More about Legionella

cover page of legionella bookletLegionella booklet v2

Since 2001 legislation has been in place that Landlords (irrespective of the size or complexity of the water system) must manage and control the risk of exposure to their tenants to Legionella.  However, in November 2013 the Health & Safety Executive revised its Approved Code of Practice to confirm that a Legionella Risk Assessment should be carried out as part of this management and control and that requirement now had legal status.  It is important to note that the actual Legislation has not been changed.

A Legionella Risk Assessment should include:

  • Management responsibilities
  • Potential sources of risk
  • Any controls in place to control risk
  • Monitoring, inspection & maintenance procedures
  • Records of the monitoring results, inspections & checks carried out
  • Arrangement to review the assessment periodically

Type of Water Heating System

Most rented premises will be low risk but as it is a potentially fatal pneumonia type disease it is important that you check out your premises.  A Legionella Risk Assessment must be carried out irrespective of the type of water heating system present although this is a factor considered in the overall risk level of the property.

When to Carry Out a Legionella Risk Assesment

A major factor in any Risk Assessment will be the occupants of the property and how they use the water system, therefore we recommend that a Risk Assessment is carried out with the tenants in situ rather than on a vacant property. High risk tenants are those over the age of 45, smokers, heavy drinkers, those with an already weakened immune system or with respiratory problems.

The frequency of when a Risk Assessment should be updated is property specific, however, a low risk property with no change in occupation/use would be approximately every 2-3 years.  It is a requirement that during this time the assessment is reviewed periodically as it should be treated as a working document.

Information for Tenants

Along with the Legionella Risk Assessment and implementing the appropriate control measure you will also need to provide information to your tenants to assist them with minimising their risk of exposure but to also ensure they do not make any changes to the water system which could have a detrimental effect

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