Aquatic Risk Management – More than just lifesaving

Article supplied by  Royal Life Saving

The need to manage risks in aquatic environments is becoming increasingly demanding for land and facility owners. Local government has some responsibility in ensuring safe aquatic venues particularly where facilities are provided for the purpose of recreation.

Ensuring these venues comply with an increasingly complex regulatory framework and best practice may require specialist knowledge that is not available internally or is provided by an independent external governing body.

To assist organisations to achieve this, Royal Life Saving has introduced a range of Aquatic Risk Management Services:
• Aquatic Facility Safety Assessments
• Aquatic Facility Desktop Audits
• Inland Water Safety Assessments
• Water Safety Signage

The formulation and implementation of risk management and workplace health and safety is essential to maintaining an efficient and safe aquatic environment.

Aquatic Facility Safety Assessments
Risk management is an essential tool for the successful and continued operation of an aquatic or leisure facility. Royal Life Saving has developed and implemented the Aquatic Facility Safety Assessment (AFSA), which provides an independent and comprehensive assessment of the operations of an aquatic facility.

The AFSA is based on the Guidelines for Safe Pool
Operation, Australian Standards and relevant State and
Territory legislation.
The AFSA is made up of:
• Onsite Safety Inspection Checklist
• Safety Score
• Safety Improvement Plan
• Observation & Recommendations

The AFSA provides recommendations for best practice for public safety, management and operation in aquatic facilities. In line with the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operation, the areas the AFSA covers are general operations, emergency procedures, risk assessments, first aid, plant room operations and chemical storage, facility design, supervision, programming and specific aquatic areas such as wave pools, slides and diving towers.

Aquatic Facility Desktop Audits
The design of any leisure facility is a balance of form, function, operational efficiency, safety, and amenity. The planning and design of a facility may comprise only five per cent of the project’s total expenditure, but it can dramatically impact the construction and operational cost. The success of the facility depends on integrating the safety and recreational needs of the intended users with the operational and aesthetic goals of the facility owners and operators.

Royal Life Saving provides support and advice to those responsible for the design, development, and construction of aquatic and leisure facilities. An Aquatic Facility Desktop Audit will provide essential information to those involved in designing and developing an aquatic facility such as project managers, architects, contractors and consultants and the owners of the facility.

Your project can benefit from a desktop audit by:
• The development of a design brief critical to the overall water safety and operation of the facility
• Ensuring safety factors such as centre layout and design, pool specifications, supervision requirements, communication methods, signage, and emergency procedures are in line with the Guidelines for Safe Pool Operations
• Making recommendations to improve key safety and operational aspects of the proposed facility
• Providing support and guidance for the design team on industry best practice, standards and legislative requirements.

Royal Life Saving advocates a team approach to design and project management, with the inclusion of appropriate and skilled people: owners and managers, architects, engineers, and builders, consultants and intended users of the facility. Such an approach ensures that all aspects of the project are properly reviewed and monitored.

Inland Water Safety Assessments
The use of any water body introduces a level of risk to the public. The Inland Water Safety Assessment should be integral to the design, development and the longer term operation of any inland waterway, swimming and recreational area.

To assist with the interpretation of safety and risk management standards the Inland Water Safety
Assessment includes:
• A detailed report identifying risks and safety concerns with each water environment
• Compliance assessment against the relevant Guidelines for Water Safety and best practices in water safety
• Recommendations of potential risk treatments and application of appropriate water safety signage to treat risks.

Royal Life Saving will be an exhibitor at the DesignBUILD in 2017. For further information visit www.royallifesaving.com.au