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A landmark publication has been launched today (21 February) to help swimming pool operators improve the safety of their facilities.

ukactive, the UK’s leading not-for-profit health body, played a major role in helping the industry to shape the new guidance throughout its development over the past two years.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) launched HSG179, Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools, at the CIMSPA Conference in Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

The fourth edition of the guidance represents a significant advance in one of the most complex areas of facility management in the sector, bringing it up to date with changes in health and safety law and new developments in equipment and facilities.

Anyone involved in the operation or management of swimming pools in the UK must adhere to the new guidance.

It has been co-written with stakeholders from across the leisure industry, including ukactive’s Standards and Legislation Committee, to set out the measures necessary to reduce risks and comply with the law.

The ukactive Standards and Legislation Committee is formed of 15 representatives from major operators across the physical activity sector, offering invaluable knowledge and expertise to the HSE during this process.

As well as a focus on what the law requires, the latest edition of the guidance covers ensuring pool users’ safety, lifeguards, pool equipment and features, maintenance of plant and equipment, swimming pool design, the pool water treatment system and emergency procedures.

ukactive CEO Steven Ward said: “ukactive invests a great deal in raising the value of the sector and pursuing breakthrough policy moments for its members but protecting and supporting the core operations of our members matter just as much.

“We are delighted to have supported our members to ensure that their voice was heard in the development of this guidance, and the final document reflects the needs of those operating facilities across the country.

“We have such a great love of swimming in the UK, it’s one of the best ways for people of all ages to stay active, and we expect our swimming pools to be safe and healthy environments which we can enjoy.

“This new guidance is a crucial tool to help the UK’s pool operators capitalise on opportunities to bring innovation to the management of their pools.”

Tara Dillon, CEO of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA), said: “We are delighted to witness today the launch of this guidance on Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools, which the majority of sports and physical activity facility operators in the UK must ensure they align with.

“This publication marks the latest milestone on our journey to drive up standards across the sports and physical activity sector, helping us to set the bar for health and safety in our swimming facilities.”

A statement from the HSE said: “HSE is pleased to publish the latest version of HSG179, Managing Health and Safety in Swimming Pools.

“This has been a long and challenging process, made possible by the hard work and commitment of stakeholders from across the industry.

“HSE is grateful for their considerable input, both in terms of contributions to the publication, but also for sharing their own published guidance, which enhances and completes HSG 179.”

To download the new guidance, click here.