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Case 53 - Swimming pool user told he cannot use hand paddle swimming aids due to risk of other swimmers being hurt

Issue

A swimming pool user, who is a keen triathlete, has been advised that he cannot use hand paddle swimming aids in any public or adult swimming session due to the risk of other swimmers being hurt. The only time they are allowed to be used is in a structured session such as swimming club or sub aqua

Panel decision

Health and safety law does apply to the management of public swimming pools and the owner/operator is required to do a risk assessment. The operators have chosen to ban the use of all swimming aids during general sessions to avoid risk of injury. Making an exception for one person would create a precedent for other possibly less responsible pool users. We understand that the pool operator is considering providing dedicated sessions for triathlete training, this seems a sensible way forward.

2012-03-09