Health And Safety Policy


This document is aimed at owners and operators of all swimming pools where members of Verulam Amateur Swimming Club (VASC) undertake the teaching or coaching of its members. Members shall hereby be defined as those categories contained within the VASC constitution. Safe Supervision is defined within the constitution of Swim England. This will deal with all aspects of risk assessment and safety supervision. This is contained within the legal framework of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety in the Work Place Regulations 1992. This is an obligation on VASC to ensure that all reasonable and practicable measures are taken to ensure that the teaching and coaching activities within the Club are conducted safely.


A Lifeguard may not be required in programmed sessions when the teaching and coaching of Swimming of taking place.  In these situations however, where the risk is limited due to the Nature of the activity and degree of control exercised, the teacher or coach may provide the Safety cover. They should however have the appropriate lifesaving competencies which Include rescue skills and the requisite knowledge pertaining to the relative aspects of pool Safety. Where VASC teachers or coaches are directly responsible for the supervision in the pool, they should have the competencies and skills required of a lifeguard in those circumstances.


It has to be accepted by VASC that the circumstances and design of swimming pools used by the Club varies greatly. A standard solution to cover every pool will not be possible. Individual risk assessment must therefore be considered. These must:

  • Identify hazards
  • Assess the risk
  • Indicate, as far as practicable, the measures required to control these hazards and risks.

It is important therefore to ensure that every pool facility used by VASC has adopted a written pool safety operating procedure consisting of a normal operating plan (NOP) and an Emergency action plan (EAP).


  1. Check that the Promoter’s representative is conversant with the Duties of the Promoter in relation to Health and Safety (ASA Law 204, ASA Handbook)
  2. Check the depths at ends of swimming pool to determine the level of safety

Checks required in relation to the start/entry dive and inform Referee.

  1. Check the pool surrounds have sufficient clearance to allow safe movement of competitors and officials without undue risk
  2. Check pool surrounds for excessive slip, cleanliness and freedom from litter and unwanted items of equipment
  3. Check clarity of the pool water is sufficient to observe swimmers underwater at all times.
  4. Check pool water is at the correct level and depth. Check that the pool water temperature is at an acceptable level and in any case between 25-28C so that competitors are not subject to unsuitable competitive swimming conditions.
  5. Check that the pool air temperature is at a suitable level for competitive swimming and in any case no more than 1 degree warmer than the pool water.
  6. Check that the anti-turbulence lane lines are fitted securely at an acceptable tension with no exposed metal wire that could cause harm/injury to swimmers.
  7. Check that changing rooms are clean and safe to use.
  8. Check the emergency alarms are working.
  9. Check First Aid Room and equipment and First Aid provision.
  10. Check fire exits are correctly signed and are unobstructed


  1. Ensure that the Stewards are conversant with the Duties of Officials and Stewards with regards to Health and Safety Laws.
  2. Ensure that those present are conversant with the Swim England Guidelines for Competition,
  3. Ensure that enough Stewards are appointed to supervise lanes.
  4. Ensure no diving in warm-up sessions.
  5. Ensure directional swimming is applied to avoid swimmer collisions.
  6. Ensure that there is enough lifesaving provision on poolside
  7. With regard to disabled swimmers, ensure that there are enough helpers on poolside to help and assist such individuals.
  8. Ensure that non-English speaking competitors are catered for and understand the safety procedures.
  9. Ensure the sufficient and suitable provision of changing rooms and other areas where children and vulnerable adults could be exposed to risk.


  1. Ensure that all starting blocks are fitted safely and secure.
  2. Ensure that all officials’ chairs are study and safe to use.
  3. Ensure that all poolside equipment is safe and in good condition.
  4. Ensure that all cabling on poolside electrical or otherwise is secured.
  5. Ensure that lifesaving provision is on poolside.

Ensure that there are sufficient and suitable helpers in relation to disabled swimmers.

Doc: VASC 17

(Affiliated with Swim England East Region)