When proper measures are taken to monitor and control Legionella bacteria, outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease should not occur. However, 2015 saw 15 cases of the disease reported from various locations around the world. To date, five have been reported in 2016.Read more: Legionnaires’ Disease Outbreaks in 2015 - 2016
Manslaughter Charges to be Levelled Against DIY Warehouse After Three Die from Legionnaires’ Disease
A DIY warehouse at the centre of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2012 is to be charged with manslaughter, it has been decided. A total of 21 people fell ill after visiting the warehouse, three of whom died. The warehouse, based in Stoke-on-Trent, had hot tubs on display that had not been properly cleaned or treated.Read more: Manslaughter Charges to be Levelled Against DIY Warehouse After Three Die from Legionnaires’ Disease
If you are responsible for monitoring, managing and controlling the presence of Legionella at your business or place of work, it is vital to make sure you have the right training, sufficient budget and compliance tools at your disposal. This will ensure the Legionella testing, monitoring and compliance tasks you must perform are as efficient and effective as possible.Read more: Legionella Testing, Monitoring and Compliance Tools
In cases where an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease has occurred, it is very often traced back to a facility or location where insufficient work has been done to manage the risks posed by Legionella bacteria. In the UK every business must be sure the risks are identified and managed in accordance with legislation which includes the Health & Safety Executives ACOP L8. As such, there should be an appointed duty holder and responsible person who is responsible for assessing, identifying and managing the risks associated with Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease in the workplace.Read more: City & Guilds Online Legionella Training Courses
A biofilm may sound like something you buy, perhaps to help in experiments with bacterial growth, but in reality the truth is somewhat different. A biofilm consists of a layer of microorganisms that adhere to one another. Together they form a protective layer that encapsulates colonies of bacteria inside the outer shell. Biofilms typically attach to hard surfaces and can be very difficult to remove once in place.Read more: What Are Biofilms?
For landlords and business owners, there is a requirement to assess whether or not any risks are present in relation to Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease from their water systems. In some cases, the risks may be minimal and no steps may need to be taken to deal with them. However, even if this is the case, a Legionella risk assessment should always be undertaken. Proper records should also be kept to prove what has been done and how the situation is being managed – and all this is usually recorded in a Legionella log book.Read more: Legionella Log Book: Managing the Risks from Legionella Bacteria
Are letting agents getting it wrong regarding landlords’ Legionella responsibilities? It would seem so, according to a report issued on the UK’s Health & Safety Executive website. It would appear that some letting agents and property management consultants assume far more must be done in this sector than is actually required by law.Read more: Landlords Legionella Responsibilities: Are Letting Agents Getting It Wrong?
If an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever is suspected, it is of paramount importance to obtain a definitive diagnosis in all those who may have fallen ill. To do this there are a number of preferred tests that are used to assist in the identification and diagnosis and these include the urinary antigen test, but also obtaining cultures, usually from the patients mucus to determine if Legionella bacteria is present.Read more: Diagnostic Testing for Legionnaires’ Disease and Pontiac Fever
Do you have responsibility for the control of a particular building or facility, either as a manager, an employer, property owner or a landlord? If you do then the UK’s Health & Safety Executive will often refer to you as the duty holder, and you may well have a legal duty to identify and manage any risks that are associated with Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease at that facility.Read more: Legionnaires’ Disease: Guide for Dutyholders
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