L8 Legionella Risk Assessment Services

Do I Need To Carry Out A Risk Assessment for Legionella?

Do you really need to carry out a legionella risk assessment at your premises or place of work and how often do you need one?

Is it a legal requirement to carry out a legionella risk assessment regularly, and record any control measures taken?

Well, an important question to answer first is does your business operate any type of water system?

This can include a simple hot and cold water system supplying taps and toilets, a shower. Any business that falls under The Health & Safety Act 1974 does require a legionella risk assessment. Legionella is a potentially fatal disease and employers have legal responsibilities that must be fulfilled.

Water features that can create a water spray or splash creating fine water drops, or specialised equipment such as:-

  • Cooling tower for comfort cooling or cooling a manufacturing process
  • Wet air purification/filtration
  • Fume scrubbers
  • Safety showers/eye washes
  • Other water cooling processes that create an aerosol.

If your business does operate any kind of water system, then it is especially important to understand and recognise the potential that exists for Legionella bacteria to multiply and spread through such a system to create a risk to people.

Business owners, company directors and landlords
As a business owner, company director or landlord, under the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act you have a legal duty to make sure any engineered water system that is part of your business is safe from legionella at all times.

Additionally, if you employ five or more people in your business then you will need to formally record details of any risk assessments and precautionary measures you put in place to manage the risk. We also advise at least one member of staff complete legionella awareness training .

Hospitals and healthcare organisations
Hospitals and healthcare settings naturally include people who are at greater risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease.

The elderly, the infirm, and those with ongoing and complex medical conditions are more likely to develop the condition if exposed to higher levels of Legionella bacteria.

Hospitals, care homes, and other similar buildings are also more likely to have large, complex hot and cold water systems.

These may carry greater risks such as disused piping and equipment, storage tanks in multiple locations, and taps and showers that are not often used.

A risk assessment should highlight all potential danger areas and list steps for combating them and minimising the risk levels.

The first requirement regardless of what type of building according to health and safety legislation is to perform a legionella risk assessment.

This assessment must be carried out by someone who is competent to perform the task who will identify any risks that may be present and recommend what should be done.

Legionella risk assessments should meet the requirements of the HSE’s ACoP L8, and British standards BS 8580-1:2019.

According to the Health & Safety Executives ACOP L8 that is currently in place in the UK dealing with risk assessments for Legionella bacteria, the person performing the assessment “must be competent to do so”. Total Water Compliance will provide a Legionella risk assessor who is not only qualified to City and Guilds but is knowledgeable and experienced with the systems being assessed.

All Total Water Compliance Risk Assessments are proofread, and quality checked against the standards and BS 8580-1 2019. We also provide legionella testing services .

What Does A Legionella Risk Assessment Involve?

Firstly a surveyor will attend the site building to carry out the survey
Legionella Risk Assessment in-depth survey and assessment involves: -
  • A full audit of management structure to all involved in managing the risk and responsibilities associated with legionella
  • Checking training records of all those involved in the management of the risk
  • Categorise those who are more at risk from legionella
  • A detailed inspection of each room/location in your building
  • Trace of all pipe work configurations and water sources where possible, including redundant pipework
  • Review as fitted drawings/schematics to existing water system configuration
  • Photograph all the site assets and risks identified
  • Water temperature profiling across the site/building against guidance and legislation
  • Asset collection and identification of all water assets throughout the building
  • Check of water system design and installation and materials used comply with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and WRAS (Water Regulations Advisory Scheme)
  • Where water treatment is used to control legionella via chemical and biocides that they are applied correctly and have valid efficacy against Legionella and waterborne pathogens

Following the site/building survey, the risk assessment document is created and both a hard copy and electronic copy is provided. The finished documents will provide you with everything you need to manage your sites legionella management risks and draw up a valid written control scheme, in compliance with health and safety law, which includes: -

  • An executive summary of findings
  • Full report with temperature profile mapping
  • Photographs of condition and types of assets
  • Photographs of problematic areas or pipework that requires remedial works
  • Concise remedial actions section
  • Complete asset register of all components
  • Building diagrammatic schematics
  • The sites overall risk rating

Objectives for a Legionella Risk Assessment

The objective of this is to ensure compliance with ACoP L8 (Fourth edition) and HSG274 as part of which the following shall be performed:-

a) Identification and assessment of source of risk

b) Preparation of a written scheme for preventing, minimising and controlling the risk

Once completed, the Risk assessment requires reviewing regularly and, in any case, whenever there is reason to believe that the original assessment may no longer be valid.

This assessment is carried out as part of the total “Management Systems Controls” package for the Site/Group and should not be carried out just to comply. By this, it is meant that a Risk Assessment should be carried out in order to allow the Site Management to qualify or instigate any remedial or on-going works, and in order to provide the responsible person with the necessary site information for setting up all action plans.

All recommendations made in the Risk Assessment must be made with the specific requirements of the Site and must take into consideration manpower and budgeting considerations. The Report, together with the associated works specifications/procedures, contingency measures, Management Responsibilities and Site Logbooks, must be included in the Management and Procedures Manual.

Reviewing your legionella risk assessment

You should review your legionella risk assessment at least annually as a minimum.

More complex water systems and higher risk situations that have been assessed should be re-assessed far more often, i.e. every three months if cooling towers or other complex systems are involved.

Even a straightforward risk assessment of a simple water system should be reviewed if any change occurs to any part of that system.

How often should a legionella risk assessment be carried out?

The risk assessment should be considered a living document and used to guide the risk management process.

We recommend all businesses review their assessments at least annually to see if they are still valid to system configuration and building occupancy, if they are not then a new risk assessment will need to be carried out.

The frequency should be increased if there are changes to key staff, if changes are made to the water systems, if the water treatment programme fails, or if increased levels of bacteria are found.

Record keeping is important when assessing legionella risk in the workplace.

UK law states all businesses with five or more employees must keep written records, and these should cover:
  • All legionella risk assessments and reports
  • Any and all actions taken to manage and control the risks
If you have fewer than five employees, we will still advise you to keep all records and assessments. They provide evidence of all control measures taken and a useful document to refer to in future.


All of our engineers are equipped with the latest in tablet technology meaning we not only leave hard copies of all paperwork on site but simultaneously send these documents to your email and e-logbook for ease of reference.

To arrange a no obligation quote or to arrange your Legionella Risk Assessment
Contact us HERE
Or call us on 0800 6102267

In the UK, the following legislation covers your legal duties for conducting a legionella risk assessment:

The latest, fourth edition of the HSE’s ACOP L8 can be ordered direct from the HSE website if you require a hard copy, or downloaded from our website here… Our assessments are performed by experienced specialists in accordance with this legislation. We also adhere to the following codes of practice and guidance documents (where applicable):
 

Address

Total Water Compliance
Cumberland House,
Grosvenor Square,
Southampton,
SO15 2BG

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