Legionnaires' disease is a serious form of pneumonia which can be fatal. The legionella bacteria which causes the disease is commonly found in water sources.
Health and Safety legislation places a duty on all employers to ensure the health and safety of their employees, and also others who may be affected by their undertaking. More specifically, the approved Code of Practice 'L8: Legionnaires' Disease - The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems' requires actions to control the risks from legionella. You can purchase or download this for free at the Health and Safety Executive Books website
The Code of Practice applies to all premises where water is used or stored and where there is a means of creating and transmitting water droplets which may be inhaled, such as in showers, taps and toilets etc.
As an employer or person having control of the business you must:
- Carry out a written risk assessment of the hot and cold water systems in your premises to identify and assess the risks
- Prepare a written scheme for preventing/controlling the risk which identifies the measures to be taken to control the risk
- Implement and manage the scheme, and appoint a person to be managerially responsible
- Keep records and check that what you are doing is effective
If you have any cooling towers or evaporative condensers at your premises you must notify the Health and Safety Team. See Cooling Tower Notification
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