Installing a New Pool? Does your pool/spa construction site have a temporary barrier placed around it? Any excavated pool site must have a temporary safety barrier. The ‘person in charge of building work’ must maintain the temporary safety barrier while on site. At all other times, the owner is responsible for maintaining it until the permanent barrier is installed.
Below are the regulations from the Victorian Building Authority to help you determine if your construction site needs some temporary pool fencing.
During construction, if the pool is filled with more than 300mm (30cm) of water it is categorised as a functioning pool and must have a safety barrier placed around it. A temporary barrier can be in place, until a permanent barrier is installed, but it must meet all safety requirements at all times.
A temporary barrier should be installed if any one or more of the following circumstances applies:
- The pool is prefabricated and filled on installation (for example, a fibreglass pool).
- The pool is in-ground and not self-draining.
- If the pool won’t be maintained during construction (rainwater can accumulate in the bottom)
- The pool is in-ground and needs to be filled on installation (for example, vinyl lined pools)
- The property where the pool is being built includes a dwelling that is occupied.
- A temporary barrier should be made from sturdy, weather-resistant material, such as shade cloth or metal mesh, held up with metal poles that are capable of withstanding dynamic forces such as a storm or heavy wind, with no permanent deformation.
Maintaining the barrier during construction depends on who (if anyone) is living at the property and who is responsible for the building site. Where a builder has been engaged to construct the pool or spa and its barrier, the builder is generally responsible for maintaining the temporary barrier while they are on-site, or if the property is vacant. Ensure this is agreed and contained in the relevant building contract. If the property owner is living on-site, they are responsible for maintaining the barrier when the builder is not on-site.
Where the pool or spa and its barrier is being constructed by an owner-builder the owner-builder is the person responsible for the work and site safety at all times. They must install and maintain the temporary barrier until the permanent barrier is installed and the building surveyor has issued a certificate of final inspection. An owner-builder will be designated as the ‘person in charge of building work’ in the building permit.
Source: Victorian Building Authority – Temporary Pool Safety Barriers