Safe Use of Work Equipment Regulations as applies to Poolside Rescue Aids

Safe Use of Work Equipment Regulations as applies to Poolside Rescue Aids

We are asked at various times about Poolside Rescue Equipment.  What is appropriate and what is not.  

On a P & P Associates either Pool Lifeguard (NPLQ) or Pool Emergency Responder Course (PER) we use a variety of Poolside Rescue Aids and these are what we recommend.  You need to ensure appropriate qualified and sufficient staff are available.

Torpedo buoy

This is the primary piece of rescue aid.  It can be used for either reach, throw, wade or none contact tows.  Its design is specific for the use in Swimming Pools or Aquatic Rescues. The material is soft so it is unlikely to injure a casualty if they were to be hit by it during a rescue. Also, the aid would be able to be used by the rescuer in a defensive manner, if the casualty was to attempt to grab hold of the rescuer.

Throw bag

This aid, again designed for its purpose for aquatic rescue, can be used from the poolside where the casualty is beyond the reach of the torpedo buoy.  Again, its design and material are unlikely to injure a casualty.  It is designed as a standalone aid and should not be attached to any other rescue aid.  The rope within the bag comes in either a 10m or 15m in length so can be used to rescue any weak or injured swimmer from the side.

Spinal Board

A spinal board is used to lift a casualty out with a suspected spinal cord injury who is breathing.  When determining whether to have a spinal board the following things need to be considered.  How many trained staff will be available.  The Safety Training Awards (STA), awarding body for PER, have an unit which is 6 hours in duration that can enable you to train your staff to be able to recover a casualty out using 2 staff.   The Institute of Qualified Lifeguards (IQL), awarding body for NPLQ, recommend 4 lifeguards with the Aqua Ferno Board or 2 with the Pool Extraction Board (PXB).

When considering having a Spinal Board, it is important to consult with the Ambulance service to determine what their protocols would be when they arrive on the scene and presented with a casualty on the board. 

Equipment that would not be deemed as appropriate on poolside would include, Perrybouys.


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