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Take responsibility and carry out a Legionella risk assessment

25-01-2013

As an employer it is your job to ensure that you provide shower heada safe working environment. After all, the wellbeing of your employees and the general public is in your hands when they are situated on, or near, your work site. Therefore there is a vast array of different assessments and safety precautions that need to be taken.

One important area of health and safety which you need to carry out is a Legionella risk assessment. Legionella is a type of bacteria which relates to Legionellosis, a pneumonia-like illness. This is something which has the capacity to be extremely harmful and damaging to an individual, and thus it is of the utmost importance that you make sure your work space is Legionella free.

So how does an individual catch Legionellosis? This infection is something which is contracted via breathing in minute droplets of water which have been contaminated by bacteria. Therefore, when carrying out your Legionella risk assessment you will be primarily concerned with water systems, meaning that some businesses are more susceptible to this risk than others, e.g. spas. Nevertheless, almost every company utilises water, and therefore this is a pivotal health and safety area which needs to be paid attention to by every owner. In fact, the law states that any company whereby individuals can be exposed to water must carry out this assessment.

It is recommended that you seek a professional company to carry out your Legionella risk assessment. After all, this is not something where corners can be cut, and if the assessment is not carried out properly then you can find yourself at serious risk. A top quality company will ensure that they identify any problem areas and that controls are put into place in order to guarantee that the potential problem never actually comes to light.

There are a whole host of products and facilities which can be the source of Legionella. To give you further insight, the following systems are just a mere handful of some - spa pools, indoor fountains, cooling towers and humidifiers. The company in question will evaluate every single aspect of your business which spreads breathable water droplets, utilises warm water, stores water, and circulates water and much more.

Once the company has identified any risks you may have they will then take the effective measures in order to ensure that everything is kept under control. They will continue to monitor this and will set review dates with you for the future to ensure that nothing is left unmanaged. After all, if regular checks are not taken then Legionella might form and that could be a big problem.

All in all, as an employer it is your duty to ensure that your staff and the public are kept safe at all times. By exposing them to Legionella you are doing the opposite and thus you need to carry out a Legionella risk assessment to make sure that this never happens. Moreover, make sure you find a professional company for the job to guarantee a thorough assessment and solution process.

If you decide to employ contractors to carry out water treatment or other work, it is still the responsibility of the competent person to ensure that the treatment is carried out to the required standards. Remember, before you employ a contractor, you should be satisfied that they can do the work you want to the standard that you require. There are a number of external schemes to help you with this, for example, a Code of Conduct for service providers.

The British Standards Institute have published a standard for Legionella risk assessment.

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