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Legionella Risk Assessments – Your legal duty

If you have a water system at work, you need to have a Legionella risk assessment.

If you are an employer, or someone in control of premises,  including landlords, you must take appropriate steps to  identify and remove or reduce the risk of exposure to Legionella.

I manage the water systems at work, what are my responsibilities?

As the duty holder, you have a legal responsibility to assess the risk of Legionella exposure in your water systems and to ensure you have control measures in place to reduce the risk, in order to comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act, COSHH and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations.

The duty holder or the appointed ‘responsible person’, must understand where the sources of risks are in the water system, how to manage and prevent them and importantly, keep and update records regularly.

In order to identify where the risks may be in your water systems, you need to carry out a  Legionella risk assessment (you can do this if you have the necessary knowledge or competency) or employ an external consultant. 

What happens during a risk assessment?

A competent and fully qualified water hygiene consultant will: -

  • Inspect and assess the configuration, construction and condition of all appropriate water systems – these will include domestic hot and cold-water systems as well as commercial and industrial systems if present.
  • Review the occupancy, usage and potential for exposure  within the site.
  • Assess the potential for Legionella to enter the water systems, its proliferation risk and the potential for aerosol generation as well as the susceptibility of the population at the site.
  • Review the current duties, responsibilities and training requirements. 
  • Provide recommendations regarding any remedial actions. 
  • Provide recommendations for the ongoing safe management, monitoring and maintenance of the water systems.
  • Carry out temperature checks on sentinel and other outlets and any stored water assets.
  • Provide photographs of all assets and a full schematic drawing.

What happens once the risk assessment is completed?

After the risk assessment, a written scheme of control will need to be implemented to ensure that the risks are being controlled. The risk assessment may identify a range of remedial measures that need to be undertaken to control Legionella risk. These may include physical repairs or alterations to the water system, cleaning and disinfection works, and ongoing maintenance, text, inspection and monitoring works.

A review of the management / control measures should be carried out on an annual basis and documented. You can do this yourself, or ask an external provider to carry out the review on your behalf.

Important: If you make substantial alterations to your water systems or the building undergoes a change of use or ownership, the risk assessment must be updated to reflect changes. In most cases, a two-yearly risk assessment review is sufficient.

Further Information
AEC is a member of the Legionella Control Association (LCA) and our services are delivered to the highest standards of technical proficiency, competence and customer care.

All Legionella risk assessments are carried out to the requirements of BS 8580 by qualified, competent and experienced staff. 

Further information about Legionella training courses can be found https://aec.uk.net/aec-training/legionella.php

 




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