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Case 198 - Swimming pool bans parents/carers from using e-readers during children's swimming lessons

Issue

During children's swimming lessons, the local swimming pool has banned spectating parents from reading e-readers, for child protection and health and safety reasons.

Panel decision

Work related health and safety legislation does not ban swimming pool spectators using e-readers.

There may be good reasons for swimming pools to ban the use by spectators of any device which may contain a camera (including e-readers), but they should state what those actual reasons are, not hide behind health and safety as the usual "catch-all". The only possible link to health and safety would occur if swimming pool attendants are being asked to check on spectators which then detracts from their ability to monitor those in the pool, but this is easily solved by deploying others to check on spectators devices/activities.

2013-08-02