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A Clear Conscience For Water Hygiene

Protect your business against the risks of Legionella.

Are you looking for bespoke advice to help you protect your business and manage the risks of exposure to Legionella bacteria in your water systems?

If you are an employer or someone in control of premises including landlords, you are responsible for the health and safety of others and need to take the right precautions to comply with current UK regulations including Health & Safety at Work Act, the ACOP L8 and COSHH regulations. 

There may be a risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria if your workplace or premises has hot and cold water systems such as plumbing, shower heads, water storage tanks, spa pools and cooling towers and evaporative condensers.

Our Legionella consultants have helped a wide range of organisations nationwide since 1991 including dentists, retail shops, manufacturers, schools, care homes, holiday parks, leisure clubs and offices. As a leading water and wastewater provider, we know what your legal requirements are so let us take of everything for you.

 Members of the Legionella Control Association, you can rest assured that our service is of the highest quality.

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FAQs

What is Legionnaires' disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. The risk increases with age but some people are at higher risk including:

• people over 45 years of age,

• smokers and heavy drinkers,

• people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease,

• diabetes, lung and heart disease,

• anyone with an impaired immune system.

The bacterium Legionella pneumophila and related bacteria are common in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but usually in low numbers. They may also be found in purpose-built water systems such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools.

If conditions are favourable, the bacteria may grow increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease and it is therefore important to control the risks by introducing appropriate measures outlined in Legionnaires' disease - The Control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8).

Where do Legionella bacteria come from?

Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems, e.g. rivers and ponds. However, the conditions are rarely right for people to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to Legionella growing in purpose-built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth, e.g. cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools used in all sorts of premises (work and domestic).

How do people get Legionnaires’ disease?

People contract Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols), suspended in the air, containing the bacteria. Certain conditions increase the risk from Legionella if:

    • the water temperature in all or some parts of the system may be between 20-45 °C, which is suitable for growth,

    • it is possible for breathable water droplets to be created and dispersed e.g. aerosol created by a cooling tower, or water outlets,

    • water is stored and/or re-circulated,

    • there are deposits that can support bacterial growth providing a source of nutrients for the organism, e.g. rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms.

Are there risks of Legionella in my workplace?

Any water system, with the right environmental conditions, could be a source for Legionella bacteria growth. There is a reasonably foreseeable Legionella risk if your water system:

    • has a water temperature between 20–45 °C,

    • creates and/or spreads breathable droplets, e.g. aerosol created by a cooling tower, or water outlets,

    • stores and/or re-circulates water,

    • is likely to contain a source of nutrients for the organism to grow, e.g. rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms.

The most common sources of Legionella are in man-made water systems including:

    • cooling tower and evaporative condensers,

    • hot and cold water systems,

    • and spa pools.

There are also a number of other potential risk systems that may pose a risk to exposure to Legionella, e.g. humidifiers, air washers, emergency showers, indoor ornamental fountains etc.

Do all places of work require a Legionella risk assessment?

Yes, all places of work do require a Legionella risk assessment. It is the responsibility of the employer, or a person in control of the premises, for health and safety and they need to take the right precautions to reduce the risks of exposure to Legionella.

How much does a Legionella risk assessment cost?

A Legionella risk assessment is priced depending on the amount of water services and the size of your property or properties. Our quotes are free of charge and we work hard to provide a great value service that’s tailored to your needs. 

How do I book a Legionella risk assessment?

Call us on 0800 028 3557 to speak to one of our Legionella experts and we can provide a free quotation and advise you of your requirements. Click here and we can call you back.

Where do you operate?

We operate a nationwide service.

How often should I carry out a Legionella risk assessment?

The Legionella risk assessment is a living document that must be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure you are up-to-date. Review the Legionella risk assessment regularly and specifically or whenever there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid.

An indication of when to review could be one or more of the following:

    (a) changes to the water system or its use;

    (b) changes to the use of the building in which the water system is installed;

    (c) the availability of new information about risks or control measures;

    (d) the results of checks indicating that control measures are no longer effective;

    (e) changes to key personnel;

    (f) a case of Legionnaires’ disease/legionellosis associated with the system.

What are the laws and regulations for Legionella control?

If you are an employer, or someone in control of premises, including landlords, you must understand the health risks associated with Legionella.

Duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) extend to risks from Legionella bacteria, which may arise from work activities. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) provide a broad framework for controlling health and safety at work.

More specifically, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provide a framework of actions designed to assess, prevent or control the risk from bacteria like Legionella and take suitable precautions. The Approved Code of Practice: Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8) contains practical guidance on how to manage and control the risks in your system.

As a landlord what are my duties?

The legal duty for landlords who provide residential accommodation to consider, assess and control the risks of exposure to Legionella to their tenants is not new. This requirement stems from the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1989; Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes provision for the legislation to apply to landlords of both business and domestic premises. All water systems require an assessment of the risk.

What do I need to do following a Legionella risk assessment?

If remedial works are identified following your Legionella risk assessment, we will recommend and can implement the work you need to carry out to make you compliant and prevent or reduce the risk of Legionella. We can also suggest a programme for long term management and control of Legionella bacteria in your water systems. As an award winning water company, you can be rest assured you will only receive expert guidance to give you the cost efficient solution that’s right for you.

Accreditations

Safecontractor
Constructionline
PICS
AFAQ UKAS
MCERTS
Achilles
CHAS
Legionella Control Association
UKAS