Legionella Risk Assessment & Control
Eliminating the risk of Legionella bacteria in your water systems
Given the right combination of environmental conditions, any building water system has the potential to become a breeding ground for Legionella bacteria. The health risks associated with legionella are significantly heightened in areas where there is the possibility of breathable water droplets being spread in the form of aerosols.
Outbreaks of legionella have been associated with showerheads, sink faucets, cooling towers, decorative fountains, hot water tanks, evaporative condensers etc.
As someone in control of premises, you have the legal responsibility to ensure that the water systems at your worksite are safe and that you are in compliance with health, safety and environmental regulations. Failure to prevent exposure to legionella bacteria could lead to prosecution, heavy penalties, and damage to business reputation.
However, fulfilling your legal responsibilities for water safety and staying compliant is not hard. You need to engage a competent person to perform risk assessments on your water systems, and work to implement their documented recommendations.
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What to Expect from Legionella Risk Assessment
Celtic Water Solutions provides bespoke legionella risk assessments for a wide range of clients ranging from small residential buildings to large scale industrial sites. No matter the type or size of your water systems, our risk assessors can tackle the work safely and ensure compliance with HPSC’s & ACoP L8 guidelines.
Our comprehensive and compliant Legionella risk assessments include identification and evaluation of all potential sources of risk associated with Legionella within your building’s water system.
We believe a thorough legionella risk assessment should include the following:
- Testing of hot and cold water throughout the building at key points
- Survey of any cold water storage tanks and hot water storage vessels
- Set up and auditing of site-specific legionella logbooks
- Water temperatures taken across the whole site
- Flow and stagnation tests
- Inspection for aerosol formation hazards
- A documented system overview, including pipework schematics and photographic evidence
- Summary of findings and recommendations for review
- Overall risk score for the premises and recommended review date
Legionella Testing & Sampling
Water testing is the only way to determine whether Legionella is present in a water system. Because of the risks of Legionella exposure, water systems must be regularly tested for the bacteria.
Facilities such as hotels, bars, restaurants, hairdressers, commercial buildings, dental practices, hospitals and care homes should routinely test for legionella bacteria to prevent its growth.
Periodic sampling and testing for the presence of legionella bacteria are necessary to show to regulators and auditors that adequate control is being achieved.
It is recommended to test for legionella bacteria when:
- The limits of a control regime, eg temperature or disinfectant concentrations, are not being consistently achieved.
- There is a highly vulnerable group of people present on the premises: schools, care homes, hospitals.
- A water system is suspected or identified in a case or outbreak of legionellosis
- A water system is being treated with biocides and water is stored or distributed at lower temperatures
Celtic Water Solutions offers a comprehensive and affordable legionella water testing service to the retail, commercial and industrial sectors.
Why Choose Celtic Water Solutions for Legionella Risk Assessment?
At Celtic Water Solutions, we aim to make the process of risk assessment as straightforward as possible for you. We’ll undertake a thorough check of your property, and explain in plain and simple terms, where any risks lie. Then we’ll show you what you need to do to reduce the risk of legionella bacteria in your system.
We understand that no two businesses are the same and deliver a customized service tailored to your business needs. With nearly 2 decades of experience in the water treatment industry, we strive for excellence. Our long list of clients is a testimony to the fact that we deliver what we promise.
All CWS risk assessors are adequately trained and qualified to perform risk assessments. We have designed our legionella risk management programme in strict accordance with recommended practices and guidelines on the control of legionella from the HPSC’s ‘National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland 2009’, UK HSE’s Approved Code of Practice L8 (ACOP L8), HSG274, and BS 8580.
Our recommendations are prioritized which means your money will be spent on high priority actions, thereby eliminating any potential risks going forward.
Kindly contact our office for more information on legionella risk management.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Legionnaires' disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by a bacterium known as Legionella pneumophila, most commonly found in natural aquatic environments such as rivers, lakes, and groundwater. However, there are certain circumstances in which man-made water systems can provide the ideal breeding ground for the bacteria.
The illness usually starts with flu-like symptoms including fever, tiredness, headache, and muscle pains. This is followed by a dry cough and breathing difficulties that may progress to severe pneumonia.
A legionella risk assessment is a process to determine the risk of contraction of legionnaires disease and the potential for growth of legionella bacteria within the water systems at your premise.
The findings are then used to implement the measures required to establish a robust legionella control scheme.
The Legionella risk assessment forms the foundation of your water safety plan. It ensures that you maintain compliance with the relevant regulations.
As part of the law outlined in The Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (S.I. No. 10 of 2005), measures are required to be in place to manage the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria in the workplace.
In Ireland, under occupational Health and Safety legislation, there is a legal obligation on employers to carry out a risk assessment in relation to legionella prevention and control in the workplace and where a risk is identified the appropriate control measures should be put into place and a risk management plan adopted.
- Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (No.10 of 2005)
- Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 2013 (S.I. No.572 of 2013.)
- Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No.299 of 2007)
- Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations, 2001 (S.I. No.619 of 2001)
A systematic risk management approach, as advocated in the UK HSE’s Legionnaires’ disease: the control of Legionella bacteria in water systems, Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (ACoP L8), should be adopted to prevent and control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria in water systems.
There are plenty of documented examples of organizations failing to comply with the relevant laws and industry regulations, which have resulted in tragic incidents that had serious financial and legal consequences.
Our straightforward approach to legionella risk management quickly identifies any remedial work your systems may require, and then helps you put in place simple preventative strategies to maintain compliance.
A City & Guilds qualified Legionella risk assessor will attend your property and carry out a survey.
Following the site visit, the risk assessment is typed up and issued to you electronically and/or in hardcopy depending on your requirements. The Legionella Risk Assessment Report will identify any risks as well as any remedial actions necessary to meet current regulations.
Based on the findings of the report, our qualified experts will recommend precautionary measures to reduce the overall risk of exposure to legionella bacteria. These may include management responsibility & training, improvement works, and routine inspection.
We will also suggest when the assessment needs to be reviewed. All remedial works need to be recorded in a logbook and followed up with periodic checks and maintenance.
ACOP L8 states that legionella risk assessments should be reviewed regularly and especially if there’s reason to suspect it’s no longer valid.
Based on the risk factors identified in your facility, a risk assessment would suggest a review date, but should any of the following changes occur in the meantime the risk assessment must be immediately updated.
- Changes to the water system or use
- Changes to the building use
- Monitoring & control measures are no longer effective
- Changes to key personnel
- A case of Legionnaires’ disease/Legionellosis associated with the system
- The availability of new information about risk and control measures
This topic has been discussed in detail in this blog.