1 Hazard identification

There are many potential hazards surrounding the management of pools, including:

  • Chemical Management — swimming pool chemicals control bacteria and algae. In concentrated form these chemicals are toxic and can become unstable and produce poisonous fumes or even fire when mixed with other chemicals.
  • Water Safety — drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for people between the ages of 5 and 24. Lack of supervision, horseplay or running, and inexperienced swimmers can all lead to serious incidents or drowning — refer to the Specific Activity Guidelines — Swimming and Water Activities in the Department’s Excursions Policy.
  • Plant and Equipment — broken or poorly maintained equipment such as missing or broken grating or exposed electrical wiring can pose a serious risk to the health and safety of pool users.
  • Gates and Fences — gates and fences must be in good working order, free from damage and maintained such that there are no overhanging branches or objects nearby that can be used to climb over the fence.
  • Ladders and Diving Boards — ladders and diving boards must be free from damage, rust or corrosion.
  • Slips, Trips and Falls — slippery changing room floors, spills on the floor, uneven surfaces, equipment on floor, slipping of ladders, getting caught in the ladder are examples where slips, trips and falls can occur.

Where or when would these issue be relevant?

These issues are relevant in all schools that own and/or manage a pool on their site.

Please note that for schools who share their pool with the surrounding community or other organisations, the principal or their delegate must ensure that these organisations have appropriate occupational health and safety management systems in place to address hazards they may be exposed to.

The principal and/or their delegate is responsible for ensuring that the pool is managed in a safe manner at all times, regardless of the user(s).

Chapter 1 of the Swimming Pool Risk Management Procedure outlining examples of potential hazards specific to the management of pools

Reviewed 29 June 2020

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