Legionella Risk Assessment HSE Compliance

A legionella risk assessment is the first step towards compliance with the latest HSE guidance for Legionella; the ACoP L8 and HSG274. Whilst the guidance is not law, they are enforceable under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and COSHH regulations (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health).

Who is responsible for carrying out a Legionella Risk Assessment?

A legionella risk assessment is the responsibility of the Duty Holder of a building or work place.  It is a requirement under the COSHH regulations for a specific legionella risk assessment to be carried out by a trained and competent person.  This can be the Duty Holder, or another qualified person with an organisation, or it can be sub-contracted to a water hygiene company who specialise in these specific surveys.

If a third party is appointed it still remains the Duty Holder’s responsibility to check that a sub-contractor is qualified to carry out the legionella risk assessment.  The HSE direct people to use the Legionella Control Association (LCA) who maintain a directory of companies who have been audited and assessed to ensure they can demonstrate competence and experience in risk assessing for legionella bacteria, and also adhere to the Legionella Code of Conduct.

What will a Legionella Risk Assessment include?

For a legionella risk assessment to be carried out, a trained risk assessor will perform a site survey and inspect all the water systems.  A written report will be generated identifying all the potential risks and making suggestions as to how to reduce the risk, and therefore the chances of an outbreak of legionnaires’ disease occurring.  The report will also include photos of assets and a schematic drawing of the water tramadol no prescription services.

The risk assessment report outlines the condition of the systems as they stand i.e. whether water storage is hygienic or whether system temperatures are sufficient to control the growth of Legionella bacteria.

It includes both biological and temperature monitoring of water systems, for the purposes of identifying any problematic systems.

The risk assessment also identifies any remedial actions required for compliance with the current HSE guidelines. These actions are typically material changes such as cleaning and disinfection of cold water storage tanks or removing redundant pipework.

The risk assessment also provides a schedule for any required ongoing temperature and biological monitoring.

The report also details the management of the risk and who is responsible for what aspect of the control measures.

Why do I need a Legionella Risk Assessment?

Not only is it a legal requirement to carry out a legionella risk assessment under the HSWA 1974. Furthermore, it is a manmade problem, one which is fully preventable.  There have been no known cases of legionnaires’ disease from the natural environment; only in the built environment when conditions allow for legionella bacteria to grow and multiply to sufficient numbers.

When do I need to update my Legionella Risk Assessment?

The ACoP L8 advises a Legionella Risk Assessment should be reviewed every 2 years or sooner if there have been changes to the water system or the use of the building.

For example, if there have been alterations to the water system or plant on-site.  Or if the regular monitoring checks suggests the control measures are no longer effectively controlling the risk, for example temperature control is not being achieved.

Where can I find further information about Legionella Risk Assessments?