All businesses are faced with a wealth of Health and Safety compliance issues they must be knowledgeable of and of course, complaint with. Water is no exception, all business premises with a supply of water need to consider the risk from legionella bacteria which could occur on their premises and put in place measures to reduce the risk.
What Type of Business need a Water Risk Assessment?
All businesses where water is stored or used and in environments where water droplets that can carry the bacteria could be inhaled, the need for water risk assessment is crucial, as it is in these places that the risk of the Legionella bacteria forming and growing is at its highest.
Therefore, if your business has cooling towers, condensers, hot and cold water systems, humidifiers and even spas and pools, you need a water risk assessment. An assessment can help to identify issues and prevent the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease from occurring.
As an employer, the water risk assessment should be carried out by a trained and competent person, which often involves hiring the services of a specialist company. Therefore, it is important to hire the right company and look for a firm who are members of the LCA (Legionella Control Association) and who follow the latest HSE guidelines, including ACoP L8, HTM 04-01, BS8558 and the COSHH regulations.
What Does A Water Risk Assessment Involve?
The water risk assessment or the Legionella risk assessment survey will include a full asset register outlining which systems on-site that fall within guidelines. This will include checking water temperatures to make sure that they are within the right temperature range to control Legionella bacteria, as the bacteria is more likely to grow when the temperature falls outside control parameters. The assessment will often include photographs and Computer Aided Design (CAD) drawings of the water systems.
And finally, the water risk assessment will define necessary actions needed and provide a detailed schedule for on-going monitoring and effective control measures. You will be provided with a clear understanding of how the guidelines relate to your property, which provides evidence of how you have complied with the HSE guidelines.
It is generally recommended that water risk assessment should be reviewed every two years or sooner whenever there is cause for belief that the previous assessment may no longer be valid, due to changes in the use of the building for example or changes to water systems in place, whether that is a new system, changes to the system or something else that has caused the previous assessment to be outdated in some respects. And of course, if the current control measures are no longer effective, the assessment must be updated to make sure the risk continues to be controlled and managed.
Controlling legionnaires disease for most businesses will be a straight forward process. By appointing a specialist Water Hygiene contractor, you will have peace of mind that your business is adhering to current HSE guidance while keeping your staff and the general public safe from the risks from legionella bacteria.