Safety Regulations and Criteria for Swimming Pools & Water parks in Egypt

user Marina Ehab, LL.M. calender 7 Mar 2024 views 319 Views
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Water parks and swimming pools are well-liked recreational facilities that offer a refreshing escape from Egypt’s scorching temperatures, however, they also present potential safety risks, especially for young children and those who are not proficient swimmers. To safeguard the well-being of its citizens, Egypt has established a set of regulations guidelines, and criteria for the operation of swimming pools. Nonetheless, some facilities operating swimming pools do not follow those set of regulation guidelines and criteria.

The lax enforcement of regulations governing swimming pool operations has resulted in a substantial increase in accidents, raising the question of whether victims of such accidents have avenues to claim their rights for their injuries resulting from such accidents. To respond to such a question, this article will delve into particular regulation guidelines whose lax enforcement contributes to the majority of accidents commonly encountered in this domain.

  • Safety Regulations and Criteria for Swimming PoolsAll swimming pools in Egypt must comply in particularly with the following general safety regulations:
    Lifeguards: A sufficient number of trained lifeguards must be on duty at all times as long as the swimming pools are operating. Lifeguards must be positioned strategically to ensure optimal supervision of all swimming areas, in accordance with Article 1, Section 5 of Decree No. 960 of the year 1956 regarding General Conditions required for Swimming Pools, Article 2 of the Minister of Tourism Decree No. 444 of the year 2011 regarding Scuba diving, marine activities centers, yachts, tourist attractions, licensing terms and procedures.

In addition to the abovementioned, the attached annex to Decree No. 670 of the year 2019 concerning the Hospitality Classifications for Hotels, Section 16 (regarding swimming pools) confirms also essentiality of presence for lifeguards around swimming pools during the operational hours in hotels.

Emergency Procedures: An emergency kit and safety buoys must be present at reach from the pool in order to handle drowning incidents, injuries, and other medical emergencies, as per Article 1, Section 4 & 11 of Decree No. 960 of the year 1956.

Moreover, in hotels, it is a must to have a doctor on-site for prompt medical attention, and the hotel staff must be trained to implement these procedures effectively pursuant to the attached annex to Decree No. 670 of the Year 2019, and the internal regulation furnished to the operating hotels by the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.

Signage: Clear and visible signage must be posted throughout the facility, providing information about safety rules, swimming depth levels, and emergency procedures as per Article 1, Section 13 of Decree No. 960 of the year 1956, and as per the attached annex to Decree No. 670 of the year 2019 concerning the Hospitality Classifications for Hotels, Section 16 (regarding swimming pools) directed to hotels.

It is worth noting that, there are other mandates and restrictions established by laws governing this matter.

  • Safety Regulations and Criteria for Water Parks Pools

While Egypt lacks a dedicated legal framework specifically regulating aqua parks, hotels and entities wishing to operate these facilities must adhere to a set of prescribed procedures. Notwithstanding, an aqua park license acts as evidence that the facility adheres to safety standards and is permitted to operate. The hotel or the facility assumes responsibility in case of an incident. The licensing process encompasses multiple steps inter alia, obtaining an approval from the Ministry of Tourism (Engineering Management and Licenses Department) and this approval is granted contingent upon meeting specific criteria, and obtaining an approval of both the Department of Safety and Occupational Health and the Fire Department after demonstrating compliance with certain procedures. Upon issuance of the approval from the concerned authorities, the aqua park is deemed to have met international safety standards and is permitted to operate under safe conditions.

Furthermore, water parks must also comply with specific safety criteria for their water features and attractions, including but not limited to the following:

Slides and Rides: Slides and rides must be designed and constructed to minimize the risk of injury. They must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure their safety.

Water Depth: Water depth indicators must be clearly marked at all swimming areas to inform patrons of the depth levels.

Safety Equipment: Life jackets, flotation devices, and other safety equipment must be readily available for patrons who need them.

Addressing the question raised earlier, all accidents that occur are invariably repercussions of disobeying these regulations, particularly those outlined above. These repercussions can result in unfavorable outcomes that hold individuals accountable for their actions, whether those actions stem from negligence or personal default. This accountability also extends to the actions of those under one’s supervision, and most hotel establishments and facilities operating swimming pools and aqua parks fail to fully adhere to the established regulations and guidelines. Such failure is an example of how non-compliance can lead to accidents. These incidents can result in serious injuries, even death, and the entities and persons may be held legally liable.

Bringing up the matter of liability of persons, the provisions of the Egyptian Civil Code intervene imposing the legal liability upon the perpetrator or whoever is accountable and opening the doors to the injured person to recourse to pursue compensation for their injuries. Article 163 of the Egyptian Civil code states: “Every fault which causes injury to another, imposes an obligation to make reparation upon the person by whom it is perpetrated.”

Additionally, Article No. (174) of the Egyptian Civil law stipulates: “A master is liable for the damage caused by an unlawful act of his servant when the act was performed by the servant in the course, or as a result of his employment. The relationship between master and servant exists even when the master has not been free to choose his servant, provided he has actual powers of supervision and control over his servant”.

Based on the foregoing, the abovementioned articles establishes a framework for addressing personal liability and vicarious liability, imposes a general duty of care on individuals, requiring them to compensate others for any harm they cause through their actions or omissions. This principle extends to employers who are held vicariously liable for the wrongful acts of their employees committed within the scope of employment.

Article (178) of the Egyptian Civil code which is relevant to liability emanating from acts also imposes liability on establishments that operate swimming pools and water parks, as the aforementioned article states: “whoever is in charge of a thing whose supervision requires special care [my emphasis] or of a machine, is liable for the damage caused by it unless he or she shows that the damage was due to a cause beyond his or her control, subject always to any special provisions of the law in this respect.

Accordingly, Swimming pools and water parks, by virtue of their potential dangers, require supervision that is both proactive and meticulous. The negligence, default, and failure to implement extra care by facilities that operate swimming pools and water parks impose the liability upon them.

In conclusion, non-compliance with the said regulation will result in legal responsibility, entitling injured individuals to pursue damages.