Legionella Risk Assessments

A Legionella risk assessment is a crucial step in identifying and controlling the risks of Legionnaire’s disease, a severe form of pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila. The assessment is used to evaluate the potential sources of Legionella growth and spread in a building or facility, and to develop and implement control measures to prevent or minimize the risk of exposure to the bacteria.

Legionella risk assessments are legally required by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) under the Approved Code of Practice L8, which sets out the legal requirements for controlling legionella in water systems. The HSE states that the person(s) with control of the premises are responsible for ensuring that a Legionella risk assessment is carried out and that appropriate control measures are in place. This includes employers, landlords, building owners, and facility managers.

A Legionella risk assessment typically includes the following steps:

– Identifying and evaluating the potential sources of Legionella growth and spread within the building or facility, such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems, spa pools, and decorative fountains.

– Identifying and assessing the groups of people at risk of exposure to Legionella, such as employees, visitors, and residents.

– Evaluating the existing control measures in place and identifying any gaps or deficiencies.

– Developing a plan for controlling and monitoring the risks of Legionella, including measures such as regular testing and monitoring of the water supply, cleaning and disinfecting of the water systems, and implementing appropriate water treatment methods.

– Regularly reviewing and updating the risk assessment to ensure that it remains effective in controlling the risks of Legionella.

It is also worth noting that British Standards BS 8580-1:2019 gives guidelines for the risk assessment, management and control of legionella in water systems, It is advisable to follow the standard for best practice.

By carrying out a Legionella risk assessment and implementing appropriate control measures, building and facility managers can help to ensure that their premises are safe and compliant with legal requirements, while also protecting the health of employees, visitors, and residents.

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