The Health and Safety Executive under the ACoP L8 directive and COSHH regulations clearly lays out the principles regulating the risk assessment of Legionella. The document that is entitled Legionnaires Disease details the control of Legionella bacteria in water systems and advice on project Legionella risk assessment. Low amounts of Legionella bacteria are typically found in many organic sources of water, like rivers, streams, dams etc but not in sufficient levels to pose any threat. In air conditioning and central heating systems, in a great deal of contemporary buildings, the requirements for breeding Legionella are often more likely. This allied to showerheads, whirlpools or garden sprinklers, which may make perfect methods of spreading the Legionella bacteria. Legionella risk Assessment is vital whether your organization is big or small but even more so with such areas as leisure centres, educational institutions, hotels and especially nursing homes, hospital and senior care centers as they are a particularly vulnerable group.
It is Important to Identify and evaluate the risk of disease and exposure to Legionella from daily work patterns and also to make sure that precautionary methods taken with any assumptions storage and water systems. The Individual responsible For assumptions should have access to a skilled person to assist where necessary with the Legionella Risk Assessment. Employers must keep staff or their representatives informed of the arrangements regarding the assessment. Where the risk is Slight or insignificant no additional assessment may be required. However, should circumstances change then a review of this situation might be necessary. There should also be Regular evaluations to confirm that the initial risk assessments mandate remains applicable. Reasons which may trigger the need for a new Legionella risk assessment include the modifications to the water system, change of building use, new threat information, cases of Legionnaires disease, adverse management outcomes.
The assessment should Check for the existence of the Legionella bacteria, check if the conditions are beneficial for bacterial multiplication like temperature, nutrients etc. There should be a check on whether the capacity to disperse the bacteria is present like a cooling tower or shower components. An assessment also has to take into consideration the amount of vulnerable people likely to be within any assumptions. Checks should also Take into consideration the source of water supply, storage facilities inside the Assumptions and daily operating practices.