LEGIONELLA RISK ASSESSMENTS
Public and Private organisations such as NHS estates, local authorities, MOD and commercial building owners are required to properly manage the health risks inherent in water usage and address the issue of preventing pathogen contamination. Under general Health and Safety law, Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) L8, you must consider the risks from Legionella that could affect your employees or members of the public, and take suitable precautions.
Why use Sci-Tech for your LRA?
Unlike many other ACOP L8 legionella risk assessment providers, we believe that a risk assessment report should be simple and to the point. There is no value in an unnecessarily long and wordy document, so your risk assessment report will be comprehensive yet concise, focusing on what you need to know. It can be used as an effective management tool to reduce risk and monitor improvement.
Our risk assessment system complies with the requirements of the recently introduced British Standard BS 8580 Water quality – Guide to risk assessments for Legionella Control.
Our risk assessors are highly experienced and use a unique risk matrix scoring system to help identify those factors which increase risk, so you can see at a glance where you need to prioritise your remedial actions and what you have to do to comply with the regulations.
Why and where are Risk Assessments for Legionella needed?
The ACOP L8 regulations indicate that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is the first step in Legionnaires’ Disease prevention. The objective is to identify all water systems where legionella bacteria could potentially grow and assess the risk of people being exposed to contaminated aerosols from them. All water systems need to be included in the legionella risk assessment, but particular attention needs to be paid to:
Hot & cold water systems
Cooling water systems, cooling towers and evaporative condensers
Spray humidifiers, misters, air washers and wet scrubbers
Safety showers, sprinklers, vehicle wash systems
Fountains and water features
Any other system containing water in which Legionella could grow and be released in aerosol droplets
Who needs an ACOP L8 Legionella Risk Assessment and can I do it myself?
The ACOP L8 regulations say that if you are an employer, or control premises or water systems in connection with work, then you need to carry out a legionnaires risk assessment of each of your water systems. The assessment must be carried out by trained personnel who are competent to do so. Despite what some people might tell you, you can do it yourself, provided you know what you are doing and, if you are responsible for a number of simple water systems, this may be a cost-effective approach. We can provide bespoke training and document systems to enable you to do your own risk assessment for legionella and develop you own legionella disease control measures.
Obviously, if your water systems are more complex, we would recommend that you get expert help and Sci-Tech water Treatment can carry out a comprehensive risk assessment for legionella on your behalf.
How often do I need to do a Risk Assessment?
The ACOP L8 regulations say that the Legionnaires’ risk assessment should be reviewed regularly and specifically whenever there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid. The guidance used to say that a legionella risk assessment should be reviewed at least every 2 years but now it says the risk assessment should be a living document which must be regularly reviewed to ensure it remains up to date. In practice this still means that, although L8 no longer puts a time-frame to it, the risk assessment should be reviewed at least every 2 years and any time there is a significant change such as if you have added to or modified your water systems, the use of the water system has changed, key personnel have changed or your legionella control measures are no longer working.
For a simple system the risk assessment review may be fairly straight forward, but for more complex systems it is best to carry out a full legionnaires risk assessment from scratch.
What else do I need?
Legionella L8 risk assessments are only the first step in legionnaires disease prevention. In addition, the statutory duty holder also has to:
Prepare a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk
Implement and manage precautions
Keep records of precautions implemented
Appoint a person to be responsible
Landlord Legionella Risk Assessments
Often overlooked, it is actually a requirement for landlords to have a legionella risk assessment on their property to ensure risks are highlighted and remedial actions taken to ensure tenants are protected. While this is a requirement, landlords of single dwellings can perform this assessment themselves so long as they have the right awareness training. One thing landlords do not need to do is perform Legionella water analysis, merely ensure risk is managed.
If you own single dwellings which are let to the public then performing a risk assessment isn’t a difficult task, to teach landlords to perform these assessments themselves we have put together a package which includes a video course and supporting materials, we also include a Pro-Forma to fill out to perform the assessment. For landlords in charge of larger complexes such as blocks of apartments then an assessment by a trained assessor will be required.