Following the airing of ‘Hot Tub Brits‘ part 1 and 2 this August on Channel 5, BISHTA, the British & Irish Spa and Hot Tub Association has released a trade press release addressing some concerns over the lack of safety practices witnessed across the 2-part series. This can be read below:
BISHTA would like to thank Definitely Productions, the makers of Hot Tub Brits, which aired on Channel 5 on Sunday 1st and 8th August 2021 at 9pm, for shining a light on the world of hot tubs. The many customers enjoying using their own (or hired) hot tubs gave an insight into why they are so popular and why there is record demand for them.
However, as BISHTA was not involved in the editorial control of the programme, there are a number of serious concerns that the programme raises for those of us in the industry committed to professionalism and ethical behaviour, which are outlined below.
BISHTA’s strapline is ‘Promoting Safe Hot Tub Standards’, and there were examples of the small number of BISHTA members (and a prospective member) that were featured demonstrating that they were abiding by the industry standards to ensure products were installed and commissioned correctly, so a huge thank you to them. There was some poor practice demonstrated by some companies who were not in BISHTA membership, which was alarming and should be a cause for concern for the whole industry.
The apparent lack of site surveys being undertaken in the second programme led to some very poor choices about manually handling hot tubs that could have caused serious injury to the people involved, the hot tub and/or the surroundings. The lack of an adequate site survey in the first programme led to a customer siting their hot tub on their lawn with issues about access to the hot tub being on grass which would cause some of this organic matter to potentially enter the hot tub and adversely affect the water quality and filtration performance of the hot tub.
In both programmes, there was evidence of companies not arranging suitable installation and commissioning to ensure the hot tub was ready to be used. It is possible that ‘off camera’ the water hygiene management instructions were provided and demonstrated, but this may not have been the case, especially where hot tubs were left for customers to fill with water. This practice is not what BISHTA asks of its members, and it was clear that non-members were willing to leave customers to look through the instructions themselves, which is very unsatisfactory, especially as leaks are not immediately diagnosed and dealt with and any electrical issues may not be spotted.
Where the hired hot tubs were shown, there was an example of customers choosing to use glass instead of unbreakable materials when drinking in the hot tub. In all types of hot tubs and spas, this is a potential accident waiting to happen (any broken glass may harm the bathers or damage the hot tub itself, depending on the material it is made from). Giving suitable advice (and ensuring it is the terms and conditions for hire) is important to stress the risk of drinking alcohol in the hot tub to ensure that bathers are aware of dehydration and impaired judgment risks if drinking too much alcohol (especially spirits).
In the second programme, there was a lift using a specialist crane which appeared to have all of the correct operations, but it is essential to ensure that when specialist lifting equipment is required that the most appropriate choices are made to avoid customers agreeing to a cheap lift (but not realising they are at least partly responsible if something goes wrong). BISHTA has recently been working with the Construction Plant-hire Association (CPA) and the Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers and Importers (ALLMI) to produce free guidance to reduce the likelihood of any incident occurring while lifting hot tubs and exercise spas over buildings.
Despite the above issues, BISHTA (and its members) remain committed to ‘Promoting Safe Hot Tub Standards’. It calls upon the rest of the industry to follow the relevant industry guidance to keep everyone safe so that customers can enjoy their wellness lifestyle. There are numerous courses and qualifications that are on offer to the industry, including water hygiene management, electrical, site surveys, manual handling and the CHTT.
Chris Hayes – BISHTA’s Managing Director comments: “Not every hot tub supplier is trading ethically, and this is why BISHTA works hard to raise awareness for UK Consumers by promoting safe hot tub standards.
A group of industry experts established BISHTA in 2001 to raise health and safety standards and ensure that companies engaged in the display and sale of hot tubs are adequately trained in water hygiene management and understand the importance of maintaining these Standards.
BISHTA exists to promote high standards of health and safety, by registering suppliers of spas, hot tubs, accessories and water purification products so that consumers can enjoy the many health and lifestyle benefits owning a hot tub or exercise spa can bring”.
On the BISHTA website consumers can find free factsheets with advice on buying and caring for hot tubs. They can get design inspiration from images of award-winning hot tub installations from British Pool & Hot Tub Award winners, and search the ‘Where to Buy’ map for BISHTA approved hot tub retailers and maintenance companies who work to the recognised industry standards set out by BISHTA. All members agree to abide by the BISHTA Code of Ethics, to provide support for their customers.