LEGIONELLA – YOUR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, caused by inhaling small droplets of water contaminated by Legionella bacteria. The bacteria develops in water temperatures between 25-40°C and is commonly found in purpose-built systems and fixtures such as taps and shower heads, storage tanks, wet or hybrid system air conditioning units, spa pools and ornamental water features.

Anyone on your site is susceptible to Legionella infection – particularly those with diabetes, impaired immune systems or lung, heart and kidney disease – so it’s essential you put the right prevention and management measures in place.  

Duty holders (including employers) must appoint a competent person to assess, manage and prevent Legionella risks within their water systems. Our experts can help.

Did you know?

In 2012, two customers and a delivery driver died from legionnaires disease arising from a display hot tub in the garden centre section of JTF warehouse in Stoke on Trent.

The hot tub water had not been filtered or cleaned. A further 18 people caught legionnaires disease and needed hospital treatment.

In 2017 the firm was fined £1 million in Stafford Crown Court.

LOCATING LEGIONELLA RISKS

A health and safety specialist will visit your site to identify and assess sources of risk and produce a practical action plan to minimise and control bacterial growth. Compliant to the L8 approved code of practice, a Southalls Legionella risk assessment will analyse:

Water temperature

Does it fall between 20-45°C in any part of your water system?

Storage

Is water stored and/or re-circulated in the system?

Conditions

Are nutrients present to feed the bacteria?

Risk groups

Are any employees, visitors or residents at greater risk due to their age, habits or health condition?

RESULTS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND RECORD KEEPING

We will prioritise the Legionella risks within your systems and provide expert guidance on reducing or eliminating them. 

If it’s not possible to eradicate Legionella hotspots by upgrading your processes or equipment, we’ll recommend a range of controls – from insulation to cleaning programmes and UV filters – to limit the growth of Legionella bacteria.   

We’ll also ensure you stay compliant with current Legionella regulations with authoritative advice on record keeping. This involves tracking:

- The significant findings of your Legionella risk assessment

- Written details of your controls and a monitoring scheme such as temperature testing, cleaning and sampling/water hygiene testing (if required)

- Results of your monitoring scheme and an action plan if any issues are found

We’re here to help you make sense of legionella. Get in touch for sound advice from a Southalls safety expert or to book your Legionella risk assessment.

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