Pool Safety Rules (WA) | Armstrong Legal

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This article was written by Sally Crosswell

Sally Crosswell has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Communication and a Master of International and Community Development. She also completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law. A former journalist, Sally has a keen interest in human rights law.

Pool Safety Rules (WA)


Western Australia’s pool safety rules are contained in the Building Regulations 2012, made under the Building Act 2011. The rules mandate that all pools must have child-resistant barriers.

The pool safety rules apply to swimming pools and spas that contain water to a depth of up to 30cm and include in-ground and above ground pools and spa pools, and bathing or wading pools. Public pools are governed by the Health (Aquatic Facilities) Regulations 2007.

Pool safety barrier requirements

An owner and occupier of a premises that has a swimming pool must ensure there is a barrier around the pool that restricts access by young children to the pool and its immediate surrounds. Non-compliance carries a fine of $5000.

Barrier requirements depend on whether he pool was built before or after 1 May 2016. A barrier can include any wall fence or gate, as long as each component complies with the relevant Australian Standard. All pools built after May 2016 must not include a door as part of the barrier. An exemption applies to pools built, installed or approved before 5 November 2001, where a wall that includes a door is permitted to be used as part of the barrier, provided the door complies with the applicable Australian Standard.

Pool safety rules mandate that a barrier must be permanent and at least 120cm high. Objects that create a foothold for children to climb over the barrier, such as garden furniture, barbecues or shrubs, must not be within 120cm of it.

A building permit is required prior to installing, building or altering swimming pool or spa barriers, including windows, doors and gates.

Gates

A barrier gate must be installed so it opens away from the pool, and fitted with a device that automatically closes it without the use of manual force. The gate latch must be at least 1.5m from the ground and not allow the gate to re-open on its own.

Local councils

As the permit authority, a local council is responsible for monitoring compliance with pool safety rules. It must arrange for an authorised person to inspect the barrier of each private swimming pool in its area at least every 4 years. It can charge a fee for this of up to $58.45.

Portable swimming pools and pool safety

The Consumer Goods (Portable Swimming Pools) Safety Standard 2013 requires an additional safeguard for a portable swimming pool. The pool must display a safety label warning of the risk of drowning and advising of the need to supervise children at all times. The label must be placed on an inflatable or soft-side swimming pool of any depth and a rigid-sided swimming pool up to 30cm deep. If the portable swimming pool is more than 30cm deep, the label must warn the consumer that pool fencing laws apply.

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