What is Legionnaires’ Disease and Why Do a Risk Assessment?

Legionella Risk Assessments

Water Hygiene Services offer a range of Legionella and water treatment services and work with a variety of clients across a range of sectors. One of our biggest sectors is healthcare.

What is Legionella?

The Health & Safety Executive state that “Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. The risk increases with age, but some people are at higher risk, for example people over 45, smokers and heavy drinkers, people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease, diabetes, lung and heart disease or anyone with an impaired immune system”

Where does Legionella grow?

Legionella and related bacteria are common in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, but usually in low numbers. They may also be found in purpose-built water systems, such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools.

How do people contract Legionnaires' Disease?

If conditions are favourable, the Legionella bacteria may multiply, increasing the risks of legionnaires’ disease, and it is therefore important to control the risks by introducing appropriate measures. Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems, for example rivers and ponds. However, the conditions are rarely conducive for people to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to legionella growing in purpose-built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth, for example cooling towers.

Legionnaires’ disease is usually contracted by inhaling small droplets of water suspended in the air, containing the bacteria.

How can Water Hygiene Services help?

As a member of the Legionella Control Association, Water Hygiene Services can help you in many ways including;

  • Offering an automated water treatment service provider with the latest technology
  • Legionella Risk assessment of site water systems.
  • Full access to our web-based software application aquaAdept to simplify the task of controlling a water asset testing regime for the prevention of Legionnaires’ disease.
  • Providing a Remedial action list
  • Providing monitoring records on AquaAdept accessible 24 hours a day 7 days per week with unlimited user access.
  • Training including on site and Legionella awareness.
  • City & Guilds qualified legionella risk assessors
Aqua Adept Logo

Some of the key aspects of the AquaAdept system:

  • Full compliance package
  • Intuitive user controls for easy review
  • ‘At a glance’ Dashboard for compliance overview
  •  Full, up to date log book for site available from any browser at any time
  • Site view/Contract view for Site/Regional Managers
  • Instant access to documents and results

How often do you need to complete Risk Assessments?

The ACOP L8 regulations state that Legionnaires Risk Assessments should be reviewed regularly and specifically whenever there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid. Interestingly, in previous years the guidance stated that a legionella risk assessment should be reviewed every two years at a minimum. However, it now advises that a Risk Assessment should be considered a living document, which must be regularly reviewed to ensure it remains up to date.

We advise to conduct Risk Assessments on a regular basis, however, there might be times when a Risk Assessment is required in close succession to the previous Assessment. An example of this is if there is a significant change made to the water system. These can include a change in use of the water system or control measures not working correctly.

If you would like to discuss your upcoming monitoring or remedial works or would like to arrange a Legionella Risk Assessment please contact a member of the team today, 0113 267 9785 or emailinfo@waterhygieneservices.co.uk