Council investigation after woman injured at Walpole tidal pool

Walpole Bay Photo Swift Aerial Photography

Thanet council is investigating after a woman was injured in an incident at Walpole Bay today (September 28).

It is understood the woman was at the tidal pool when she was pulled through a sluice gate.

The woman received medical attendance from passers-by before being taken to hospital.

Safety repairs were being carried out to the pool this week, with the sluice gates opened on Monday night to empty the pool. The suice gate was due to be closed at 7pm this evening.

Concerns that there is inadequate signage at the site to warn of the work have been raised.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “”The technical services team reported an accident involving a member of the public at Walpole Bay Tidal Pool this morning which we are currently investigating.”

18 Comments

  1. Inadequate signage or signage was ignored ? Though either way a risk assessment and or method statement that allowed a delta p hazard to exist with no one in attendance could hardly be considered acceptable.

  2. Perhaps we should put signs up saying that the water is cold!! Keep away from sluice gates, common sense really. There are plenty of notices

    • Not really applicable here , if the information in the article is correct. Leaving a sluice gate open with no responsible person in attendance is pretty inexcusable , especially in a public bathing facility. A pressure differential of only a foot or so creates a serious risk . The risk could be managed but obviously wasn’t.

      • Precisely LC.

        I hope the Council still has insurance, as much else seems to have been overlooked whilst the SMT is protecting its tattered reputation.

        It must have been a terrible shock for the swimmer. I hope she recovers well.

  3. thanet council will talk thier way out of it as usual , and find a heap of back dated paperwork to cover themselves – they do it every time. and before you ask – yes i have had it done to me ! .

  4. I was there this morning. There were signs up (in English, on A4, laminated). They clearly stated not to go in the pool because of maintenance work. I looked for the sign because the pool was clearly half empty!

    The council is not a bottomless pit of money/signage etc. Can’t people take a little responsibility for themselves? I’m obviously really sorry that someone was hurt, but the risk is that with this kind of thing and ‘investigations’ etc a huge community asset just gets shut down because the council can’t afford to take responsibility for it.

    • Then hopefully the council has a full risk assessment and risk matrix that justifies the actions they took and also have photographic records of the notices they left in place. That the person responsible for producing the risk assessment was adequately trained as were any others who read and approved it.
      Whilst anyone would be expected to understand the risks of swimming , cold water, slip hazards etc of lido bathing , the dangers created by an open sluice will not occur to most people, they’ll most likely be unaware there is a sluice and the hazard would be pretty much invisible until its too late.
      Hopefully the matter is not serious enough to make it to court , as based on the information provided in the article and comments , i’d not be too confident that the councils actions were sufficient .
      That the sign was in English is of no matter, its the nations language.

      • Ovenden Allworks a family owned construction company based in Kent, were carrying out repairs to the pool. Their Health & Safety Policy ensures that they are committed to keeping Health and Safety at the heart of what they do. This means maintaining the safety of the workforce, subcontractors, suppliers, members of the public and the environment always. Ovenden Allworks has it’s own, dedicated in-house, Health and Safety Manager who is responsible for implementing their Health and Safety systems, ensuring it’s Health and policy is adhered to.
        Accidents to members of the public must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury.
        Even though there was not an accident book for the injured person to fill in, Ovenden Allworks & TDC are aware of their responsibility to contact Health & Safety Executive under R.I.D.D.O.R. as a reportable incident.
        Under RIDDOR this is a “Dangerous Occurrence” and requires reporting in circumstances where the incident has the potential to cause injury or death.
        Might also be reportable as LC listed this as a possible Pressure System. The definition covers the failure of a pressure system with the potential to cause the death of any person. It applies to any such vessel whatever its contents.
        I am sure any photos will help as will observations made by Thanet District Councillor Rob Yates. “I went swimming last night (September 27) and saw two laminated council signs saying ‘do not swim – maintenance underway’ on the side of the pool”. “I swam anyway as were lots of people already in the water last night, and whilst swimming someone from Ovenden opened one of the sluice gates. “I have contacted the council as the signage in my opinion was insufficient as most people were already changed by the time you go onto the wall of the tidal pool and there was no mention of danger.”

  5. Ovenden Allworks a family owned construction company based in Kent, were carrying out repairs to the pool. Their Health & Safety Policy ensures that they are committed to keeping Health and Safety at the heart of what they do. This means maintaining the safety of the workforce, subcontractors, suppliers, members of the public and the environment always. Ovenden Allworks has it’s own, dedicated in-house, Health and Safety Manager who is responsible for implementing their Health and Safety systems, ensuring it’s Health and policy is adhered to.
    Accidents to members of the public must be reported if they result in an injury and the person is taken directly from the scene of the accident to hospital for treatment to that injury.
    Even though there was not an accident book for the injured person to fill in, Ovenden Allworks & TDC are aware of their responsibility to contact Health & Safety Executive under R.I.D.D.O.R. as a reportable incident.
    Under RIDDOR this is a “Dangerous Occurrence” and requires reporting in circumstances where the incident has the potential to cause injury or death.
    Might also be reportable as LC listed this as a possible Pressure System. The definition covers the failure of a pressure system with the potential to cause the death of any person. It applies to any such vessel whatever its contents.
    I am sure any photos will help as will observations made by Thanet District Councillor Rob Yates. “I went swimming last night (September 27) and saw two laminated council signs saying ‘do not swim – maintenance underway’ on the side of the pool”. “I swam anyway as were lots of people already in the water last night, and whilst swimming someone from Ovenden opened one of the sluice gates. “I have contacted the council as the signage in my opinion was insufficient as most people were already changed by the time you go onto the wall of the tidal pool and there was no mention of danger.”

    • Thanks for the insight and additional detail. Personally I’d have to question the councillors common sense in ignoring the signs and his integrity in making public comment criticising a body he is part of, especially so given that he may end up being a witness in what occurred given his claim that the sluice was opened whilst he was there. Did he challenge the opening of the sluice whilst people were swimming?

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