Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia, contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing viable legionella bacteria. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems Approved Code of Practice L8 (ACoP L8) requires a detailed Legionella Risk Assessment to be completed. As a result, you can then plan to control and effectively manage, minimise or eliminate the risk from the bacterium. The legionella risk assessment should be reviewed periodically and following any significant changes to your water system.
The assessment process, when completed by a suitably experienced person, will identify the risks of exposure to legionella from the layout and operation of your water system. ACoP L8 includes guidance on the suitability of persons to carry out the assessment and identify control measures. They should “have such ability, experience, instruction, information, training and resources as to allow them to carry out their tasks competently and safely”.
Firstly, a legionella risk assessment carried out by ICE will identify where:
- water is stored or re-circulated as part of your system
- the water temperature is between 20–45 °C
- there are sources of nutrients
- conditions are present to encourage bacteria to multiply
- it is possible for water droplets to be produced and, if they could be dispersed over a wide area
- it is likely that any of your employees, residents, visitors etc. are more susceptible to infection and whether they could be exposed to any contaminated water droplets
Next, ICE will produce a detailed legionella risk assessment report which will include:
- management responsibilities, including the name of competent person and a description of your system;
- potential sources of risk;
- any controls in place to control risks;
- monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures;
- records of the monitoring results, inspections and checks carried out;
- prioritised remedial work requirements
- a review date.
- Schematic layout of your water system