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Legionella Control (HSE)
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Temperature control is the primary method used to control the risk from Legionella.
Water services must be managed and controlled at suitable temperatures that will prevent Legionella Proliferation (growth) such as:
- Hot water storage cylinders (calorifiers) should store water at 60°C or higher
- Hot water should be distributed at 50°C or higher
- Cold water should be stored and distributed below 20°C.
- Thermostatic mixer valves (TMV) need to be fitted within 1.5 metres of the outlet it supplies.
Your Legionella Control (HSE) manager should frequently inspect, monitor and maintain the water system, in accordance with the site risk assessment.
Sentinel outlets (nearest and furthest to stored hot and/or cold water) should be identified so that monthly checks of distribution temperatures can be carried out. Stored hot water temperatures should also be checked and reviewed every month and stored cold water tank temperatures at least every six months.
As stagnant water provide Legionella bacteria an ideal environment for growth, dead legs/dead ends in pipe-work should be removed. Infrequently used outlets, (especially aerosol generating outlets such as showerheads) should be flushed on a weekly basis. All outlets that generate a spray (showers and spray taps) should be cleaned and descaled on a quarterly basis. Cold-water storage tanks should be cleaned periodically and all water should be drained from hot water cylinders to check for debris or corrosion.
Water sample analysis can be used as an additional control method for systems that are presenting temperatures out with the control parameters.
Who can undertake the risk assessment for legionella?
As an employer or a person in control of premises, you must appoint person or persons responsible for helping you manage your health and safety duties, e.g. take responsibility for managing risks. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety, including the control measures. You could appoint one, or a combination of:
- one or more workers
- someone from outside your business
If you decide to employ contractors to carry out your risk assessment or other work, it is still the responsibility of the competent person to ensure that the work is carried out to the required standards. Remember, before you employ a contractor, you should be satisfied that they can do the work you want to the standard that you require.find out more