Guide to BS 8580 Water Quality Risk Assessments for Legionella

BS 8580: Risk Assessments for LegionellaIf you are a duty holder or the appointed responsible person dealing with the control of Legionnaires’ disease in the workplace, and in particular risk assessments for the control of legionella bacteria, you need to be aware of the British Standard BS 8580. This document is an important code of practice titled ‘Water Quality – Risk Assessments for Legionella Control’ and deals with many of the quality issues that surround the implementation and delivery of legionella risk assessments.

About BS 8580 - Risk Assessments for Legionella

BS 8580 was published in 2010 and provides a guide to risk assessments performed with the intention to identify and manage risks associated with this bacterium.

The guide is broken into a number of useful sections, with the introduction covering several important aspects associated with the legionella risk assessment process. These include technical terms used in the code of practice, and things that must be considered while undertaking a risk assessment for Legionnaires’ disease. Issues around the actual site survey are also covered, as is reporting on what is found.

Annexes included in BS 8580 for water quality

The annexes provided in BS8580 form a very useful part of the code of practice and offer a step-by-step guide to how different facilities and engineered water systems should be approached when conducting a legionella risk assessment. For example, if you are responsible for risk-assessing a spa pool or a hot and cold water system, you can turn to the appropriate section to get clear information and guidance needed to complete the task in line with the standard. This helps to ensure the risk assessment is performed properly and identifies sources of risk.

BS8580 also contains examples of water systems that may be tested for Legionella bacteria, so there is a lot of information available to assist the duty holder, responsible person and risk assessor.

What is the legionella duty holder responsible for?

Anyone who takes on the role of the duty holder must ensure proper legionella risk assessments of their buildings or facilities are conducted at appropriate times – this frequency is based on a number of factors including the risks associated with Legionnaires’ disease at the facility.

It is important to recognise that it is not enough simply to conduct a risk assessment for legionella bacteria and then do nothing else. As the duty holder you must also ensure enough is done to manage and control the risks presented by Legionella bacteria, and that the control and management processes you implement conform to the guidance and legionella control regulations in force today.

Can an outside company conduct the legionella risk assessment?

Yes, and oftentimes businesses do rely on experts such as Legionella Control International to undertake the legionella risk assessments for them. The duty holder or responsible person would usually find an experienced and qualified company specialising in legionella risk assessments to take on this role at required intervals. The company should typically be experienced in delivering this type of work, be able to offer independent, unbiased advice; be a current member of the Legionella Control Association and recognised by them to perform legionella risk assessments; they also need to be fully familiar with the guidance outlined in BS 8580, so the standards are always met or exceeded.

Ensuring water quality, getting the right advice

It is often easier and more beneficial to enlist the services of an expert company like Legionella Control International who knows the guidance, rules and current regulations inside out, and can identify the most effective approach for each business to take so they can manage their legionella risks effectively. Of course, it is still the duty holder’s responsibility to ensure the job is done correctly and that the legionella risk assessment is carried out and all the necessary risk management processes implemented to ensure compliance with current standards and procedures as recognised by the law.

Expert legionella risk management support

To find out more about our specialist legionella risk management services including BS 8580 compliant legionella risk assessment, City & Guilds training, UKAS legionella testing, and other risk management support services please contact us on 0161 877 0586 (Manchester) or 0203 637 47 48 (London).

London Office
Kemp House
152 City Road
London EC1V 2NX
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 203 637 47 48

Manchester Office
Unit B Badex Building
Westbrook Park
Manchester M17 1AY
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 161 877 0586

Further reading

For additional information about BS 8580 “Water quality. Risk assessments for Legionella control. Code of practice” … here

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