Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) recently issued a safety alert to warn owners and operators of inflatable water balls about the risks of using or placing electrical equipment near a pool or body of water where these water balls are used.
The large spheres are also known as ‘water walkers’, ‘hamster balls’ and ‘zorb water walking balls’.
In July 2017, while conducting audits at an agricultural show in North Queensland, a WHSQ Inspector witnessed a young child use an electric leaf blower to ‘shoot’ three other children.
All four youngsters were standing in a shallow inflatable pool. The electric leaf blower was in close proximity to the pool ahead of being used to inflate the ‘water balls’.
Additionally, the electric leaf blower was connected to a power supply and turned on. The inspector was able to convince the children to put the leaf blower down and move away from the area.
The safety alert recommended a number of control measures, and said to never:
If electrical equipment is used near water, adequate control measures must be in place to prevent the risk of electrical shock or electrocution to workers, patrons and members of the public.
Such measures include: