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.
Abbey College in Malvern in Worcestershire rated “Inadequate”
partly due to Legionella failings – Nov 2017
Legionella is potentially fatal, and one of the most susceptible groups of people are those that you would generally find in the school environment. As a governor, site manager, head teacher or employer you have a legal obligation to your pupils, employees and anyone else effected by your undertaking which includes visitors. Paragraph 17 of Ofsted's Common Inspection Framework (CIF) says that inspectors will "take prompt and appropriate action on any safeguarding or health and safety issues". Paragraph 18 notes that providers must "ensure the good health and safety of inspectors while on their premises".
The Governance Handbook states on page 59 that the health and safety of pupils is a statutory duty of governors. The handbook also stated that children’s health, safety and wellbeing are greatly enhanced by the vigilant and consistent implementation of robust policies and procedures.
Mason Moor Primary School in Southampton closed
after legionella bacteria discovered – Jan 2014
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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