Expert Review of the New BS 8580-2 for Pseudomonas Risk Assessments
In this technical review the water safety specialists at Legionella Control International take a detailed look at the recently published British Standard Code of Practice, BS 8580-2:2022 which deals with risk assessments for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other waterborne pathogens.
The review considers what the code of practice covers, who it’s aimed at, and how it can help those involved in managing water safety and pseudomonas risk including the duty holder, responsible person and the wider water safety group. The review highlights some of the essentials of effective risk assessment and management control including competence, good management processes and record keeping; and concludes by listing some of the useful tools that are provided in the code of practice.
A version of this story reviewing the British Standard BS 8580-2, dealing with pseudomonas risk assessments first appeared in Legionella Control International’s newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.
Reviewing BS 8580-2 – Pseudomonas risk assessment
British Standards and other key documents are continually reviewed by our specialist water safety teams to ensure we are always up to date with the latest knowledge and developments in the world of waterborne pathogens in manmade water systems. It’s rare, however, that a new standard is published.
The new BS 8580-2:2022 British Standards publication, Water Quality Part 2: Risk assessments for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other waterborne pathogens – Code of Practice, is now available. We’ve included a link at the end of this technical review that will allow you to purchase this document directly from BSI.
With the steady rise in antibiotic resistance this new standard is seen as an important tool in the fight against waterborne pathogens that have the potential to cause serious ill health in hospitals, care and other environments.
In this technical review we explore some of the main points of this standard below. Part 2 of BS 8580 covers the control of pseudomonas in both healthcare and non-healthcare settings, with examples, tables, and annex information to guide those reading the document. Part 1 of the Code of Practice deals with risk assessments for Legionella control.
What does the British Standard BS 8580-2:2022 cover?
The focus here is on the Pseudomonas aeruginosa risk assessment process. Pseudomonas is known to cause a range of skin infections in people exposed to the bacteria within water systems.
While many cases of infection resolve themselves, others – particularly those seen in immunocompromised patients and those with skin conditions and issues – require further treatment. In some cases, these incidents can become far more serious.
There are, therefore, certain considerations that should be borne in mind by anyone conducting a water safety risk assessment covering any hot or cold water system. Some elements apply only to Pseudomonas aeruginosa if the risk of spread and contamination is to be minimised as much as possible. The new standard covers this topic.
Who is BS 8580-2:2022 aimed at?
Anyone conducting water safety risk assessments, duty holders, members of the Water Safety Group and anyone involved in maintaining the safety and efficiency of a water system should read this new standard. They can gain a far better understanding of the risk factors seen in areas susceptible to infection from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This understanding can therefore help to identify the risk factors for this specific bacterium, while reducing the risk in those areas.
It is important to remember that BS 8580-2 should not be used instead of BS 8680 (Water quality. Water safety plans. Code of practice) but rather with it. When using both together, a far stronger Water Safety Plan (WSP) can be created.
What are the risks from Pseudomonas aeruginosa?
BS 8580-2 notes that pseudomonas is behind many infections caused in a hospital or similar care setting. However, it can also cause problems in non-healthcare settings.
The code of practice highlights that pseudomonas can transmit from one individual to another, rather than everyone being infected directly through exposure to the water system.
With its increasing resistance to treatment (antibiotic resistance), it obviously becomes far more important to limit the opportunities for pseudomonas to spread throughout a water system to begin with.
All water sources, whether in medical settings or otherwise, must therefore be properly risk assessed to determine where the risks are for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other waterborne pathogens, such as Legionella bacteria to spread.
This British Standard Code of Practice helps those responsible for the pseudomonas risk assessment, members of the Water Safety Group and those involved in developing and maintaining the Water Safety Plan, to understand how to identify and minimise those risks.
Is pseudomonas a risk in other water systems, not just those found in healthcare settings?
BS 8580-2 makes it clear that it covers many other water systems that are way beyond those in hospitals, care homes, and other medical settings. It gives numerous examples of this, including swimming pools and even the inflatables used in those pools. It further details the need to risk assess all the components of water systems and the equipment that uses water from that system.
Another consideration with the pseudomonas assessment is the presence of any further risks around the area where the water is present. For example, if an ornamental water fountain was in use, it could create significant splashing or spray in the immediate area. If the water did have high levels of Pseudomonas aeruginosa present, this could spread within the spray.
Can BS 8580-2 help develop better awareness of pseudomonas risks in water systems?
This British Standard also includes a glossary of terms individuals are likely to come across when learning more about the topic of water safety, legionella and pseudomonas risk assessments. These include notes and examples to provide further guidance.
A full step-by-step guide to a risk assessment for pseudomonas for all premises is then given. It points out the importance of making sure all those involved are competent to take part. Steps to be taken before and during the risk assessment are given too. It also covers the need for record keeping specifically for Pseudomonas aeruginosa assessments and the management of the risks found in those assessments. Finally, the inclusion of photos offering examples of errors in water safety give a more practical guide of things to avoid.
The new BS 8580-2:2022 British Standards publication (Water quality. Risk assessments for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other waterborne pathogens. Code of practice) is available now to assist those responsible for assessing, managing, and maintaining all water systems, and is certainly recommended reading.
Pseudomonas and water safety specialists
Our expert team of water safety specialists support those responsible for the control of waterborne pathogens including legionella and pseudomonas in hospitals, health care and other workplace environments, helping them to protect people and so meet their health and safety obligations in this specialist area.
We are experienced in the role of Authorising Engineer (Water) and deliver expert water safety risk assessments for pseudomonas, legionella and other waterborne pathogens. We also offer water quality testing, independent compliance auditing, water safety training and other risk management services that help keep staff and others safe.
If you would like to speak with one of our water safety specialists about managing your pseudomonas risks, risk assessments or training call us today on 0330 223 36 86 or contact us here …