Legionnaire's Disease Checklist

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Due to the little publicised change in April 2014 to the Health and Safety at Work Act 174, Landlords or the person they appoint to be in control of their residential premises such as a Managing Agent, must ensure that they take the right precautions to reduce the risks of exposure to legionella to their tenants and/or visitors to their properties.
Understand the risk
Legionnaire’s disease is similar to pneumonia and can prove fatal to people considered vulnerable, including smokers, heavy drinkers, people with a respiratory (such as asthma) or kidney disease, diabetes, lung or heart disease as well as someone with an impaired immune system. Additionally, men and people over the age of 55 are more susceptible to contracting Legionnaire’s disease.   
Identify the risk
Legionella bacteria is found in all domestic water systems and can potentially cause Legionnaires’ disease if the water system is not properly assessed, managed and controlled.
 

Under this legislation the Landlord or Person in Control of the Premises must understand how to:

  1. Identify and assess sources of risk
  2. Manage any risks
  3. Prevent or control any risks
  4. Keep and maintain the correct records
 

The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) Legionnaires’ disease
The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8) provides guidance on how to manage and control the risks in the water system. These include the completion at regular intervals of a Legionella Risk Assessment by a Competent Person to determine whether:

  1. The release of water spray is properly controlled
  2. Water temperatures and conditions that favour the growth of legionella and other micro-organisms are avoided
  3. Water can stagnate anywhere in the system and to advise upon the removal of redundant pipework
  4. Materials that encourage the growth of legionella are present at the premises
  5. The system and water within it is kept clean
  6. The growth of legionella (and other microorganisms) or their ability to grow is limited
  7. Any control measures applied are monitored
  8. Keep records of these and other actions taken, such as maintenance or repair work

The Risk Assessment is required on the entire water system, including:

  1. Cold water tanks
  2. Hot water cylinders
  3. Pipework
  4. Taps
  5. Shower systems
  6. Hot Tubs
  7. Garden hoses and sprinklers

Records should include details of the:

  1. Person or persons responsible for conducting the risk assessment, managing, and implementing the written scheme
  2. Significant findings of the risk assessment
  3. Written control scheme and details of its implementation
  4. Details of the state of operation of the system, i.e. in use/not in use
  5. Results of any monitoring inspection, test or check carried out, and the dates
 

For the purposes of this legislation a ‘competent person’ is someone with:

  1. Sufficient authority
  2. Necessary skills
  3. Knowledge of water systems and their operation
  4. Relevant experience

 


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