If you manage, run or own a Bed & Breakfast, Guesthouse, Hotel, Hostel, or any similar type of property then you have a legal obligation to have a Legionella Risk Assessment carried out and regularly reviewed as well as other control & prevention measures. The very nature of the hospitality industry means that you are opening your property to people of all ages and health conditions which in turn increases the risk of one of your guests being affected by Legionella.
A Norfolk Hotel fined £50,000 by Magistrates Court for not managing their water temperatures correctly - May 2018
Legionella is potentially fatal, and as an owner or manager of a guesthouse you have health & safety obligation to your guests, employees and anyone else effected by your undertaking. By carrying out the correct Legionella control & prevention measures you could even improve your AA star rating, section 2.1 of the "AA Hotel Quality Standards" is for safety, maintenance & cleanliness. Carried out correctly Legionella Risk Assessments and Legionella Control & Prevention deal with many of the points raised in the guidance particularly for Maintenance and Cleanliness.
Colchester Hotel prosecuted in Chelmsford Magistrates for Health & Safety failures including Legionella - March 2018
The Health & Safety Executive have issued an Approved Code of Practice for the Control of Legionella Bacteria commonly called ACOP L8, this is in effect a legal document. The ACOP L8 gives guidance on how to comply with the law in relation to Legionella. Failures to meet the requirements of the ACOP L8 can lead to substantial fines, prosecution and even imprisonment.
What Do I Need To Do?
The first step is to have a Legionella Risk Assessment be carried out. The ACOP L8 explains in some detail that those who carry out risk assessments need to be "Technically Competent". If your risk assessment is not caried out correctly you can put lives at risk as well as waste money. The risk assessment defines what Legionella Testing, Control & Prevention work may be required. If the risk assessment is not carried out correctly then it is reasonable to assume that the work the assessment recommends may also be incorrect and ineffective.
It is for the Duty Holder to assess and decide who is competent to carry out tasks and that includes the hiring of specialist contractors. If the risk assessment and resulting control and prevention tasks are not carried out competely you may put lives at risk. Carrying out the wrong control & prevention tasks can also be costly.
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