COUNCIL RULES: Former health and safety officer Roy Fraser is concerned about the lack of shade at Norville Pool since Bundaberg Regional Council forced them to remove their shade umbrellas. Photo taken on Thursday, 15 December 2015. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail
COUNCIL RULES: Former health and safety officer Roy Fraser is concerned about the lack of shade at Norville Pool since Bundaberg Regional Council forced them to remove their shade umbrellas. Photo taken on Thursday, 15 December 2015. Photo: Max Fleet / NewsMail Max Fleet

Lack of shade concerns pool visitors

POOL side umbrellas from Norville Pool have been removed in response to the death of a girl at Bundaberg's Anzac Pool, more than two years after the tragic incident occurred in December 2012.

The Bundaberg Regional Council-owned facility, which is privately leased, had up to 10 umbrellas attached to cement chairs, but on Wednesday council told pool staff the umbrellas had to come down.

A spokeswoman for the council said the lessee was advised to remove the umbrellas in October 2014, after a biannual inspection the previous month.

The action has left one Norville Pool user scratching his head about the way the situation was handled and he's now concerned about the lack of shade available to those utilising the facility.

Roy Fraser swims at Norville Pool three to four times a week and said removal of the umbrellas had simply replaced one risk with another, especially given it was the middle of summer.

"It's the skin cancer factor and the comfort factor," he said.

"I think everyone knows Queensland is noted for its rates of skin cancer.

"Now we are left without shade to keep the sun off."

Mr Fraser said the manner in which the umbrellas were removed by the council seemed an overreaction given they had remained in place for a significant amount of time following the incident at Anzac Pool.

He said it would have made more sense to work with the lessee to find an alternative solution.

A former TAFE health and safety trainer, Mr Fraser said health and safety was all about identifying a risk and working to eliminate that risk without creating other risks.

Mr Fraser said he lodged his concerns with the council regarding the lack of shade and was told "the budget" would determine when and what type of shade alternatives the council was investigating.

But a council spokeswoman said in March 2013, only months after the tragedy at ANZAC Pool, Bundaberg Regional Council issued a Safety Alert to all pool lessees in the region advising of the need for the removal of unsecured umbrellas.

"A recent visit to the (Norville) pool found that the umbrellas were still in position and held by zippy ties to concrete seats.

"This form of tie-down did not satisfactorily meet the risk assessment requirements as advised in the Safety Alert which stated that 'any outdoor umbrellas which are not permanently secured and engineer-wind rated are to be removed from Council premises'.

"Council is now proactively undertaking the development of a policy that will cover the safe installation of all umbrellas, sail covers and canopies that may be utilised in public areas, including outdoor dining areas."



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