Swimming pools are an increasingly popular facility within the tourist industry and
provide an added attraction for many holidaymakers. Unfortunately, scores of people
continue to be involved in drowning incidents and major accidents whilst using swimming
pools and in many cases these incidents can be avoided. It is therefore essential
that swimming pools are operated and maintained in a safe manner, not only to prevent
these incidents but also to provide a defence, particularly in these days of litigation,
and in order to comply with the relevant sections of the Health and Safety at Work
etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA). HASAWA places a duty of care on persons to ensure that their
undertaking is carried on in such a manner that the health and safety of other persons
are not put at risk.
Whilst each swimming pool has to be taken on its own merit, certain aspects are common
to all. With this in mind each swimming pool operator should be able to provide
a structurally safe pool and poolside and satisfy the following criteria:
Provide a lifebuoy and rescue pole.
Provide and display suitable safety notices and depth markings.
Provide an adequate means of supervision or control.
Provide a means of raising the alarm.
Formulate operating and emergency procedures.
In order to assist operators to reduce the risk of injury to pool users and to comply
with the law, the following guidance is given regarding signage and alarm procedures.
Wherever possible Safety Signs should comply with The Safety Signs and Signals Regulations
1980 which specify the colour of certain signs:
Red with White Lettering - Prohibition ie No Running, No Glasses or Bottles
Yellow with Black Lettering - Caution/Danger ie Slippery Surface, Chemical Hazard
Blue with White Lettering - Mandatory Action ie Ear Defenders Must be Worn
Green with White Lettering - Safe Condition/Indication ie First Aid Point, Emergency