Legionella Responsible Person - Job Description & Training Needs

In a legionella control context the term "Responsible Person" is identified in the UK's Health & Safety Exectutive's Approved Code of Practice ACOP L8 as someone with day-to-day responsibility for controlling the risks from legionella bacteria and Legionnaires' disease in the workplace. Here we look at the role of the legionella Responsible Person and provide an outline job description and examine their legionella training needs.

Who is the Responsible Person?

The legionella Duty Holder should appoint a Responsible Person to take day-to-day responsibility for controlling legionella and Legionnaires' disease in the workplace. They should be a manager, director, or have similar status and sufficient authority, competence and knowledge of the installations under their control to ensure that all operational procedures are carried out safely, and in a timely and effective manner to protect the health and safety of people in the workplace.

The legionella Responsible Person is described as someone with day-to-day responsibility for managing and controlling all identified risks from legionella bacteria to protect the health and safety of others.

They should also have a clear understanding of their duties and the overall health and safety management structure and policy in the organisation.

Legionella Control International is regularily asked by many of its clients to provide specific help and guidance on the appointment of a legionella Responsible Person to fulfill a legionella control role and have prepared a typical "job description" that can be used as a useful guide in such instances.

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Job Title: Legionella Responsible Person

Reporting to: Duty Holder

Key Objectives

To ensure that all water systems on site are fully compliant with all aspects of current health and safety and legionella specific legislation and guidance including:

    • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
    • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)
    • Health & Safety Executive: Approved Code of Practice ACOP L8 "Legionnaires' disease. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems"
    • Health & Safety Executive: HSG274: Technical guidance Part 1: Evaporative cooling systems
    • Health & Safety Executive: HSG274: Technical guidance Part 2: Hot and cold water systems
    • Health & Safety Executive: HSG274: Technical guidance Part 3: Other risk systems
    • Department of Health: Health Technical Memorandum HTM 04-01: Safe water in healthcare premises (where applicable)
    • The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992 (where applicable)

Secondary Objectives

To ensure effective communication at all times with the "Duty Holder" regarding all aspects of the legionella risk management programme.

To ensure effective communication and management of all staff involved in the legionella risk management programme, thus effecting full execution of all legionella risk assessments and written schemes of precautions necessary to minimise the risk of legionella proliferation in the areas under their control.

To recruit and ensure that all staff have the correct levels of competence and training suitable for their appointed roles in the risk management programme.

To select and appoint service providers, if appropriate, who have the correct level of training, skills and competence to be able to undertake the roles contracted to them.

The "Responsible Person" should have a detailed understanding of the appointed service provider’s commitments as detailed in the Legionella Control Associations code of practice.

Accountability

The "Responsible Person" reports to the "Duty Holder".

They should have sufficient authority, competence and knowledge of the installations under their control to ensure that all operational procedures are carried out in a timely and effective manner.

Additionally, they should also have a thorough understanding of their duties and the overall health and safety management of the facility, its policies and organisational structure.

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Responsible Person Training

The duty holder should ensure that the Responsible Person has suitable and sufficient information, instruction and training to perform their duties. This includes information, instruction and training on the significant findings of the legionella risk assessment and the appropriate precautions and actions they need to take to safeguard themselves and others.

This should be reviewed and updated whenever significant changes are made to the type of work carried out or methods used, and if there are significant changes in staffing.

Training is an essential element of an employee’s capability to carry out work safely, but it is not the only factor: instructions, experience, knowledge and other personal qualities are also relevant to perform a task safely.

Expert Legionella Support

For further information and expert assistance regarding legionella risk management, risk assessment, training and compliance issues please call +44 (0) 161 877 0586 to speak to one of our specialist advisors or send your questions to us here contact us.

Download the HSE's ACOP L8

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 here...

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Westbrook Park
Manchester M17 1AY
United Kingdom

Manchester: +44 (0) 161 877 05 86
London: +44 (0) 203 637 47 48
Email: info@legionellacontrol.com

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