Aquatic facility safety

aquatic centre swimming pool with giant inflatable device 

Each year, Royal Life Saving WA conducts safety assessments at Group 1 aquatic facilities to ensure a high standard of industry safety. It is encouraging to see overall safety assessment scores trending upwards, with the average safety rating in 2017-18 being 95.3%.

There are 12 major components that are assessed, each comprising a series of individual criteria. The first 7 components are mandatory across all Group 1 facilities, with components 8-12 applicable to certain centres depending on which features they possess.

Mandatory components:

1. GENERAL ADMINISTRATION (11 criteria) - For example, 'Does the centre have a Dept of Health 'permit to operate' as a Group 1 facility?'

2. DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION (46 criteria) - For example, 'Is there sufficient signage identifying deep water (>1.8m), and shallow water particularly at pool entry points?'

In 2017-18, water depth signage was identified as an area needing improvement. This criterion, along with emergency exit signage visibility in any light conditions, received the lowest pass rate of this component.

3. CIRCULATION & WATER TREATMENT (26 criteria) - In 2017-18, all metropolitan pools that were assessed scored 100% for this component, an excellent result!

4. CHEMICAL SAFETY (20 criteria) - This was another area for improvement identified during 2017-18. Royal Life Saving WA is working to provide additional training options to aquatic facilities to help improve safety scores for this component.

5. WATER QUALITY & TESTING (10 criteria) - All metropolitan pools scored 100% for this component in 2017-18. Regional pools also had high scores with an average of 98.1%.

6. QUALIFICATION FOR OPERATORS, SUPERVISORS & EMERGENCY CARE PERSONNEL (3 criteria) - All pools in both metro and regional centres scored 100% for all criteria in this component, a fantastic result.

7. GENERAL SANITATION & OPERATION (25 criteria) - Average scores were high for both metro (97.7%) and regional WA (95.3%).

Feature-specific components:

8. SPECIAL FEATURE POOL (43 criteria) - Average scores for this component were 92.1% for regional pools and 88.9% for the Perth metro area. Criteria that was commonly failed related to the use of inflatable devices; in particular, having completed a risk assessment of the device and having operational procedures for use of the device (e.g. patron limits, dress code, activity controls and evacuation due to deflation).

9. SPA POOL (16 criteria) - All metro pools passed this component, with regional pools recording an average score of 97.5%.

10. WATER SLIDE (14 criteria) - All pools assessed scored 100% for this component.

11. HYDROTHERAPY POOL (4 criteria) - All pools assessed scored 100% for this component.

12. WATER SPRAY GROUNDS (19 criteria) - Regional pools all scored 100%, and Perth metro pools recorded an average score of 96.7% for this component.

WA aquatic industry statistics for the year 2017-18

Industry Summary

Download a single-page summary of the WA aquatic industry, including patronage figures, safety and injury statistics.

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