Health & Safety Executive publish new legionella ACOP

hse-publish-new-legionella-acopImportant changes to the way the UK’s Health & Safety Executive deal with legionella control procedures have NOW BEEN PUBLISHED… find out how they affect you with our detailed review.

In the most significant change to the safety rules dealing with the control of Legionella risks for over a decade, the UK’s Health & Safety Executive (HSE) have now published their new Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8 – 4th edition, and guidance documents dealing with the management of Legionnaires' disease risks and the control of legionella bacteria in water systems.

 Jamie Tranter, General Manager at Legionella Control International said…

“… this is the most significant change to the rules dealing with the control of Legionella for some time and will have a significant impact on the way in which these risks are managed.

Our teams have reviewed the new HSE documents in detail and we are now working closely with all our clients to ensure their legionella risk management procedures remain fully compliant with the law.”

Our legionella experts have now conducted a detailed review the HSE’s new ACOP L8 and supporting documents, comparing them to the previous system of regulation and control, and have identified several important changes to the way in which legionella risks should now be managed.

Important Changes to the HSE's Legionella ACOP

Some of the main changes to the HSE’s ACOP L8 are summarised here:
 
1. Removal of technical guidance from the new ACOP L8. The guidance is now contained in HS274 which is split into three parts as follows:

HSG274

  • Part 1 - Part 1 - cooling water systems.
  • Part 2 - hot and cold water systems.
  • Part 3 - other risk systems.

Note – Currently HSG274 Part 2 (hot and cold water systems) is issued as an interim document and is based on the previous ACOP L8. The updated HSG Part 2 will be published Q1 2014*.

2. The new ACOP L8 makes clear reference to COSHH, HASAW Act, Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations and gives guidance on how to comply. This is an important area for all responsible organisations and will require further review.

3. The new documents give improved guidance on how to comply with health and safety law. Our detailed review has identified a clear approach to the required organisational compliance measures necessary.

4. The scope and application of the new documents are expanded and now include specific references to spa pools. Our  review has identified a clear approach to the management of spa pools to ensure organisational compliance.

5. Details concerning “Carrying out a Risk Assessment” are no longer simply guidance, they are now specifically included in the new approved code of practice (Para 38) giving this aspect greater authority. This is a significant shift in compliance strategy and requires further review to ensure organisational risks are adequately managed.

6. The previous ACOP L8 (former Para 38) stated that legionella risk assessments must be reviewed after no more than two years. This constraint has been removed. The implications of this safety critical change have significant implications for on-going risk management procedures and needs to be fully assessed.

However, the new ACOP L8 states that they should be reviewed regularly or if there is a belief that the risk assessment is no longer valid. The ACOP gives a number of specific circumstances where risk assessments should be reviewed.

7. There is now the potential for the role of the “Responsible Person” to be an external party. This opens opportunities for improvements in risk management however, roles, responsibilities, lines of communication and contractual arrangements need to be crystal clear at the outset.

8. There is now much more emphasis on the dissemination of information and discussion with employees. How this is achieved effectively should be given thorough consideration. Organisational clarity and communication are essential elements to success here.

9. Details concerning the need to review control measures (former Para 61) are no longer simply guidance, they are now specifically included in the new approved code of practice (Para 61) giving this aspect greater authority. This is a significant shift in compliance strategy and requires further review to ensure organisational risks are adequately managed.

10. The responsibilities of manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers have been expanded under the new ACOP L8 (Paras 76-81) to make them more onerous. Much of this was previously guidance only and should therefore be reviewed in more detail. This is a significant expansion of the original documentation and seeks to minimise potential issues at the outset. The selection of equipment and chemicals in any treatment programme will be a key issue for compliance.

11. Much more...

*Comment regarding HSG274 Part 2 will be available after publication.

Our full report detailing the changes and updated précis will also be available shortly.

Free Downloads

To download complimentary copies (full versions) of the HSE’s new ACOP L8 and HSG274 Parts 1, 2 and 3 please use the following web links:

ACOP L8 – 4th edition 2013 >>

HSG274 – Part 1 >>

HSG274 – Part 2 >>

HSG274 – Part 3 >>

If you are unable to download the documents here please feel free to call us on 0161 877 0586 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Breakfast Briefings

To help health and safety managers, business owners and those responsible for the management of risk systems understand the changes and ensure their legionella risk management procedures remain compliant with the law Legionella Control International will be presenting a series of concise breakfast briefings as follows:

Location Date
Bristol 10 January 2014
Birmingham 10 January 2014
Southampton 14 January 2014
Newcastle 14 January 2014
Plymouth 15 January 2014
Cardiff 16 January 2014
Leeds 16 January 2014
London 17 January 2014
London 21 January 2014
Manchester 22 January 2014
Edinburgh 23 January 2014
Glasgow 24 January 2014

Breakfast briefings will cover the important changes to the HSE’s required procedures, what they mean for those responsible and what needs to be done to remain compliant with the law.

To book your place please contact Legionella Control International on 0161 877 0586 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Places are limited and allocated strictly on a “first come” basis.

More Information

More information can be obtained from our specialists at Legionella Control International on 0161 877 0586 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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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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