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TrainingOUR SERVICE EXPLAINED
Legionella bacteria is commonly found in water. Inhaling airborne water droplets containing legionella bacteria can cause potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease. Integrated Compliance will help you manage legionella in hot and cold water systems and will work with you to identify and reduce the risks.
All businesses and organisations with public access to their water have a legal duty of care to ensure that a risk assessment is in place to monitor for legionella, a deadly waterborne bacterium. In the event of an outbreak of legionnaires’ disease, the authorities will require evidence of risk assessment, monitoring and maintenance, without this in place organisations will be dealt with most severely by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Failure to meet with the required compliance requirements may result in prosecution and litigation.
How do I control the risks from legionella in my water system?
The key point is to design, maintain and operate your water services under conditions that will either prevent or adequately control the risk from legionella bacteria. It is important that you either have, or have access to, competent help to fulfil these obligations.
If you identify a risk that you are unable to prevent, you must introduce appropriate controls. You should introduce a course of action that will help you to control any risks from legionella by describing:
- your system and its component parts eg developing a schematic diagram
- who is responsible for carrying out the assessment and managing its implementation
- the safe and correct operation of your system
- what control methods and other precautions you will be using
- what checks will be carried out to ensure risks are being managed and how often
You should where appropriate:
- ensure that the release of water spray is properly controlled
- avoid water temperatures and conditions that favour the growth of legionella and other micro-organisms
- ensure water cannot stagnate anywhere in the system by keeping pipe lengths as short as possible or by removing redundant pipe work
- avoid materials that encourage the growth of legionella (The Water Fittings & Materials Directory references fittings, materials, and appliances approved for use on the UK Water Supply System by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme)
- keep the system and the water in it clean
- treat water to either control the growth of legionella (and other microorganisms) or limit their ability to grow.