In this article we answer one of our most frequently asked questions is “Do I need to do a Legionella Risk Assessment?”
Yes if you are an employer or someone in control of a premises you must carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment. You are classed as duty holders with respect to managing Legionella and are legally obliged to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure. Duty holders must carry out a risk assessment of their water systems to identify any areas where the risk of the bacteria multiplying is high.
How to carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment
The risk assessment must be carried out by a competent person, if you do not feel that you are able to do this yourself then it is acceptable to employ a specialist company.
Be aware that if you employ an external specialist company to either carry out your risk assessment or manage your water system this does not mean that you have transferred the duty holder’s responsibility. Ultimately the responsibility for the safety of the system still lies with the duty holder and as such, you must ensure that the company you employ is competent to carry out these functions.
What a Legionella Risk Assessment covers
A good risk assessment should include:
- the name of the competent person and a description of the water system being assessed, including an up to date schematic diagram
- any potential risk sources;
- if any high-risk groups will have contact with the water system;
- any controls currently in place to control risks;
- monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures;
- records of the monitoring results, inspection and checks carried out; and
- a review date
What happens once you have carried out a Legionella Risk Assessment
If your risk assessment demonstrates that there is either low or no risk of legionella becoming a problem then you do not need to take any further action, except for regularly reviewing the assessment.
On the other hand, if your risk assessment identifies areas of either medium to high risk you must appoint a competent person to help you implement the control measures required. If you have sufficient knowledge and experience in management of legionella risks yourself, you should not need to appoint someone else.
All control measures implemented should be documented as part of a safe system of work. Records should be kept of competent person’s qualifications, instructions for safe operation and maintenance of the system and any checks made such as temperature checks.
Available Help and Support
Our team of specialists can carry out comprehensive risk assessment in all aspects of legionella control for private, business and public sector buildings. Following the onsite survey you will receive a comprehensive report outlining any remedial actions or recommendations needed to prevent, minimise and control the risk of legionella.
Envesca offers a two specific Legionella management courses. For further details on these courses and information on forthcoming training courses, simply click on the links below: