Safety Standards

If it's Foreseeable, it's Preventable

Every owner and operator of a private or public swimming pool, wading pool, hot tub or waterfront (beach) has an obligation to provide a safe environment for every user of the pool. This obligation has been very clearly identified and affirmed by court decisions across Canada.

Current government regulations and legislation governing aquatic facilities (including hot tubs) do not cover all of the issues which owners/operators face on a day-to-day basis. These issues, if not addressed, may be a source of risk and may contribute to a serious injury or fatality. To minimize risk, an owner/operator needs to understand what these risk-issues are, and the accepted standards in that particular area of operation.

To assist owners/operators to meet these obligations, the Lifesaving Society has produced a series of Safety Standards to educate pool owners and operators about what they can do to safely operate their pool. Applying these standards to your pool will help reduce the risk of injury or legal actions resulting from injuries.

The Safety Standards address the follow areas:

  • The Drowning Problem - outlines who is at risk of drowning or being injured and the behaviors that may result in injuries.
  • Risk Management - states the responsibilities of pool owners for the safe operation of the pool and explains how to analyze risks at your pool and the steps to eliminate or reduce these risks.
  • Supervision - explains the requirements for supervising bathers in the pool and recommended training.
  • Emergency Procedures - provides guidance to identify and plan the steps to take to respond to an incident and the emergency equipment that should be on hand.
  • Safety Systems - outlines the day to day actions and policies that need to be established to prevent incidents and injuries, such as controlling access to the pool, signage and safe pool behaviors.
  • Pool Operation - presents recommendations for operating and maintaining a safe pool, including water quality, handling pool chemicals and inspecting pool equipment.
  • Safe Environment - discusses how to make the physical environment of your pool safe.
  • Resources - includes information about additional support resources.

The Lifesaving Society has five Safety Standards publications, one for each type of aquatic environment. To learn more click on the links provided.

  • Public Aquatic Facility Safety Standards: Safety standards and risk management guidance for the safe operation of public swimming pools and waterparks.
  • Waterfront Safety Standards: Safety standards and risk management guidance for the safe operation of public and private beaches.
  • Public Wading Pool Safety Standards: Safety standards and risk management guidance for the safe operation of public wading pools.
  • Semipublic Swimming Pool Safety Standards: Safety standards and risk management guidance for the safe operation of swimming pools and hot tubs within the hospitality industry, private clubs, apartments and condominiums.
  • Private Pool Safety Standards: Safety standards and risk management guidance for operating hot tubs and swimming pools within the home.

The Society references the Safety Standards when preparing expert witness reports or providing testimony at fatality inquiries and lawsuits when consulted to establish the required Standard of Care.

Safety Management Services

The Safety Standards are just one part of a full suite of services available from the Lifesaving Society to help pool owners and operators offer safe aquatic facilities and activities to their patrons. These services include:

  • Comprehensive and topical Aquatic Safety Audits of facilities
  • Consultation on facility design and operational practices
  • Access to research on safety and risk management from around the world
  • The National Lifeguard Training Program
  • The Lifesaving First Aid and Aquatic Emergency Care Training Programs 
  • Safety Management Training Programs

 

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