Facts speak louder than statistics

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Some Attitudes That Undermine Safety And Supervision.

There's unfortunately a long list of tragic accidents that have happened through a simple lack of care or the use of self serving logic.

One such recent tragedy was in NSW where an 8 year old girl drowned at a swimming carnival. The teachers there were supposed to be supervising and there were some lifeguards there as well whose duties also included manning the pools canteen at the time.

If they are manning the canteen they aren't lifeguards, they're only lifeguards when they are they are watching over the people in the pool and doing nothing else. And I do not believe teachers receive lifeguard training so they aren't lifeguards either and therefore not qualified to supervise large numbers of children in a pool.

There's no real excuse for many of the tragedies that happen because we have all of human experience to draw upon to tell us what we should and shouldn't do.

Unfortunately other tragedies have happened and keep happening because some people will ignore the absolute basics that will prevent mishaps because they end up ignoring certain established safety guidelines or using self serving logic to justify to themselves unsafe behaviour.

Here’s a few of those attitudes and the reality of what can happen if these attitudes are adopted.

“It’s only for a second”
as in a door that should be shut being open or children left unsupervised.

It’s not for a second, it’s always for a longer period. The only thing that takes a second is a child getting into some sort of trouble.

“It’s unlikely to happen” as in a particular type accident, bad situation or an abduction.

This “unlikely to happen” appears to be translated into “It can’t happen” because the “unlikely to happen” attitude is used to justify behaviour that undermines safe practices. Then what is unlikely to happen does actually happen.

“It hasn’t happened yet”, also as in a particular type accident, bad situation or an abduction.

The “It hasn’t happened” attitude is also used to justify behaviour that undermines safe practices. Then what hasn’t happened actually does happen it is too late to take the measures to stop it happening to begin with.

Be safe and be realistic, it really takes very little effort and can save a lot of grief.


Anonymous said...

This also points out that no matter how careful and vigilant a parent can be all their efforts can be undermined by the complete lack of regard of others. I was at a kids birthday party where there was a pool and one of the adults was standing at the pool gate holding it open while talking to someone else. Meanwhile a toddler walked through the gate towards the pool and would have gone in if the toddlers parents hadn't been watching. Pool gates are useless if someone holds them open. Yes there were children in the pool but you don't rely on children to provide the supervision, what happened to that poor girl is proof of that, it's down to the adults to actually watch what's going on.

Tim Badrick said...

Certainly one idea which i heard
at an occupation health and safety
meeting one time about pool safety
warrants further discussion, no
matter how impractical it turns
out to be. The idea that a man
put forward was that all new
pools should be made to have
a one to two foot deep buffer around the entire perimetre of
pools, and not just the section
of the pool leading into the
shallow end. He suggested the
buffer should at least have to
be a miniumum width of 3 feet
from the edge of pools. I think
it was a rather simpleton idea,
but very logical all the same.
In other words, and i agreed
with this guy, that no pool
should have an instantaneous
drop straight into the deep
end. Having a few feet of
water thats a maximum of
1 to 2 feet depth around
a pool could provide just
enough `shallow water` in
that split second when a
toddler or very young child
makes it into a pool area
where it shouldn`t be. I
agree with the above com-
menter, it`s up to the
adults to watch what is
going on with young kids
around pools, but sadly
a lot of the time adults
are under the influence
of booze when they are
anywhere near a pool and
they wouldn`t know whats
going on around them. It
certainly wouldn`t hurt
making it mandatory to
have shallow buffers in
all pools to back up the
security gates which are
already required.