Ensuring your business is compliant with Legionella health and safety standards is essential to maintain the wellbeing of you and your staff.
On average, there are approximately 200-250 reported confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease each year in England and Wales and it is thought that the total number of cases may be underestimated. – UK.Gov.
Why is it important for my business to have a Legionella plan in place?
Businesses must comply with the legislation set by the HSE, failure to comply can result in fines, business closure and serious health and safety risks.
Legionella risk assessment companies are able implement a Legionella management plan to ensure your water systems are compliant with HSE standards. Landlords and property managers (or whoever assumes the role of coordinating Legionella risk assessments) are responsible for arranging assessments.
Keeping on top of your Legionella management policy is essential and will eliminate the risk of contamination.
When to book a risk assessment
While there are no laws governing when you should arrange a risk assessment, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise that water systems should be reviewed periodically in the interest of the tenants and occupants of the building. Checks can be made during routine gas safety and maintenance visits
However, if your water system has recently been replaced, a risk assessment is strongly advised to ensure the settings are in accordance with HSE and ACOP L8. If undergoing an assessment risks of exposure are discovered, you are obliged under under HSE and ACOP L8 to put in place an adequate legionella control regime.
What areas are assessed?
Businesses that utilise the following water systems are able to undergo a Legionella risk assessment:
Cooling towers & evaporative condensers
Hot & cold water systems
Air conditioning units
Swimming pools and Jacuzzis
Both domestic and commercial properties require Legionella risk assessments if they are utilising any of the above.
Whose responsibility is it to arrange these checks?
For residential properties (landlords)
Landlords of both domestic properties are responsible for ensuring a Legionella risk assessment is carried out. However, this does not mean they have to carry the assessment out themselves (but they are able to so long as they are competent). Additionally, there is a legal duty for landlords to assess and control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria.
For businesses, the person responsible is often assigned the role (maintenance managers etc). Again, they are responsible for ensuring standard health and safety are enforced but do not have to carry-out the assessment themselves. Instead, they can opt for a Legionella management company to oversee the assessment.
While it’s easy to blame landlords and commercial property managers (or whoever assumes the role), HSE’s reluctance to enforce Legionella compliance nationwide also shoulders the blame.
Failure to comply with the legislation will result in fines and the potential closure of the property as well as endangering the health and safety of the tenants and occupants (this can be fatal).
How much does a risk assessment cost?
At LegionellaSafe Services, we provide a no obligation, full site survey and audit. Your property will be assessed to find out how many water systems are running and what you need to be safe and compliant.
Call one of our specialist team today on 0330 133 0131 or contact us by email.
Legionella bacteria is dispersed in airborne water droplets, so the spray created by a shower is the perfect delivery mechanism. Anyone using a contaminated shower risks breathing in the bacteria and developing Legionnaires’ disease as the bug takes hold in the lungs.
Persons over the age of 45, smokers, heavy drinkers or have a health condition such as heart disease, asthma or diabetes, they are at even greater risk of developing an infection.
Are you Legionella aware?
Fortunately the risk is reasonable easy to manage. If you have concerns about your system the first thing you can do is carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment.This needs to be carried out by a competent professional who can assess the bacterial risks.
If there is a risk, shower heads will need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected or possibly replaced (this will need to be done by a professional) and the outlets will need to be flushed on a regular basis to reduce the risk of water stagnation.
Further information, support and advice
If you have questions about any of the issues raised above and would like to speak with one of our specialists
Call us today on 0808 133 0131 or get in touch here … contact us
If you are an employer, or someone in control of premises, including landlords, you must understand the health risks associated with legionella. This section can help you to control any risks.