Legionnaires’ Disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by the bacteria Legionella. Legionella grows in water and systems where water is maintained at a temperature to encourage bacterial growth such as cooling towers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools.
It is a legal requirement for landlords, employers and those in control of premises (Duty Holder) to ensure a suitable and sufficient Legionella risk assessment is conducted.
The assessment should be undertaken by a ‘competent person’ appointed by the Duty Holder. The activity can be delegated to an employee or outsourced to a contractor. The Duty Holder remains responsible for the management of Legionella. The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) L8 ‘The control of legionella bacteria in water systems’ describes the duties of landlords, employers and those in control of premises and water systems.
To test for Legionella, you can either order kits online to collect a water sample and send it back in the post for testing, or you can appoint someone competent gather samples and have them tested at an approved laboratory. Generally it is best to appoint a competent person or organisation to undertake the activity and interpret the findings for the Duty Holder.
Landlords have a duty to ensure the risk of Legionella exposure is controlled and monitored. The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) L8 ‘The control of legionella bacteria in water systems’ describes that landlords need to undertake a detailed risk assessment and have an effective monitoring regime in place.
It is recommended that a legionella risk assessment is reviewed in line with the findings of the original risk assessment or sooner if any major changes have happened to the water system in the building or established through monitoring the system and controls in place.