in other risk systems). Also invaluable is the PWTAG Swimming Pool Water Book and every business in this industry should have a copy of these publications.


HOT TUB BLAMED FOR FIRE HAZARD In July, the Daily Mail headlined an article ‘Couple’s home nearly destroyed after their outdoor hot tub explodes’. The story went


www.swimmingpoolnews.co.uk


on to report that “a fire ripped through a semi-detached home in Greater Manchester, ravaging the family’s back garden, destroying the conservatory and kitchen”. Concluding that fire experts investigating the cause believe it may have been caused by a hot tub.” This story was followed by a similar incident in Cornwall and BISHTA made contact with both Fire and Rescue Services to identify whether there was any pattern to the fires. Both Greater Manchester and Cornwall personnel tried to assist with the enquiry (within data protection requirements). While the initial enquiries were determining whether the hot tubs actually caught fire which then led to the damage to the neighbouring property, it became apparent to BISHTA that fire investigators may not always be able to collect relevant data on the make and model of equipment (such as hot tubs) and although the data that is collected is sent to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) it can be difficult to spot any patterns of activity that could lead to accidents without all of the relevant information being recorded. BISHTA is currently working with its local MP (The Rt Hon Sir George Young) to identify how even more robust data can be provided to ensure that any incidents can quickly be assessed for a pattern.


EUROPEAN ALERT AS ACCIDENT TRIGGERS RECALL OF INFLATABLE SPAS In July, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) sent an alert via RAPEX, the EU rapid alert system that facilitates the rapid exchange of information between Member States and the Commission on measures taken to prevent or restrict the marketing or use of products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers.


The alert notified Trading Standards departments (and similar bodies with a responsibility for consumer safety) across Europe of an inflatable bubble spa system of the Camaro MSpa brand manufactured by


Oriental Recreational Products (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. (ORPC) and with model numbers B-090, B-091, B-100, B-110, B-112, B-120, B-121, B-130, B-131, B-132, B-140, B-141, B-150, B-151, B-152, B-160, B-170 which have been found to pose a serious risk of drowning and electric shock, with near fatal accidents being reported.


The European alert recommends that consumers who have these products should stop using them immediately. BISHTA acted swiftly to this alert and notified its members about the potential issue to identify if any of them were selling the product and also made courtesy calls to a couple of non-members highlighting the warning. Howard Gosling, BISHTA’s Managing Director comments: “The Dutch authorities have informed the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that they have removed these products from their market due to non-conformity with the requirements of the Directive, the following electrical equipment, under the procedures of Article 9 of the Low Voltage Directive (‘LVD’) 2006/95/EC. Part of the heating element can come into direct contact with the water in the spa.” Howard Gosling continues: “This alert causes serious concern for potential owners and users of these spas; I am keen to ensure that appropriate messages are sent out to the hot tub trade and to the consumers to protect their safety. At the same time, it is also important to know that the MSpa manufacturers will no doubt be working very closely with the Dutch authorities and other countries to demonstrate that their product is safe (or can be made safe).”


It is through the hard work of BISHTA that helps maintain and develop standards for the benefit of the whole of the UK hot tub industry. Only through these efforts and the high standards of its members, can BISHTA continue to progress with its work to maintain its high level of respect and relations with government bodies across the UK, to ensure consumers continue to enjoy safe hot tubs. SPN


“IT IS THROUGH THE HARD WORK OF BISHTA THAT HELPS MAINTAIN AND DEVELOP STANDARDS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WHOLE OF THE UK HOT TUB INDUSTRY. ONLY THROUGH THESE EFFORTS AND THE HIGH STANDARDS OF ITS MEMBERS, CAN BISHTA CONTINUE TO PROGRESS WITH ITS WORK TO MAINTAIN ITS HIGH LEVEL OF RESPECT AND RELATIONS WITH GOVERNMENT BODIES ACROSS THE UK, TO ENSURE CONSUMERS CONTINUE TO ENJOY SAFE HOT TUBS”


SPN October 2014 35


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