Legionnaires disease and landlords responsibilities
Legionella bacteria can grow in water systems under certain environmental conditions and can cause Legionnaires disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, if the victim breathes in small droplets of the contaminated water.
Hot and cold water systems, sprinklers, whirlpool spas, air-conditioning systems and cooling towers are common places where this bacteria can be found.
Employers, landlords and estate managers have a duty under health and safety legislation to carry out a risk assessment, either themselves or by engaging the services of a qualified consultant, to determine what action may need to be taken to eliminate or reduce any issues in this regard.
Findings must be documented, monitored and reviewed and regular inspections carried out, to properly maintain a water system and to remain compliant with health and safety legislation.
The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) is the body that regulates work-related incidents of this kind and provides information and guidance on managing water systems. It advises on how to conduct a simple risk-assessment.
HSE ACoP L8 The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems states the assessment should be reviewed every 2 years and if there is reason to suspect that is no longer valid, for example:
- Where there have been changes to plant, the water system or its use
- Where there have been changes to the use of the building
- Where new information about risk or control measures has become available
- Where monitoring indicates that control measures are no longer effective
Please contact our Residential Property Management team on 020 8567 0077 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.