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  • AWSC2007 1

    PositionPaper

    PublicSwimmingPoolLegislationinAustralia:Anexaminationofthelegislation

    ExecutiveSummaryThispositionpaperhasbeenproducedforindividualsreviewingthelegislationrelatedtopublicpoolsandcreatingguidelinesforindustry.TheauthorsofthispaperhaveexaminedthelegislationfromanoperatorsperspectiveintheundertakingofdutiesassociatedwiththedaytodayrunningofanaquaticfacilityinanattempttohighlightthesimilaritiesanddifferencesbetweentheStatesandTerritoriesofAustralia.

    Thedocumentsthathavebeenexaminedare:theOccupationalHealthandSafetyActsandRegulations,theDangerousGoodsActsandRegulations,HazardousSubstancesdocumentsandPublicHealthGuidelinesforeachStateandTerritory.TheRoyalLifeSavingSocietyAustraliaGuidelinesforSafePoolOperation(GSPO)andtheNSWDepartmentofLocalGovernmentPracticeNoteNo.15onWaterSafetyarealsoexamined.Nointerpretationofthelegislationhasbeenofferedbytheauthorsofthispaper.

    ReadersshouldbeawarethatthereexistadditionaldocumentssuchasStateandTerritorybasedandNationalCodesofPractice,AustralianStandardsandOccupationalHealthandSafetyAlertsthatshouldalsobeconsultedhoweverthesehavenotbeenexaminedindetailwithinthispaper.

    PublicswimmingpoolsplayanimportantroleinAustraliansociety.Theyareusedforteachingchildrenhowtoswim,providingrecreationalspace,providingphysicalactivities,andelitesporttrainingvenues.EachyearmillionsofpeoplevisitpublicpoolsinAustraliaandplacetheirsafetyinthehandsoftheoperatorsandlifeguardspresent.

    IntheNationalWaterSafetyPlan20042007theAWSCidentifiedasimportantthatStateandTerritoryjurisdictionsandlocalgovernmentsemployconsistentlegislationtoensuretheadoptionofbestpracticethroughoutAustralia.Assuchrecommendation17ofthePlanstated:

    ThatananalysisofStateandTerritorywatersafetyrelatedlegislationbeundertakentoidentifyandreportonareasofinconsistencyand/ordeficiency

  • AWSC2007 2

    Publicswimmingpoolswereidentifiedasoneoftheareaswherethereisalegislativeburdeninvolvedinoperationandthatoverthe10yearperiodfrom1January1992to31December2002therewere88recordeddowningdeathsinpublicswimmingpoolsinAustralia.

    Theoperationofanaquaticfacilityisahighlyinvolvedprocess.Anoperatormustensurenotonlythehealthandsafetyofhisorheremployees,butalsothepublic.Thisinvolvesensuringsafeworkprocessesareundertakenacrossallfacetsofthefacility.Currently,inAustraliatherearenumerousdocumentsinplacetoregulateandguidetheoperationsofanaquaticfacility.ThereislegislationthatoutlineslegalrequirementsinrespectiveStatesandTerritories.TiedtothistherearealsoNationalOccupationalHealthandSafetyGuidelinessetdowntoregulatepremisesofworkincluding,aquaticfacilities.Thoughnotofalegallybindingnature,therearealsoAustralianStandards,RoyalLifeSavingSocietyAustraliaGuidelinesforSafePoolOperation(GSPO)andrelevantpracticenotesareinplacetorecommendsystems/standardsofoperationwithintheaquaticsindustry.

    Onthebasisofthisresearchtheauthorsofthisreportofferanumberofrecommendations.

    1. Thatfurtherresearchisundertakenintothesubareaswithinthecriteriathathavebeendefinedwithinthisreport.Includedinthisresearchcouldbeanexaminationofdifferenceswithinjurisdictions,suchastheapplicationofthelegislationforpooloperatorswithinNSWforexample.

    2. ThatadocumentbeestablishedthatstatesalllegislativedutiesanaquaticsfacilityoperatorhaswithintherespectiveStateorTerritory.WerecommendthatthisdocumenttakeabestpracticeapproachandsitsinsupportoftheGuidelinesforSafePoolOperation(GSPO).Itisrecommendedthatthisdocumenttakeauserfriendlyapproachtoensurefacilityoperatorsofallbackgrounds,agesandeducationlevelscaneasilyensuretheyarecomplyingwiththeirlegislativedutiesundertherelevantActsandRegulations.

    3. ThatthisdocumentgivesapreferencetousingandmaintainingconsistentterminologybetweentheStatesandTerritoriesasameansofimprovingthechanceofcompliancewithinaselfregulatedindustry.

    4. ThattheRoyalLifeSavingSocietyAustralia(RLSSA),asthepeakindustrybody,isbestplacedtoestablishanddistributethisdocumenttoindustrybydistributingitalongsidetheGSPOwhichisalreadywidelyusedwithintheaquaticsindustry.

    5. ThatalongtermgoalsurroundingthisprojectisadocumentthatdetailsoneconsistentsetofdutiesthatareapplicabletothesafeoperationofallpublicpoolsacrossAustralia.

  • AWSC2007 3

    ContentsExecutiveSummary........................................................................................................................................................1

    Introduction....................................................................................................................................................................5

    AquaticsIndustry...............................................................................................................................................5

    LegislationinAustralia.......................................................................................................................................6

    AquaticFacilityOperations................................................................................................................................6

    ResourceswhichSupportSafetyintheAustralianAquaticsIndustry................................................................7

    Aims.................................................................................................................................................................10

    Scope................................................................................................................................................................10

    Howtousethisdocument...............................................................................................................................11

    Methods.......................................................................................................................................................................12

    1)Definingthecriteria.....................................................................................................................................12

    2)Survey..........................................................................................................................................................12

    3)Refiningofcriteria.......................................................................................................................................14

    4)Examinationoflegislation...........................................................................................................................14

    5)Informationcollection..................................................................................................................................17

    6)Definitions....................................................................................................................................................17

    Analysisoflegislation...................................................................................................................................................19

    1.EmergencyManagement/Response............................................................................................................19

    2.FirstAid........................................................................................................................................................22

    3.ReportingofIncidents..................................................................................................................................24

    4.WaterSafety................................................................................................................................................26

    5.RiskManagement/RiskAssessment............................................................................................................28

    6.StaffInduction,Training,InstructionandSupervision.................................................................................30

    7.WaterQualityChemicalParametersandFrequencyofTesting...............................................................33

    8.PersonalProtectiveEquipment(PPE)...........................................................................................................35

    9.MaterialSafetyDataSheets(MSDS)............................................................................................................37

    10.Signage.......................................................................................................................................................39

    11.ChemicalRiskManagement.......................................................................................................................41

    12.FireSafety..................................................................................................................................................44

    13.Lighting......................................................................................................................................................46

    14.PublicAddressSystems..............................................................................................................................48

    Discussion.....................................................................................................................................................................50

    Recommendations........................................................................................................................................................51

    Contributors.................................................................................................................................................................53

    Acknowledgements....................................................................................................................................................