At Swiftclean, we understand the potential dangers of Legionella and why it is so important that businesses and landlords comply with the necessary Legionella control regulations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
We help companies when carrying out in depth Legionella risk assessments by identifying key areas for improvement to ensure their compliance with current Legionella control regulations. This process ensures that vital practices and effective protocols are put into place to control the risk and monitor conditions within the water system.
What Is Legionella?
Legionella is a hazardous bacterium which can be found in natural water sources such as rivers, lakes and ponds. Legionella can also be found in manmade water systems and become hazardous to human health.
The bacteria itself requires 3 things within a water system for it to thrive:
Below 20°C Legionella will remain dormant, it is still present but is not able to grow or spread. Temperatures above 50°C will kill the bacteria completely within about 2 hours. Temperatures above 60°C will kill the bacteria completely within about 2 minutes.
As all living things require a source of food or nutrients in order to thrive, so does Legionella. It relies on materials such as scale, rust, sludge and Biofilms (collectives of microorganisms) to support its growth.
Infrequently used outlets or areas of redundant pipework can create the perfect environment for Legionella by supporting loss of temperature , settlement of particulates in the water system such as scale, rust and sludge as well as Biofilms (collectives of microorganisms).
What Is Legionnaires Disease?
Legionella can be dormant in the water system without causing any harm, but when the contaminated water is aerosolised into a spray through things such as Cooling Towers, Showers, Spa Pools or Hosepipes then it can be inhaled and cause ‘Legionnaires Disease’.
A potentially fatal type of pneumonia, Legionnaires disease is frequently misdiagnosed due to the earlier symptoms often presenting similar to that of flu or a cold. There are people that can be more susceptible to the disease including:
- People over 45 years old
- Those with chronic respiratory or kidney disease
- Heavy smokers and drinkers
- People with lung disease, heart disease and diabetes
- Individuals with compromised immune systems
Treatment with antibiotics is required as soon as possible in order to provide the best chance of a positive outcome as Legionnaires disease is fatal in around 12% of cases.
What Is a Legionella Risk Assessment?
A Legionella risk assessment is used to help identify potential risk factors within buildings, premises and facilities. The findings are then used to pinpoint what interventions are required and the protocols and systems that need putting in place in order to establish robust Legionella risk controls.
Is a Legionella Risk Assessment a Legal Requirement?
Under UK Health and Safety law – landlords, business owners, employers and property managers are legally required to assess, mitigate and consider the risk of Legionella within their business or property.
What Does a Legionella Risk Assessment Entail?
A Legionella risk assessment is the first step to help ensure a Legionella compliant property for its occupants and for those responsible to prove they have taken the necessary steps needed to keep people safe.
At Swiftclean our Legionella Risk Assessments include:
- Introduction and background information on Legionella
- Site details
- Legionella Management Documentation audit
- Condition survey reports of domestic water plant
- Temperature profiling
- Photographic evidence
- Asset register
- Identification of risks – this includes but is not limited to, dead leg pipework (if visually observed on exposed pipework) and little used outlets
- Recommendations for future legionella control and management
- Basic schematic of plant and distribution
Once completed we advise that all assessment reports are kept up to date and are reviewed regularly.