Swimming pool safety: Are your guests at risk?

Published: 14 Jun 2016

Now that the warm whether has arrived, the use of swimming pools is more common. How safe is your swimming pool? Do you know what precautions you need take to keep guests safe? We take a look at a recent prosecution at Down Hall Country House hotel, Essex, where two guests drowned in its unusually-shaped pool in 2013.

The hotel was fined £200,000 over "a culture of systemic health and safety breaches" which included the failure to identify health and safety hazards and allowing persons to use the pool without sufficient regard to risk assessments.

The lack of health and safety management within the hotel was evident and ultimately transcended into poor pool safety supervision. The court heard that although there was a signing in procedure for the pool door access code, it wasn't always enforced when reception was busy. There was CCTV, but the monitor was kept in a cupboard with the door normally closed and it wasn't working at the time.

The repercussions of these fatalities resulted in a massive drop in occupancy rates and reduced profitability.


These two fatalities could have been prevented by the hotel having the following criteria in place:

  1. A health and safety policy which clearly identified health and safety related roles within the organisation.
  2. Having and following a risk assessment which identified all health and safety hazards related to the use of the pool.
  3. A pool side supervision assessment based on pools safety guidance would need to be carried out to establish the levels of supervision required. Factors such as size/design of pool, activities conducted in pool and user profile of pool would need to be taken into account.

If you operate a swimming pool on your premises, contact CSC today so we can help you with putting these procedures in place.