IQL UK endorses STITCH accident benchmarking tool

New figures have been released for accidents in swimming pools as IQL UK, the trading subsidiary of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), puts its weight behind Right Directions’ accident benchmarking platform STITCH.

The first annual report for the online tool, developed by the quality and health and safety specialist that delivers Sport England’s Quest quality scheme, ukactive’s Code of Practice and accreditation for the ASA’s Learn to Swim Pathway, found that swimming pools were the second mostly like place for an accident to occur, with changing rooms coming in third.

The most recent data, released this week, shows the top six causes of swimming pool accidents are contact with an object, contact with a wall or the floor, slip, human error, contact with another person and water incidents. 97% of all swimming pool accidents relate to customers and just 2.4% to staff. Only 0.82% of these resulted in hospital treatment.

Capturing, collating and aggregating accident and ‘near miss’ data, STITCH provides a live snapshot of KPIs that allow management to monitor accident trends locally and nationally, and club and centre managers to review site trends and avoidable incidents.

Endorsing the product IQL UK’s Director, Martin Symcox said: “With swimming pools and changing rooms high on the list for accident hot spots, we are keen for operators to put their weight behind STITCH and monitor what’s happening on a national level to try and reduce the number of incidents occurring each year.”

Most likely to have an accident within the swimming pool area were children aged 8 – 15, however more than 96% of these were considered not preventable. This age group are also the most likely to have an accident within the changing rooms, where just over 5% of incidents (generally within the changing room itself, the toilets or the shower) could have potentially been prevented.

Symcox continued: “If we can use STITCH to help operators and centre managers identify accident trends in swimming pools, this will further support our aim of keeping people safe in or around water. STITCH could help to steer operators to improve operational procedures and promote early intervention by lifeguards, all of which would be a very positive outcome indeed.”

Gill Twell, Head of Group Operations for Right Directions said: “Alongside CIMSPA’s endorsement of STITCH, IQL UK’s support further champions the role this tool has to play in helping to deliver safer activity opportunities. The data released through STITCH is already helping operators to see where the biggest risks are within their facilities and minimise the likelihood of accidents and injuries occurring.”

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Editor’s notes:

Right Directions Management provides health and safety and quality management support to the leisure industry, specialising in local authority and trust-managed sites, as well as smaller independent operators. Right Directions, which delivers Quest on behalf of Sport England and ukactive’s Code of Practice, has more than 100 years experience within its field.

IQL UK is the trading subsidiary of The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity.

RLSS UK is the UK’s leading provider of training and education in lifesaving, lifeguarding, water safety and life support skills in the UK. It is also the governing body for Lifesaving Sport.
Through IQL UK, there are more than 90,000 RLSS UK Pool Lifeguards in the UK trained in the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ). Around 95 per cent of all pool lifeguards are trained by the RLSS UK. IQL UK also offers the National Pool Management Qualification and First Aid at Work qualifications as part of its portfolio.

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the charity aims to prevent drowning and promote water safety education through campaigns and its lifesaving programmes.

RLSS UK awards and programmes teach a range of lifesaving skills ranging from life support (CPR) to water survival and rescue skills. Programmes include Rookie Lifeguard (for eight to12-year–olds), Survive and Save (for 12 years+) and Save a Baby’s Life (a free course aimed at parents and carers of young children).

The RLSS UK (then the Life Saving Society) was formed in 1891. In 1904, as there was great support for the organisation from the Royal Family, the society was granted permission to use the Royal title and became the Royal Life Saving Society.

For further information contact:
Abigail Harris at Big Fish Public Relations
Tel: 07738 331019

Abigail Harris About the author
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