A Guide to Internal Cleanliness of Ventilation Systems.
Legionnaires’ Disease and Water Hygiene Responsibilities
Health & Safety at Work Regulations
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 imposes a duty on every employer to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of:
(a) the risks to the health and safety of their employees to which they are exposed whilst they are at work, and...
(b) the risks to the health and safety of persons not in their employment arising out of or in connection with the conduct by the employer of their undertaking.
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 places a much greater responsibility and business risk on organisations in terms of the consequences of health and safety compliance failure.
Every building with 5 or more employees must have a water hygiene risk assessment – these must be carried out every two years. They are ‘live’ documents that must be up-to-date in recording relevant changes.
As an employer or a person in control of the premises
(e.g. a landlord), you must:
• Identify and assess sources of risk
• Prepare a scheme (or course of action) for preventing or controlling the risk
• Implement and manage the scheme – appointing a person to be managerially responsible, sometimes referred to as the ‘responsible person’
• Keep records and check that what has been done is effective
• And, if appropriate, notify the local authority that you have a cooling tower(s) on site.
Legionella and Health & Safety Law
Duties under the Health & Safety at Work (HSW) Act apply to the risks from exposure to Legionella bacteria that may arise from work activities. The Management Regulations provide a broad framework for controlling health and safety at work. As well as requiring Risk Assessments, they also require employers to have access to competent help in applying the provisions of health and safety law; to establish procedures for workers if there are situations presenting serious, imminent danger; and for co-operation and co-ordination where two or more employers or self-employed people share a workplace. More specifically, COSHH provides a framework of actions designed to control the risk from a range of hazardous substances, including biological agents.
Legionella Risk Assessments
We use our own directly employed and qualified engineers to carry out Leginoella risk assessments to ACOP’s L8. This includes a full survey of the water services, photographic evidence and a basic schematic drawing. Assessments take the form of a concise, easy reference report detailing risk areas and guidelines for correction.
We are members of the LCA (Legionella Control Association)
Legionella Bacteria and Legionnaires’ Disease
Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems e.g. rivers and ponds. However, the conditions are rarely conducive to people catching the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to Legionella growing in purpose-built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth e.g. cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools.
Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by Legionella bacteria including the most serious Legionnaires’ Disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac Fever and Lochgoilhead Fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. The risk increases with age but some people are at higher risk e.g. people over 45, smokers and heavy drinkers, people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease, diabetes, lung and heart disease or anyone with an impaired immune system.
Legionnaires disease is normally contracted by inhaling small droplets of water (aerosols), suspended in the air, containing the bacteria. Certain conditions increase the risk from Legionella if:
a) The water temperature in all or some parts of the system may be between 20–45 °C, which is suitable for growth;
b) It is possible for water droplets to be produced and if so, they can be dispersed;
c) Water is stored and/or re-circulated;
d) There are deposits that can support bacterial growth, such as rust, sludge, scale, organic matter and bio-films.
It is important to control the risks by introducing measures which do not allow proliferation of the organisms in the water systems and reduce, so far as is reasonably practicable, exposure to water droplets and aerosol. This will reduce the possibility of creating conditions in which the risk from exposure to Legionella bacteria is increased.
Our Water Hygiene Products & Services
Cleanliness, water quality and microbiological protection are essential factors in the safe operation of engineered water systems.
As specialists in the field of water hygiene, Jasun Envirocare provides traditional methods of remedial works, such as: cleaning, disinfection and refurbishment of commercial water systems but also utilises innovative ‘Continuous Control Systems’.
All our systems and practices are designed to meet specific site requirements for the full range of commercial, industrial, leisure and healthcare premises. All of our working methods and control systems fully comply with current codes of practice and BSRIA guidelines.
Refurbishment works relating to cold water storage tanks and down-water systems, including: re-coating services; installation of rodent and insect screens; pipe work modifications to avoid stagnation; and total tank replacements... are carried out in compliance with the water supply regulations and to ACOP L8, as a minimum requirement.
We use chemical products that include environmentally friendly biocides and neutral pH cleaning / flushing agents suitable for use within older systems, which are available to maximise the cleanliness and efficiency of water systems.
Our determination to be at the forefront of our industry means that we seek validation of our working practices and quality standards from all relevant accreditation bodies and agencies.