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What’s involved in a Legionella Assessment?

As outlined in our last blog, if you are an employer, a person in control of rented or managed commercial premises, you are responsible for health and safety and need to take the right safeguards to reduce the risks of exposure to legionella.

You must understand how to:

  • identify and assess sources of risk
  • manage any risks
  • prevent or control any risks
  • keep and maintain the correct records
  • carry out any other duties you may have

Identify and assess sources of risk

Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility. You may be competent to carry out the assessment yourself but, if not, you must seek advice and support from outside sources, e.g. consultancies.

You or the person responsible for managing risks, need to understand your water systems, the equipment associated with the system such as pumps, heat exchangers, showers etc, and its constituent parts.  You will need to identify whether they are likely to create a risk from exposure to legionella, and whether:

  • the water temperature in all or some parts of the system is between 20–45 °C
  • water is stored or re-circulated as part of your system
  • there are sources of nutrients such as rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and biofilms
  • the conditions are likely to encourage bacteria to multiply
  • it is possible for water droplets to be produced and, if so, whether they can be dispersed over a wide area, e.g. showers and aerosols from cooling towers
  • it is likely that any of your employees, residents, visitors et al, are more susceptible to infection due to age, illness, a weakened immune system etc and whether they could be exposed to any contaminated water droplets

A Legionella risk assessment should always include:

  • management responsibilities, including the name of the competent person and a description of your system
  • competence and training of key personnel
  • any identified potential risk sources
  • monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures
  • records of the monitoring results and inspection and checks carried out
  • arrangements to review the risk assessment regularly, particularly when there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid

If you, or your consultancy concludes, that there is no reasonably foreseeable risk or the risks are low and are being properly managed to comply with the law, your assessment is complete. You may not need to take any further action at this stage, but any existing controls must be maintained and the assessment reviewed regularly in case anything changes in your system.

Trojan Commercial Cleaning has a robust assessment process which meets the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) framework for assessment, prevention and controlling the risk from bacteria like Legionella. Not only do we undertake the assessment for you, we provide all the required paperwork and will review this with the responsible person within your organization to ensure they understand exactly what is in the report, whether any corrective actions need to be taken and when the next assessment should take place.

Our assessments take the hassle out of Legionella assessment and are competitively priced, starting from £295 for a small business or rented property.

Call us on 01353 724559 for an informal discussion about how we can help.