Lawford Kidd, Personal Injury Solicitors

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Council fined after girl trapped in swimming pool

Castle Point Borough Council has been fined following an incident where a seven-year old girl was trapped by a water outlet at a swimming pool.

The girl was using the swimming pool with her great grandfather in May 2009. Her hair was sucked into the water sampling outlet on the side of the pool, trapping her underwater for over two minutes. She was unconscious when she was finally taken out of the water but came round once laid on the poolside.

The Health and Safety Executive told Basildon Magistrates' Court that the Council, which owns and runs the swimming pool, had not managed the risks to members of the public using it. In particular the council failed to ensure that the sample outlet had two vents so if one became blocked the other vent would take the pressure off the suction. There were too few lifeguards on duty and of the two that were working, one was cleaning and the other could not see the whole pool due to the glare from sunlight reflecting on the water.

The Council pleaded guilty to breaching section 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and was fined £18,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,500.

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