An Introduction to Legionella Control
Legionellosis is the collective term for diseases caused by the legionella bacteria, which includes Legionnaires’ disease. Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems; however, outbreaks of the disease occur from exposure to legionella growing in purpose-built systems, where water is maintained at a warm enough temperature to encourage bacterial growth.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
Duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA) extend to risks from legionella bacteria, which may arise from work activities. While the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provide a framework of actions designed to assess, prevent or control the risk from bacteria like Legionella. The Approved Code of Practice: Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8), contains practical information on how best to manage and control potential risks in your water system. The revised addition of the Approved Code of Practice L8 has an additional three section guidance document HSG 274 covering the following areas:
- HSG 274 Part 1: The control of legionella bacteria in evaporative cooling systems.
- HSG 274 Part 2: The control of legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems.
- HSG 274 Part 3: The control of legionella bacteria in other risk systems.
Managing Risks in the Workplace
The person responsible for managing risks in your workplace must understand your water systems, the equipment associated with the system parts and be able 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
Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility and Clearwater Technology can help you to do this by monitoring.
- the water temperature in the system
- if there are signs of rust, sludge, scale, organic matter or biofilms
- if the conditions are likely to encourage bacteria to multiply
- if it’s possible for water droplets to be produced and, if so, whether they can be dispersed over a wide area
Under the Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992, you need to inform your local authority if you have a cooling tower or an evaporative condenser on site. Additionally, under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR), you must also report any cases of Legionellosis in an employee who has worked on cooling towers or a hot or cold water system.
Contact Clearwater Technology today on 08000 937 936.