Safety warning issues after toxic chemical released at public swimming pool

Safework NSW has issued an urgent safety warning after a worker at a public swimming pool in Picton incorrectly mixed chemicals, releasing toxic chlorine gas and injuring several swimming pool patrons.

Preliminary findings indicate the two chemicals were a chlorine-releasing salt called dry chlorine and sodium bisulphate.

For safe results, each chemical should be released in opposite ends of the pool.

However, it appears both chemicals were released in the same area, which resulted in a chemical reaction.

Better Regulation Division Deputy Secretary, Rose Webb said with the temperature rising and more families visiting their local pool, it’s timely to remind workers that pool chemicals can cause reactions if mixed incorrectly.

“Pool chemicals do not pose a risk if they are used and stored correctly,” Ms Webb said.

“It is vital that workers are always provided with clear instructions for tasks involving hazardous chemicals. Workers should also be regularly assessed to make sure they’re competent in these potentially dangerous tasks.

“Members of the public using local pools should get out immediately if they notice any signs of skin rash, headache, breathing problems, nausea or eye irritation and follow first aid instructions.”

Anyone with concerns can contact the Poisons Information Line on 131 136, or if it’s an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).

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