Legionella Control & Prevention measures are just as important as the risk assessment and testing if not even more so. The HSE's ACOP L8 gives guidance on effective control and prevention measures. Failure to establish, maintain and record the measures undertaken can result in substantial fines, prosecution and even imprisonment.
In June 2018 BUPA was fined £3,000,000 plus costs of £151,482 by Ipswich Crown Court after Legionella failures led to the death of a resident. The investigation found that for more than a year, during which time major refurbishment works were carried out, BUPA Care Homes (BNH) Ltd failed to implement the necessary control and monitoring measures required to safely manage their hot and cold water system.
It also found those responsible for overseeing legionella controls and for taking crucial water temperature measurements had not been trained to the required standard. Summing up her findings, after hearing evidence throughout the sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge Emma Peters described that there were failings across the board from the care home operator and contractors. In particular, she cited the lack of training and understanding regarding the control of legionella among the line manager and staff. She also noted that problems controlling the bacteria had been brought up as early as 2012 and recommended steps had not been taken to correct these mistakes.
In September 2016 G4S was fined £1,800,000 (reduced from £2,7000,000) plus costs of £34,000 by Chelmsford Crown Court after an inspection by Environmental Health Officers. The inspection was carried out after an employee contracted Legionnaires Disease. The outbreak was not linked to the workplace, but the inspection found failures in Legionella Control & Prevention which put employees and the public at risk.
What Measure Do You Need
The control and prevention measures that you need to put in place should be detailed in any risk assessment. The required measures will vary from site to site and need to be carried out by someone who is technically competent. Whilst measures may vary there are common tasks that should be in place for every site such as flushing infrequently used outlets, regular temperature monitoring, cleaning and descale of spray outlets as well as regular servicing of water heaters, cooling towers and air conditioning systems.
Besides the common tasks listed above there are more elaborate control & prevention measures that normally only need to be regularly carried out in higher risk environments such as care homes. More elaborate tasks would include the regular cleaning & disinfection (chlorination) of cold water storage tanks as a preventative measure. In environments that are not high risk then monitoring bacterial levels to see if chlorination is required may be more appropriate.
Following a risk assessment our service team can establish what measures need to be put in place. Unlike many of our competitors we do not copy & paste extracts from the HSE's ACOP L8 and leave you to decide what you need to do. The control & prevention advice we give is specific to your site. We can also prepare your Legionella Control Scheme, carry out all or some of the required work and maintain your Legionella Logbook. Our service team are as a minimum City & Guilds qualified for Legionella so you can rest assured that the work is being carried out to the required standards.
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