Residential Pools and Spas

Serious concerns raised over new temporary pool fence standard

June 2, 2021

Standards Australia is calling for feedback on its proposed draft standard AS4687.4:2021 Temporary swimming pool fencing which has now been released for public comment.

The objective of the draft standard is to set out requirements for the construction and installation of temporary pool fencing in order to provide protection to the public and to restrict unauthorised access to swimming pool construction, repair, or renovation sites.

SPASA Australia has a number of concerns about the draft standard, in particular that it replicates the completed pool requirements of AS1926.1 for the temporary fencing standard, and by doing so treats pool excavation more stringently than other excavations that pose the same risks.

“SPASA Australia will be emphasising that the obligations of the temporary swimming pool fencing draft standard seeks to impose barrier requirements on construction sites similar to those listed within AS1926.1 Safety barriers for swimming pools, which do not work,” says SPASA COO, Spiros Dassakis.

“Construction site work conditions and processes are complex and dynamic in nature,” he says. “The working landscape of a construction site changes as the project progresses. So do the risks, hazards, maintenance, and review of control measures.

“The draft standard is seeking to replicate the same exact requirements of AS1926.1 Safety barriers for swimming pools insofar as non-climbable zones and other permanent barrier requirements, which is problematic and can never work on dynamic construction sites.

He says that like carpark and building excavations, swimming pools heavily rely on temporary fences and other control measures during construction.

“The problems identified within the draft standard are that they treat the same excavation risks differently for different building types across the other temporary fencing standards.

“While SPASA Australia supports a safe and practical approach to temporary fencing standards for swimming pools construction, the current draft is overly stringent, and this level of stringency will have a significant financial cost and impact to the swimming pool and spa industry and consumers if the draft standard is published without amendment,” he says.

SPASA Australia, a committee member on the CE-008 Australia Standards Committee that oversees for the standard, is currently reviewing the draft standard and will be making a comprehensive submission to Standards Australia. Dassakis says that consensus on Australian Standards committees is not always possible but SPASA Australia continues to drive best practice, protect and promote the industry and pursue and enable better business opportunities for members through the public consultation process.

“SPASA Australia will be raising various concerns with the draft standard as part of our ability to influence and set the benchmark for industry professionalism through standard setting, education, research and business advisory support to our members.”

Providing feedback

Industry members are encouraged to carefully review the draft standard and provide feedback by following below instructions.

You can view, download and comment on the above draft standards by:

1. Visit the Standards Australia Public Commenting page.
2. Register.
3. You may be directed to sign in once you have registered.
4. Enter 4687.4 in the search area.
5. You will then be able to review the draft and comment online.

Feedback deadline: 09/07/2021

IMAGE: (Illustrative Only) Credit: Terry White


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