Should Landlords Use a Legionella Checklist When Assessing Water System Risk?
How can a legionella risk assessment checklist help landlords manage the safety of their water systems? In the UK, landlords, business owners, property and facilities managers… in fact anyone with responsibility for checking and maintaining the safety of water systems, whether it’s a domestic hot and cold system, cooling system or some other type, must ensure they deal with the risks that can be caused by the presence of legionella bacteria. Sometimes you need only perform a legionella risk assessment, which may indicate little else is required to maintain a safe system.
For simple water systems that are regularly used and well maintained there is often no need to be formally trained in this area to conduct a risk assessment, although the UK’s health and safety regulator, the Health & Safety Executive will expect you to be competent to do so. However, it is necessary to ensure every aspect is properly covered. A well-structured legionella risk assessment checklist can help you to assess the risks in a methodical way, and Legionella Control International provides a useful checklist that can be used when conducting the risk assessment.
What does the legionella risk assessment checklist cover?
The checklist covers the main points that must be adhered to when going through the risk assessment process. For example, the first question focuses on whether you considered if there was a way to eliminate the risk posed by legionella bacteria. The answer should be yes, and there is a tick box provided to make sure you answer properly and correctly.
Making sure you do not miss anything
Simply completing the risk assessment is not enough to ensure you have done everything asked of you. As point five notes, you must also identify the circumstances that would lead you to go back over your assessment once more, to ensure nothing has changed.
Roles and responsibilities for landlords, duty holders and the responsible person
Although you may hire someone to handle the risk assessment and other factors involved in minimising the legionella risk, under UK health and safety law it is still your responsibility (as the duty holder or legionella responsible person) to ensure they have the skills and experience to handle those duties properly.
The checklist provided goes through the important questions you must answer. This means there is a greatly-reduced risk of missing anything. Some of these questions also have useful notes underneath them, to assist in gaining a better understanding of the question.
Can you do without a legionella checklist?
You can, but it is far easier to miss something if you go it alone. By adhering to the guidance and support offered by a checklist, you will create a format to follow. This in turn will ensure your approach to the legionella risk assessment, and to minimising the dangers posed by legionella bacteria, is suitable for the situation.
In short, never assume you know exactly how to proceed. By relying on professional advice and support, you can be certain you don’t miss anything when conducting risk assessments for legionella.
Can you do it yourself or do you need help?
While simple buildings can be risk assessed using a checklist style approach, others may prove to be more complex, especially where larger or more complicated water systems are present. The knowledge and skills needed to assess these types of facility may go beyond your own competence levels or those of your staff. If you need a legionella risk assessment but are unsure about how or whether you can do it yourself please call us on 0161 877 0586 to speak to one of our expert risk assessors.
World-leading legionella risk management specialists
Our teams of legionella experts support landlords, business and property owners, facilities managers and those responsible for the control of legionella across all regions of the United Kingdom and internationally, delivering professional water safety and legionella management solutions, hazard analysis. water management programs, legionella testing, independent compliance auditing, City & Guilds training and other environmental risk management services.
If you have questions about any of the issues raised above or you would like to speak with one of our specialists please call us today on 0161 877 0586 or contact us here.