Pointing out the importance of taking the necessary precautions in pools, the use of which increases with the increase in temperatures, experts emphasize that lifeguards should be present in order to prevent drowning. Stating the importance of having barriers around swimming pools, experts warned that wet floors also invite falls and injuries.
Üsküdar University Occupational Safety, Occupational Health and Environmental Health Application and Research Center Director Dr. Faculty Member Rüştü Uçan made evaluations about the health and safety conditions of swimming pools.
Stating that the interest in wet areas such as pools has increased with the warming of the weather, Dr. Lecturer Rüştü Uçan, "Increasing users and frequency of use cause a threat to human health when regular maintenance and safety measures are not taken into account in wet areas." said.
Regular checks should be made
Pointing out that swimming pools are the most preferred ones, especially in wet areas, Dr. Faculty Member Rüştü Uçan said, “Swimming pools bring responsibilities such as regular controls, periodic maintenance and taking security measures around them. Swimming pools are generally inspected monthly by the Provincial Health Directorates. The site management is held responsible for the communal swimming pools belonging to the collective living areas, as is the primary responsibility of the operators in ensuring the minimum conditions regarding the swimming pools.
Pay attention to these precautions in swimming pools!
Dr. Faculty Member Rüştü Uçan listed the minimum requirements for swimming pools as follows:
In order to prevent drowning, a lifeguard must be present in case the depth of the pool is more than 1,50 meters high.
The height of children's pools should not be more than 50 cm. If there is no suitable area, a safe usage area can be created by arranging a corner of the deep pool as a children's pool.
Rescue equipment such as life buoys should be available to ensure life safety against any risk of suffocation. In addition to the rescue equipment, the first aid kit should be kept ready with all the necessary materials against possible injuries.
A telephone should be available for emergency use by the swimming pool.
According to the 'Water and Diving Safety Advice' published by the Istanbul Fire Department, children under the age of 5 carry the highest risk. For this reason, it is recommended not to allow them to swim without a companion.
Precautions should also be taken around the wet pool.
Stating that the secondary danger in wet area use is the wet area environment, except for suffocation, Dr. Faculty Member Rüştü Uçan said:
Slips and falls caused by wet floors can cause serious problems. For this reason, information signs against possible dangers must be hung in and around the pool.
Depth information plates around the pool should be written on the edge of the pool in a way that users can see, in at least 4 directions, and safety signs stating that diving is prohibited should be used.
The floor of the walking area around the swimming pool, the shower area and its surroundings should be made of smooth and non-slip material. The discharge port must be in closed condition. Especially in residential pools, the discharge pipes should be closed with round caps, there should be no cracks or missing screws on the caps.
The compliance of the electrical installation with the legislation should be done regularly by authorized companies or the Chamber of Electrical Engineers every year and should be followed by the operator or the site management.
Care must be taken to ensure that the electric current in or around the pool meets the condition defined as a non-hazardous voltage below 50 Volts.
The suitability of the filter caps (not broken, cracked or gapped) in the pool should be checked regularly in order to apply the filter systems used in cleaning the pool in a way that does not create a vacuum and to clean the water.
Another source of danger in wet area uses is pool chemicals.
Pool chemicals are used as an important preservative to maintain the health status of swimmers against bacteria that can reproduce rapidly in water.
Persons responsible for the purification of the pool must be trained. While providing pool purification processes, it should be ensured that the practitioner has sufficient knowledge and equipment to use the necessary personal protective equipment and to store the chemicals used.
Pool chemicals should be stored in locked cabinets that can only be accessed by authorized person(s) and will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Information plates should be hung on these cabinets according to the degree of danger of the chemicals they contain.
In addition, general cleaning should be done by draining the pool water at least once a year.
Barriers should be created around the pool
Safety barriers/railings with a height of at least 120 cm should be created around the pools. Thus, the pool should be separated from other common areas in a way that can be noticed.
It should be preferred that the guardrails or barriers created for security should not obstruct the view. PVC-based materials can be preferred as a safety barrier. Because PVC-based materials are generally resistant to incoming impacts and corrosion. In addition, it provides the opportunity for appropriate opinions by the users.
It should be ensured that the door specified as the entrance to the pool has a lockable mechanism outside the usage hours.
It should be checked regularly every day for items that may trip and fall around the pool.
Legible 'Pool Usage Instructions' must be posted around the pool, which can be seen by everyone.
It should be ensured that the pools are definitely noticeable when it is dark or the visibility is low, and that they are illuminated inside and outside the pool.
Especially outdoor pools should be covered with safety nets when it is not used or the pool is empty. Falling into pools or injuries should be prevented.
Dr. In addition to all these, Faculty Member Rüştü Uçan emphasized that all the rules regarding the pandemic should be observed in all wet areas determined as common use areas during the COVID-19 epidemic process, and said, "The compliance of health and safety measures in the pools, their regularity every day, the site management or the operator. should be followed and the work done should be recorded.” said.
Periodic checks should not be interrupted
Drawing attention to the need to ensure the continuity of health and safety measures regarding the use of wet areas, Dr. Faculty Member Rüştü Uçan said, “The fact that all these minimum conditions are fulfilled for once does not exempt legally responsible persons. For this reason, the role of operators or site management is important in regular periodic checks and ensuring follow-up and inspections. he said.