t: 020 8337 3516   f: 020 3277 1015   e: info@hawtl.co.uk

Legionella Risk Assessment FAQ's

Do all work places need a legionella risk assessment?

The HSC approved code of practice for legionella (L8) applies to ' any undertaking involving a work activity and to premises controlled in connection with a trade, business or other undertaking where water is used or stored and where there is a means of creating and transmitting water droplets which may be inhaled, thereby causing a reasonably foreseeable risk of exposure to legionella bacteria '. In short - if you have water on site that people can be exposed to, you need to assess and manage the risk from legionella bacteria.

What about domestic property?

The HSC approved code of practice for legionella (L8) is only relevant in circumstances where the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974 applies, therefore most domestic property is exempt from regulation. The risk from domestic property is viewed to be very low at this time.

How much does a risk assessment cost?

The cost of a risk assessment is entirely dependent on the amount of water services in use at the property. We offer a free consultancy meeting to assess your needs.

What do I need to do after the legionella risk assessment?

The legionella risk assessment will either find the site to be either low or negligible risk, in which case a simple review of the assessment should be made every 2 years, or it may be that a reasonably foreseeable risk is identified. In this instance, remedial work may be recommended together with a programme for continual monitoring and control (see what site monitoring will I need to do?).

What site monitoring will I need to do?

The required level of monitoring will depend on the plant and water services at the site, and Howlett Associates can tailor make programmes for the management of legionella to suit the property. Typically, a standard office with simple domestic welfare facilities would require monthly monitoring of water temperatures, annual inspections of cold water storage tanks and an annual review of the management programme. In addition, water services that are used infrequently would need to be flushed weekly.

In situations where water is used in a process or a cooling tower or evaporative condenser is in operation more frequent and in-depth monitoring would be required.

Can we do the assessment or monitoring in-house?

The HSC approved code of practice for legionella (L8) states that 'persons who carry out the assessment and who draw up and implement precautionary measures should have such ability, experience, instruction, information, training and resources to enable them to carry out their tasks competently and safely, where the expertise is not possessed (by the person on whom the statutory duty falls) it may be necessary to enlist help and support from outside the organisation.'

It is possible that with training, some sites may be able to carry out certain elements of the monitoring programme in order to reduce costs and to retain ownership, while at the same time receiving advice and support from us.

How often should I carry out a legionella risk assessment?

According to the HSC approved code of practice for legionella (L8), the assessment should be reviewed regularly (at least every 2 years) and whenever there is reason to suspect that is no longer valid, for example:

» where there have been changes to plant, the water system or its use;
» where there have been changes to the use of the building;
» where new information about risk or control measures has become available;
» where monitoring indicates that control measures are no longer effective.

Is the landlord or the tenant responsible for managing legionella?

This will ultimately be determined by the lease agreement but generally speaking tenants who have sole occupancy of a building where they are also responsible for maintenance and repairs will be the person or persons on whom the statutory duty falls.

Where there are multiple occupants or where the landlord services and maintains the building, then the duty would usually fall to the landlord unless other arrangements have been documented and communicated.

What are the regulations that govern legionella control?

The two main pieces of legislation are the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation (1994). Companies that fail to comply with government guidance may be prosecuted under either of these regulations.

Who is most at risk at work?

It is impossible to tell who is most at risk just by looking at people, as many conditions that could increase the risk are not visible. Generally speaking though, those who smoke, drink excessively, are overweight, and anyone with an underlying illness that affects their immune system may be more at risk. The elderly are the most vulnerable members of the population.

Our accreditation:

» Legionella Control Association
» ISO 9001:2000
» Member of BSRIA
» Safe Contractor Scheme

What happens when an outbreak of Legionnaires Disease occurs?

An outbreak is defined as two or more confirmed cases of legionellosis occurring in the same locality within a six-month period.

It is the responsibility of the Proper Officer for the declaration of an outbreak. The Proper officer is usually a Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC). In Scotland, it is the Consultant in Public Health Medicine (CPHM).

Local authorities will have established incident plans to investigate major outbreaks of infectious disease including legionellosis. These are activated by the Proper Officer who invokes an outbreak Committee, whose primary purpose is to protect public health, and prevent further infection. This will normally be set up to manage the incident and will involve representatives of all the agencies involved

The local authority, CCDC or EHO acting on their behalf may make a site visit and request the shutting down of any processes which are capable of generating and disseminating airborne water droplets. They may take water samples and ensure emergency disinfection is undertaken.

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Howlett Associates Water Treatment Ltd
1st Floor, Park House, 1 - 4 Park Terrace,
Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7JZ.
t: 020 8337 3516
f: 020 3277 1015
e: info@hawtl.co.uk
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