Craigie Leisure CentreCraigie Leisure Centre is one of WA’s 129 Group One public swimming facilities, and this year became one of only 4 across our state to ever have achieved a safety score rating of 100%.

Safety audits have been conducted at WA’s aquatic facilities over the past 15 years through a partnership between the Local Government Insurance Services (LGIS) and Royal Life Saving Society WA. The aim is to help improve safety standards at aquatic facilities, which in turn improves the experience and safety of patrons, staff and ultimately reduces the risk of incidents or injury.

Craigie’s Aquatic Supervisor Iain Jenner says the 100% score is a proud achievement “For us safety is the core of the job.  When I came into this position five years ago we were already at 96 percent, and while you don’t want to be the fun police you have to find a balance between what is fun for patrons versus being at the top end of safety.  It took us 5 years to get there but to get 100% means a lot for us because it shows that the team’s all pulling the same way and we actually do really care about safety.”

The safety audits cover areas of management, design and operations based on the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations, Australian Standards and State legislation.This includes administration, chemical safety, water treatment, first aid, technical operations, facility design, water features, general supervision and learn to swim programs.

Royal Life Saving Society WA Pool Inspector Eddie Gibbs has conducted a number of audits at Craigie and says the centre has worked hard towards the score; “Craigie has had a safety audit conducted on a regular basis, averaging an audit once every 2 years, so it’s not surprising the facility has achieved the scores it has. The centre’sscored higher than 96% in every audit since 2008. Across the industry frequency of assessments has a big impact on ratings. When there is one to two years between assessments the average rating is 95.0%. When there is six to seven years between assessments the average is only 86.9%.”

Royal Life Saving Society WA CEO Peter Leaversuch says Craigie’s achievement is impressive and important “Craigie has trained and developed an outstanding workforce of lifeguards, operators and instructors; it takes part in best practice public awareness programs such as Watch Around Water which encourages parental supervision of children under 10, and ensures important safety procedures are prepared and practiced. All of these initiatives work hand in hand to provide the local community with a fun, and importantly safe, aquatic experience.”

Royal Life Saving Society WA has collaborated with Craigie for more than a decade, not only through safety audits, but also in providing training and professional development for the centre’s pool lifeguards, and first aid and CPR training for staff. The centre is also involved in providing training in Bronze Medallion and CPR, and as such is developing people within the community who have skills that could one day save a life.

For Iain Jenner maintaining the outstanding safety record at Craigie is his focus “They always say it’s hard to get to the top but it’s harder to stay there, so now we’ve got that benchmark of 100 we need to keep moving with trends and as we develop new programs to encourage community involvement we need to ensure the safety message is consistent. Overall we want parents to know that when they bring children here their child is safe when the parent is there and fully present with them as well.”