Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Safety

Information about your responsibilities if your business includes swimming pools or hot tubs.

Swimming Pool Safety

An online resource for swimming pool safety is now available.

This includes a series of free bite size webinars aimed at business owners and their staff in the tourism and leisure industry and includes a practical pool safety guide with helpful checklists to assist with the safe running of any pool. The programme is hosted by the Better Business for All (BBFA) Heart of the South West Growth hub website

The importance of swimming as a recreational activity is recognised by many across the South West. It is a vital component of the tourist offering and marketing for local businesses that operate in that sector.

The first stage of the project saw business operators in Devon attend one day training events to raise awareness of pool safety requirements. These events were well attended and received great feedback.

The online training resource has been launched to build on that success and includes a pool safety guide covering the essential points to make sure pools are operated safely and without incident.

There are many health and safety issues that are specific and unique to the safe operation of swimming pools. These include:-

  • operator training
  • risk assessments
  • operational procedures - Normal Operating Plan (NOP) and Emergency Action Plan (EAP)
  • pool hire arrangements.
  • controlling access
  • safe pool - physical surroundings, profile, outlets, inlets and features
  • safe use - pool rules, supervision, and lifeguarding
  • safe plant - maintenance and record keeping
  • safe pool water - management, treatment and monitoring of pool water
  • safe storage and handling of chemicals

The project aims to help pool owners and operators to give their guests a safe and healthy swimming experience.

Hot Tub Safety

Holiday lets which include hot tubs have become extremely popular in recent years. Consumer demand continues to rise and more and more holiday homeowners are installing hot tubs for their guests.

It's important to be aware that running a hot tub in guest accommodation can bring about some challenges. Owners need to do their research and be fully aware of the risks and their responsibilities.

Some of the things you need to think about if you are planning to install a hot tub at your holiday let include:

  • Operation and maintenance
  • Legal requirements
  • Testing and managing water quality
  • Keeping accurate records
  • Safety information and signage
  • Age limits (children under 8 should not use hot tubs)
  • How to treat the water safely and the correct chemicals to use
  • How to shut down and drain the hot tub when it is not in use

As a minimum, you will need to research what type of hot tub is most suitable for your property, conduct a risk assessment, and provide guests with health and safety guidance.

Water testing should be carried out daily, and the pH and sanitiser levels of the hot tub recorded. This can be difficult if you do not live near the property that you are letting out.

Finally, your insurance needs to include guests' use of a hot tub, including the cost of any damage or accidents that might occur.

Where can I find more information?

Devon and Somerset Trading Standards have produced a series of webinars and a toolkit to help accommodation providers to understand the steps required to ensure the hot tub environment is safe for guests and for owners, staff and contractors who maintain hot tubs.

These resources have been developed by the Heart of the South West Better Business for All Partnership with help from the Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK and funded by the Office for Products Safety & Standards.

You can watch the webinars and download the toolkit on the Devon and Somerset Trading Standards website.