Having a Legionella Risk Assessment in place is for many people a legal requirement under Health & Safety law. If you are a Landlord, Letting Agent, Employer or in charge of or responsible for a property such as a Care Home, GP Practice, Dentist or Community Centre to name a few then you should have a risk assessment in place and to remain valid is should be reviewed at least once every two years. Simply not having a Risk Assessment in place could been seen by the courts as a health & safety failure resulting in fines with a starting point of £10,000 and maybe even imprisonment. It may also affect your insurance and membership of professional & governing bodies like the Care Quality Commission.
Who Can Carry Out a Risk Assessment? A Legionella Risk Assessment needs to be carried out by someone who is competent to determine the possible risk of Legionella bacteria, identify locations where Legionella may occur and recommend prevention & control measures based on the Legionella Risk Assessment. It is for the Duty Holder to assess who they believe to be competent which includes themselves, employees & contractors. A failing in competency or assessing competency by any party could be seen as a health & safety breach.
How Often Does a Risk Assessment Need to be Carried Out? Once in place a Legionella Risk Assessment needs to be reviewed at least once every two years, this is the minimum requirement of the HSE ACOP L8. More regular reviews may be recommended depending on the outcome of the initial risk assessment. Any material changes or additions to the system such as new boilers may require a new risk assessment to be carried out.
How Much Does a Risk Assessment Cost? The cost varies depending on the type of system you have, its size, nature of use and who is using the system. The following price guide is an estimated cost based on general property types and does not include the cost for legionella testing;
We offer four types of Legionella Risk Assessments;
Are We Competent? As a Duty Holder or person in charge of premises it is your responsibility to ensure anyone who undertakes work in your property is competent to do so. At Water Wise we have over a decade’s water industry related experience and are;
Private Rented Properties Don't Really Need a Risk Assessment Do They? Previously no they did not need one but with the release of the 4th edition of the HSE ACOP L8 all domestic rented properties are required to have a valid Legionella Risk Assessment in place regardless of the level of risk, type or size of the property.
We Have a Combi Boiler, We Don't Need a Risk Assessment Do We? A combi boiler is generally low risk but yes you still need a risk assessment. The ACOP L8 does not allow for any exemption.
Our Health & Safety Advisor Say's We Don't Need a Risk Assessment! Unfortunately, it is very unlikely that you do not need a Legionella Risk Assessment. Most employers and buildings have a requirement to provide toilet and washing facilities. If you have water, you need a Legionella Risk Assessment.
We Have Less Than 5 Employees So This Doesn't Apply to Us Does It? Yes, this does apply to you, having less than 5 employees means that you do not need the same formal procedures and record keeping requirements of bigger organisations, but you are still required to meet the same health & safety standards.
What Happens If I Don't Have a Legionella Risk Assessment? Very simply you can be fined, prosecuted and even imprisoned. If you are regulated by the CQC, BMA or Ofsted you can be put into special measures and even shut down. Not having a Legionella Risk Assessment in place could be seen by the courts as a health & safety breach which could result in fines starting at £10,000 and could run into the millions under new sentencing guidelines.
We Are Run by Volunteers, A Sports Club, A Charity, Do We Need a Risk Assessment? Yes, there are no exemptions. All organisations must consider health & safety.
Can We Do Our Own Risk Assessment? Yes, you can, but you must be competent to do so. If you carry out your own Legionella Risk Assessment and it is not carried out in a competent manner, then you may breach health & safety law.