Health & Safety Executive Report in to the Barrow Legionnaires Disease Outbreak of 2002

Barrow Legionnaires disease outbreak of 2002

The UK’s Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) final report in to the events surrounding the Barrow outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in 2002.

Headline statements from the HSE’s full report include:

“A catalogue of “basic failings”

“The number of fateful ‘coincidences’ involved was scarcely credible”

“Such basic failings should not have occurred and, sadly, these failures could have been easily prevented”

Background to the Report

In August 2002, seven members of the public died and 180 people suffered ill health as a result of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at a council-owned arts and leisure facility in the town centre of Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

Following the court case, two public meetings were held to allow members of the public, and those affected, to learn more about the circumstances and the causes of the outbreak.

The Barrow Legionnaires’ Outbreak Public Meetings were held on 4 and 11 December 2006 at Abbey House Hotel, Barrow.

They were chaired by former West Lancashire MP Colin Pickthall.

The purpose of the report is to record the content of those meetings and to allow others to learn what caused the outbreak and what changes have been made since.

It has also been produced to allow dutyholders with similar responsibilities for controlling legionella to benefit from the findings of the investigation and be able to apply the recommendations identified as a result of the tragedy.

The report explains both the technical steps, and the essentials of good health and safety management that can make sure a similar tragedy never happens again.

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