Legionella Risk Assessment - is your water system at risk?

If you want to know whether your water system is at risk and how to manage Legionella in water systems, a risk assessment is advised. There could potentially be Legionella bacteria in your water system if:

• Water is stored or re-circulated as part of your system
• The water is regularly at temperatures between 20 degrees celsius and 45 degrees celsius
• There are sources of nutrients for the bacteria such as rust, sludge, scale and organic matter
• It is possible for water droplets to be produced and dispersed over a wide area, e.g. shower and aerosols from cooling towers

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Legionnaires' disease risk assessment for landlords and business owners

Landlords are legally under duty to ensure that the risk of Legionella exposure to residents, visitors and tenants is properly assessed and controlled. The landlord themselves can carry out the Legionella risk assessment, however if they don't feel confident or would simply rather not carry out the assessment, they can employ a competent person with the necessary skills to conduct the risk assessment, either someone within the organisation or an external consultant.

As a landlord, carrying out this procedure is your own responsibility, as it will help you recognise any risks or potential risks and therefore allow you to put measures into place to control, eliminate, or introduce Legionella prevention techniques.

The risk assessment

There are several key pieces of information that a risk assessment should include:
• Management responsibilities (such as the names of the landlord/responsible person and the person conducting the risk assessment)
• A description of your water system
• Any potential risk sources
• Any controls currently in place to reduce risks
• Examples of any monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures
• Records of the monitoring results, inspection and checks carried out, both in the past and present
• The date on which the risk assessment was carried out

What's next after the Legionnaires disease risk assessment?

If it's decided that the risks detected are insignificant and are being sufficiently managed to meet the demands of the law, then your assessment is complete. No further action is necessary, however you must continue to complete regular risk assessments, in case any conditions change.

Any other previous records should include details about the people in charge of conducting the risk assessment, any significant findings of the assessment, as well as the results of any previous inspections and the dates that they were carried out on.