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11 Tips to ensure your pool is safe

Save swimmers this summer

By Zeenat Moosa Hassan

, |

11 Tips to ensure your pool is safe

Save swimmers this summer

By Zeenat Moosa Hassan

, |

2 min read

The tragic accidental drowning of Jannie du Plessis’s one-year-old son last month highlights just how important safety around the pool is, especially during the holidays.

According to Sea Rescue South Africa, on average there are approximately 1 484 drownings in South Africa annually, of which 29% (450) occur among children under 14 years.

Here are 11 tips to ensure your pool is safe for everyone this summer.

  1. Appoint someone in charge – identify a person or team who will be responsible for the pool. Whether they are from an internal team or an external contractor, make sure whoever is in charge knows exactly what their responsibilities.
  2. Set and clearly display pool rules – include the opening and closing times of the pool, any Covid safety protocols and whether diving is allowed.
  3. Display the depth – Make sure you let pool users know the depth of the pool, and clearly identify shallow and deep sides. If the pool is only suitable for older children, or adults, make sure you state this.
  4. Maintain pool hygiene – consider contracting a specialist pool service to look after the arduous task of manually testing the chemicals. This will save you time, money and, most importantly, the risk of infection from incorrect pool chemistry.
  5. Communicate – make sure residents, guests, contractors, and suppliers are aware of the pool rules, and know how to communicate their concerns to estate management.
  1. Develop a monitoring system to oversee pool behaviour and encourage everyone to participate.
  2. Have a plan for busy times – the pool area can get very busy during weekends and public holidays so ensure you have a plan in place to manage large crowds. If many families have access, consider getting the help of an experienced lifeguard.
  3. Decide on appropriate sanctions for rule violators – this should depend on the gravity of the offence as well as frequency.
  4. Provide accessible means for dispute resolution – if residents know they can easily and quickly resolve issues, they are more likely to report non-compliance.
  5. Know what to do when things go wrong – make sure staff have refresher training on what to do in the event of a drowning or other pool related emergency, especially before peak season.
  6. Have proper insurance in place – Building combined or body corporate insurance will not accept claims for damages because of any first aid treatment conducted. However, this may be covered under a public liability insurance product.

Albert Badenhorst, manager – business non-motor of Outsurance, says: “We understand that first aid treatment is sometimes urgent, and the employee (HOA management team) might have to do everything in their power to try and assist. For this reason, we do cover liability arising from first aid treatment under our “Public Liability” product.’

 

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