The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) updated the safety rules dealing with the control of Legionella risks back in 2014. The HSE conducted an extensive update of their Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8. They also put together a brand new guidance document which covers the management of Legionnaires’ disease as well as the control of Legionella bacteria in water systems. Here we discuss the need to have a regular Legionella audit.
When was HSG274 published?
The new guidance document, HSG274, is set out in three sections:
1 – The control of Legionella bacteria in evaporative cooling systems.
2 – The control of Legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems.
3 – The control of Legionella bacteria in other risk systems.
HSG274 1 and 3 were published in 2013. 2 was published in April 2014.
You can view the guidance here.
Hot and cold water systems covered by HSG274 Part 2 are the most common form of water system presenting a Legionella risk. Find out more about adopting a regular Legionella audit.
All businesses and organisations have a legal duty of care to ensure that they control the risk of Legionella in water systems.
In the event of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, the authorities will seek evidence of suitable Legionella Management & Control measures. This includes a current legionella risk assessment record. Without adequate evidence and compliance requirements any outbreaks might result in prosecution and litigation.
Legionella Risk Assessments
A legionella risk assessment includes;
- Image of water system
- A report with risk factors such as high or low water temperatures, stagnant water conditions and the existence of deposits that enable Legionella growth, or vulnerable building users;
- An assessment of existing control measures and an outline of all methods needed to manage and track risk levels.
Routine Legionella Inspections
By scheduling routine legionella inspections you are able to mitigate the risk of legionella and other harmful bacteria within a water system. In many industries cleaning and maintenance are essential and if the same approach was taken with water systems the risk would be much lower.
Accurate & Concise Record-keeping
Organisations are required by law to maintain records that prove their compliance with regulations. This means you should document inspections, legionella risk assessments and control measures in order to avoid penalties. You are required to create a water safety checklist to ensure you are constantly complying with all laws.
If you would like more information on a legionella audit please contact us today and we will be happy to help.