Pool safety

Pool safety laws

The Queensland Government has introduced Australia’s toughest new pool safety laws aimed at further reducing the incidences of immersion injuries of young children in swimming pools. These will affect new and existing pools. An overview of the new laws is available here.

What the pool safety laws mean for me

Under the proposed new swimming pool safety laws:

– pool safety certificates, issued by a licensed pool safety inspector, will be required when selling or leasing a property with a pool (pool safety certificates are valid for one year for a shared pool and two years for a non-shared pool)

– the pool safety standards will apply to all pools associated with houses, units, hotels, motels, backpacker hostels, caravan parks, mobile van parks and other forms of short-term accommodation

– both new and existing pools must be upgraded to comply with the new safety standards within 5 years unless sold or leased first

– all swimming pools need to be included on the state-based pool safety register by 4 May 2011

– safety barriers will be mandatory for all portable pools and spas deeper than 300 millimetres.

Pool register

All properties with regulated pools need to be included in the state-managed pool register within six months of the commencement of the legislation. The register is expected to be available from December 2010. Initially Local Governments will include details of pools on the register. Pool owners will need to check the register within six months after the laws start to ensure their pool is registered.

Pool safety inspection system

Pool safety certificates will be required when selling or leasing a property with a pool. Pool safety certificates must be obtained from a licensed pool safety inspector. Information for pool owners, pool safety inspectors and pool safety inspector course providers is available here.

Pool fences and safety barriers

Maintenance of pool fences and safety barriers is essential to reduce the number of immersion injuries and drownings of young children in swimming pools. Pool owners are responsible for ensuring pool barriers are maintained and damaged fencing or barriers are fixed immediately. Considerations that pool owners need to be aware of are available here.

Requirements for CPR and warning signs

New pool safety laws require the latest cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) sign to be displayed near your pool. Ensure your pool complies with the latest CPR sign requirements and more.

Information for Local Governments

To promote consistency of pool safety standards, local law making powers and existing Local Government pool safety laws are affected by the new pool safety legislation. When the laws commence they will replace all existing Local Government local laws, and all exemptions (apart from disability exemptions) will be abolished. Information for Local Governments is available here.

Child safety and pools

Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under five years of age. All swimming pool drownings are preventable. Find out how to improve your swimming pool safety.

Source: Queensland Government Department of Infrastructure and Planning. www.dip.qld.gov.au

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