Assessments

Legionella Risk Assessments

This page offers information for all of our legionella consultancy services

What is legionella?

Legionella is naturally occurring bacteria responsible for heath conditions collectively referred to as legionellosis, including the serious, potentially fatal flu-like condition Legionnaires’ disease

Legionnaires’ disease can be contracted by humans when fine airborne water droplets known as an aerosol, become contaminated with the bacteria and are then inhaled deep into the lungs.

Typical sources of legionella contaminated water in engineered water systems include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Cooling towers and air-conditioning systems

  • Domestic and Commercial hot and cold-water systems

  • Showers

  • Spa pools and hot tubs and Hydrotherapy Pools

  • Swimming pools

  • Decorative fountains and water features

  • Process systems that use water (I.E. cleaning or cooling plant)

  • Vehicle washing systems

  • Industrial cutting fluids

  • Ice-making machines

  • Misting systems such as salad counter freshness mist

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Most common Legionella related Questions

A Legionella risk assessment is the main first step to find out the risk of Legionella growth and risk of it becoming airborne for people to breathe in. It is a legal requirement and shows good compliance.

The assessment itself typically involves the detailed check of all man-made water systems at your facility.

It will also include looking through the management documentation such as training, checklists and how legionella is managed on a day to day basis.

Our Legionella Risk assessments are completed in line with the British Standard BS 8580.

We adopt a very understandable process with clear and understandable plans with clear yet effective steps you need to take without having to read through books and books of paperwork.

In a short answer, Yes.

In the UK, there is a legal requirement for all businesses including landlords and property owners to carry out a risk assessment for the control of legionella in their premises.

Many properties can be considered as low risk with simple steps on a weekly or monthly basis to ensure everything is controlled, whereas some more complicated facilities such as those with cooling plant may be more complicated and need day to day work to keep them in good shape.

The Health & Safety Executive require that the assessment of risk from Legionella bacteria is carried out by suitably trained people who are competent to perform such tasks.

This typically means experienced, suitably trained risk assessors who can demonstrate their competence to perform such tasks.

If you are trained and the facility is low risk, you could do this yourself. Feel free to get in touch and we can help you get to the point of doing it yourself, so you don’t need a specialist to come in.

The risk assessment will identify everything that’s needed and will be the first stage in any good risk management process. On top of this we will need to be able to be confident that the below is taken care of:

  • Responsible Person – Appoint a suitably competent person who has sufficient authority and knowledge of the water systems to ensure compliance with the law
  • Written Scheme of Control – Prepare a written scheme of control for preventing or controlling the risk associated with Legionnaires’ disease and the growth and proliferation of Legionella bacteria.
  • Implement, manage & monitor – Implement, manage and monitor the legionella control measures required.
  • Record Keeping – Maintain accurate records of all the control measures, tests and other actions.

The UK’s Health & Safety Executive previously required that legionella risk assessments be reviewed every two years but since late 2013 this is now no longer the case. It is now down to the risk assessment to identify the level of risk and frequency of review.

Good examples will be for low risk properties to be reviewed at least every 3 years, medium risk or low risk with lots of complexity to be reviewed every 2 years and high-risk facilities every year or 6 months if things are very complicated.

Sometimes other things can trigger a review such as:

  • Engineering Modifications or changes to the Water supply / layout and change of use
  • The use of the water system has changed.
  • Building Change of Use
  • New information about risks or control measures becomes available.
  • Key personnel involved in the control process have changed.
  • The legionella control measures employed are no longer effective.
  • Outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease