WorkSafe has charged a Port Fairy pool operator and the Department of Education and Training after an eight-year-old boy drowned while on a school excursion.
The Year 2 Merrivale Primary School student drowned at the Belfast Aquatics Community Pool and Fitness Centre on 21 May 2021.
Port Fairy Community Pool Management Group Inc faces three charges under section 23(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act for failing to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of their undertaking.
The pool management faces three other charges under section 26(1) of the OHS Act for failing to ensure that a workplace under its management and control was safe and without risks to health.
WorkSafe will allege the pool failed to test the swimming ability of the students before allowing them to use an inflatable obstacle course, have currently qualified lifeguards on duty and instruct lifeguards on the safe use of the inflatable.
WorkSafe has charged the Department of Education and Training (now the Department of Education) with one breach of section 23(1) of the OHS Act for failing to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, that persons other than employees were not exposed to risks to their health or safety arising from the conduct of the undertaking of the employer.
WorkSafe will allege the Department failed to inform the pool of the children’s swimming abilities or ensure their abilities were tested.
The matter is listed for a filing hearing at Warrnambool Magistrates’ Court on 29 May 2023.
Source: WorkSafe Vic