Water safety signage is a commonly used risk mitigation strategy in aquatic venues. Improving the use of signs in terms of placement, configuration and design assists overall comprehension and understanding. Signage is important for three reasons:
It informs patrons about risks, safety issues and other relevant facility specific behavioral requirements
It offers some protection to the operator from litigation, as it is the duty of care of the operator to warn users of dangers, prohibitions and provide safety information
It is an economical way to support Lifeguards in the provision of supervision
Over time operators have introduced signs that have taken many different shapes, sizes and colours. As a result, symbols, wording and sign locations vary significantly across the aquatic industry, with many signs no longer meeting compliance with Australian Standards.
The Water Safety Signage Assessment provides clear advice to operators regarding good practice for water safety signage based on existing standards and risk management principles. It is intended to assist the operator in providing a clear and uniform message to patrons so that they can make informed decisions knowing the risks associated with recreation in an aquatic facility.