The Risk of Legionella in Showers

Fears that bacteria which can cause Legionnaires Disease 

found in Norfolk Hospital

The discovery has prompted Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C) to close all washing facilities at the hospital.

Showers are a risk point for Legionella. We know of businesses which have workplace showers which are used very infrequently. These will pose a particular risk

All workplaces have a duty to ensure they have measures in place to mitigate Legionella risk and you are also required to seek advice.

The Risk of Legionella in Showers.

Why are showers high risk?

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.

External Reference links

https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l8.htm

https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/what-you-must-do.htm

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