Legionella Risk Assessment Procedures

Legionella risk assessment procedures… in the UK the Health and Safety Executives ACOP L8 – Approved Code of Practice document titled “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems” sets out guidance for legionella risk assessment procedures.

A legionella risk assessment is an essential risk management process and comprises a detailed examination of the risks presented by man-made water systems, and seeks to identify and assess the risks of exposure to legionella bacteria.

Legionella Risk Assessment Procedures

A suitable and sufficient assessment is required to identify and assess the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria from work activities and water systems on the premises and any necessary precautionary measures. The assessment is carried out by or on behalf of:

(a) the employer, where the risk from their undertaking is to their employees or to others; or

(b) a self-employed person, where there is a risk from their undertaking to themselves or to others; or

(c) the person who is in control of premises or systems in connection with work where the risk is present from systems in the building (eg where a building is let to tenants but the landlord retains responsibility for its maintenance).

In conducting the assessment, the person on whom the statutory duty falls is required to have access to competent help to assess the risks of exposure to legionella bacteria in the water systems present in the premises and the necessary control measures.

The assessment should include identification and evaluation of potential sources of risk and:

(a) the particular means by which exposure to Legionella bacteria is to be prevented; or

(b) if prevention is not reasonably practicable, the particular means by which the risk from exposure to legionella bacteria is to be controlled.

Where the assessment demonstrates that there is no reasonably foreseeable risk or that risks are insignificant and unlikely to increase, no further assessment or measures are necessary. However, should the situation change, the assessment needs to be reviewed and any necessary changes implemented.

The assessment needs to be reviewed regularly and, in any case, whenever there is reason to believe that the original assessment may no longer be valid.

Parts of this document © Crown Copyright – extracted from the HSE Approved Code of Practice and Guidance document l8 titled “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems. Third Edition. Now replaced by 4th Edition 2013.

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