Plant Inspection Services are able to provide you with clear and concise legionella risk assessments and training. We will help you and your employees to fully understand your water systems and your requirements under the relevant health and safety guidance.
We focus on providing full compliance and peace of mind through or range of consultancy services, including:
Legionella Risk Assessments:
Our risk assessments are site specific, detailed and yet straight to the point. The assessment will focus on what you need to know to maintain compliance, with recommendations made on how to correct any issues found.
Written Schemes of Control:
We can provide a detailed, site specific, scheme of control for you and your staff to follow. This will outline the exact requirements for each part of your system as per the relevant guidance.
A Written Scheme of Control is separate from the risk assessment. It should clearly identify the measures required to control risks from exposure to legionella and how those measures should be implemented.
Legionella Training Courses:
Our Legionella training courses are carried out at your site and cater to Duty Holders, Responsible People, Appointed Deputies, and anyone involved in the Legionella management regime. Always up to date, Legionella awareness training will leave you with a full understanding of what Legionella is, where it comes from, why it causes a problem, and the management required. In addition, a practical session can be provided demonstrating the basic monitoring tasks.
What is Legionella?
Legionella is a pathogenic group of gram-negative bacteria, which includes Legionella Pneumophila (the bacteria responsible for legionnaires disease).
Around 50 species of legionella have been detected with at least 20 causing illness in humans, however legionella pneumophila is responsible for approximately 90% of cases.
Where does Legionella come from?
Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs.
Conditions in these locations are rarely conductive to people catching legionellosis from these sources, however this means legionella bacteria can be present in all water supplies. This includes mains water.
Why is Legionella a problem?
Legionella bacteria can flourish under specific conditions. Unfortunately, those conditions are often present in our water systems.
- Ideal Temperatures – Legionella multiplies between 20°C and 50°C with optimum growth occurring at a temperature of 37°C
- Poor circulation – stagnant water provides an excellent breeding ground for the bacteria
- Aerosol Production – Water systems which produce aerosols by design, enabling the spread of legionnaires disease.
Factors such as temperature, circulation and aerosol production create a higher risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria.
Who is at risk from legionnaires disease and how is it transmitted?
Everyone is susceptible to infection. However, certain factors such as age, smoking and existing illnesses can significantly increase the risk.
The bacteria cause illness when they enter and take hold deep within the lungs. For this to happen the bacteria need to be suspended in an aerosol and breathed deep into the lungs. Factors affecting the likelihood of infection include:
- Droplet Size
- Concentration of bacteria
- Duration of exposure
- Susceptibility of individuals
- The virulence of strain
What do I need to do to control and manage the risk from Legionella?
- Appoint the right people.
A competent person, known as the responsible person, should be appointed to help you in controlling any identified risk. They should have sufficient authority, competence, skills, knowledge of the system, and experience.
- Identify and assess the risk.
A suitable and sufficient Legionella risk assessment should be carried out to identify sources of risk so that they can be properly managed.
- Prevent or control.
It should be considered whether the risk can be prevented by modifying The water system. Where this is not possible a written scheme of control should be introduced with effective control measures to manage the risk.
- Record Keeping.
Records should be kept of all activities, temperatures, findings, and actions for at least five years. It is important to sign and date all records.
What legislation covers Legionella?
Duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) include risks management of Legionella bacteria. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provides specific actions in order to manage and control Legionella risk.
For more information, The Approved Code of Practice: Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8) contains practical guidance, or you can contact us for further advice.
Who is responsible for a Legionella risk assessment?
HSE (Health and Safety Executive) guidance states: ‘duty holders, including employers and those in control of premises, must ensure the health and safety of their employees or others who may be affected by their undertaking, this includes the risk of Legionella’.
The responsible person must comply with health and safety legislation to fulfil their legal duty to identify potential risks by carrying out a suitable and sufficient assessment.
Who can carry out a Legionella risk assessment?
An assessment should be carried out by the competent person with sufficient knowledge and experience of Legionella risk assessments. It is essential they have adequate authority to control and identify any risk. Plant Inspection Services don’t provide servicing or maintenance, meaning we are perfectly placed to and help you fulfil your obligations under health and safety law.
How much does a Legionella risk assessment cost?
The cost of your risk assessment is dependent on the number of water systems there are to inspect. Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote today.