6 Aug, 2009 @ 17:11
1 min read

Malaga pools fail safety checks

AROUND half of all swimming pools in Malaga have failed to meet safety standards.

In a recent investigation, 48 per cent of pools did not meet acceptable health and safety standards.

Serious problems include poor quality of water, a failure to ensure the use of anti-slip surfaces around the pool and – most alarmingly – the absence of lifeguards.

The findings come as a worry to the Federation of Life Saving, with the failure to follow legal safety procedures a danger for those using swimming pools.

“48 per cent of pools did not meet acceptable health and safety standards.”

The Federation alleges that many pools attempt to cut costs by claiming that maintenance staff are also trained lifeguards.

Poor practice and the irresponsible behaviour of lifeguards has led to the Federation receiving over 300 complaints from those worried about safety standards.

Of the 3,480 registered swimming pools in Malaga province, most were exempt from inspection due to their size or being used by a single household.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. In general, safety standards out here are rubbish. Look at the state of children’s play parks – the fences are often broken or non-existent, some adults leave the gates open so young infants could potentially run out on to the road, and the equipment itself is often damaged or unsafe. I’ve seen swings with bits hanging off and landing areas that would break bones, etc.

    However, it is refreshing that the Spanish people do not obsess about health and safety regulations like the English; nor is there a culture of ‘no win, no fee’ litigation which stands in the way of commonsense. In England, it has all gone too far and an event such as the Lanjaron water fiesta wouldn’t be allowed in case someone slipped on the pavement and sued the council for thousands of pounds.

  2. While I’m at it, why are the pools here so deep – is it a historic case of “my pool is bigger/deeper/better than yours…”? Many have a tiny shallow end then expanses of deep water meaning you flounder about trying to stand up! It can be quite unpleasant if you can’t put your feet down in the water.

  3. >However, it is refreshing that the Spanish people do not
    >obsess about health and safety regulations like
    >the English;

    I don’t think the English people obsess about H&S regulations at all, Jo; they are sick and tired of the rules being imposed on them, and moan about that a lot, and justifiably so.

    The amount of unnecessary deaths due to a lack of H&S in Spain is shocking, and if you were the family of a person who died, you would then of course be cursing the authorities for the lack of H&S that led to such accidents.

    >It can be quite unpleasant if you can’t put your feet down
    >in the water.

    Errr, learn to swim perhaps Jo lol ;)

  4. Errr, I can swim, thanks, and I totally sympathise with anyone who has a friend or relative who has died as a result of a lack of H&S regs.

    However, in England, I think H&S is often imposed in an anti-social and illogical manner. In Newcastle Airport, for example, I was told that the staff weren’t allowed to help me carry my baby in his pushchair down a steep flight of stairs to the plane because of H&S regs – i.e. someone’s baby fell out of its buggy and down the same stairs the previous year, presumably because it wasn’t strapped in correctly. As there wasn’t a lift and the stairs were the only access route to the plane, I would have been pretty stuffed if one sympathetic staff member hadn’t flouted the rules and agreed to escort me downwards. The lack of commonsense with such rules is amazing.

  5. Carrying a baby in a buggy down a steep flight of stairs is much more dangerous than carrying the baby normally and walking down the stairs. I have frequently seen this happen, and one person at the front of the pram has to either walk backwards, or semi-sideways or a combination of both, which is very dangerous. Sometimes one person carries it [the buggy], and their balance is all over the place trying to juggle the weight of the device. If the baby was strapped in correctly, falling down a flight of stairs in the pram could still result in a serious injury. Answer is to get someone else to take pram and walk down with baby – I know it’s not easy; life’s not easy is it :)

    Common sense may seem to be broken on occasions, but it only takes one H&S breach to cause a potential death and then all hell breaks loose and litigation ensues. So the question is really – how many lives do we need to lose before sticking with H&S rules? We have the rules, or we don’t. Just my 2 cents – feel free to castigate me now.

  6. No, it’s not easy when you’ve got a laptop bag weighing about 8k, other hand luggage containing nappies and products to feed your infants and – on most occasions – my three year old son too (this is easier than when the boys were aged 0 and 2, as he is amenable to walking these days and the double buggy isn’t vital). I’ve often been forced to ask random people to help hold/carry/entertain babies and luggage in airports and on planes because of UK health and safety laws which dictate that staff may not assist in case they are sued. If these unvetted ‘strangers’ did something horrible to your baby/infant, who would really be to blame? The damn stupid health and safety rules, methinks!

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