When you ask a child what they want to be when they grow up, the typical responses are careers like fireman, astronaut or doctor. Not many children will say they want to be a pool safety inspector, but that doesn’t make the job any less important. So then, what does a pool safety inspector do?
Under new Victorian Legislation, all pools and spas must be registered with their local council. To be registered, an owner must be issued with a safety certification, issued by a pool safety inspector. This safety inspection and certification needs to be completed every four (4) years.
A pool safety inspector is a privately engaged inspector, specifically trained to check the safety requirements of a pool or spa. They are different from pest and building inspectors as they have a specialized knowledge of the safety requirements of pools.
1) Are pool safety inspectors qualified?
To become a pool safety inspector, one must attend a specialized training course. In this course, the student learns essential legislative interpretation skills – specifically the Building Act and Safety codes, pool safety standards, administrative skills and tasks and a range of key legislative tasks related to pool safety. Pool and spa inspections are heavily regulated by legislation, and it is incredibly important that all pool inspectors are highly qualified and prepared to apply their knowledge of legislation to their inspections.
Please note, due to changes in legislation and COVID restrictions currently in place in Victoria, there is no current updated course for pool safety inspectors. *
Consider this example: Plumbers specialize in ensuring water is connected and running in the correct place in your home. All plumbers know about pipes and water pressure, leaking taps and mains pressure tests; however, there is a subcategory of plumbers who know more than the average plumber about hot water systems.
Often, pool inspectors are building inspectors also, however, have undertaken the extra course to be able to inspect the safety of your pool. Pool inspectors require another license, aside from a building inspectors license.
2) So, what does a pool safety inspector do?
A pool safety inspector is responsible for checking the safety of your pool, the components such as filter and fencing, to ensure that your pool or spa is up to code and functioning safely under legislation. Suppose you are purchasing a property with a pool or spa. In that case, a pool safety inspector is required to issue a safety certificate to certify that the pool is safe for intended function before sale. A contract to purchase a property can be voided based on failing this inspection.
In current legislative changes, many owners require pool inspectors to check pool fencing and prepare safety certificates for the registering of pools with local councils. Pool safety inspectors are able to come to your property and check the safety standards of your pool fence and ensure that your fence is compliant. If you are getting ready to register your pool, book in your safety inspection today.
3) What happens after the inspection?
If your fence is compliant, your pool safety inspector will issue you with a compliance certificate, which is then lodged with your local council when you register your pool. If your pool fencing is not compliant, then your pool safety inspector will issue a certificate of non-compliance, also lodged with your local council. The pool safety inspector lodges this certificate.
If your pool or spa fence is almost ready, however, needs just a few more improvements, your inspector can issue a barrier improvement notice. The notice is a list of items that need to be fixed before a reinspection takes place. Each improvement notice will have a time frame in which these changes need to be made. If the timeline is not met, the owner of a pool or spa face on the spot fines for non-compliance.
Pool inspectors have a higher standard of care while completing their inspections, due to the possible risks that are involved if their inspections are not carried out correctly. If injury is caused due to a fault in the pool or fencing that the inspection should have found but was overlooked, pool inspectors are often held negligent. Owners of a pool can also be found negligent for injuries and accidents that happen in and around the pool. This is why it is always better to maintain the highest measures and standards of safety.
So next time you book your pool inspection, keep in mind how much your pool safety inspector knows about pool safety and ask them how to improve safety for you and your family. If you have any concerns or questions about the safety of your pool, contact a safety inspector, and they will be able to guide you to help you bring your pool or spa up to the highest standard of safety.
*As of October 5th, 2020.
For professional advice and assistance with safety and pool inspections, contact our friendly team today.