Step 1: Carry out a comprehensive Legionella Risk Assessment

This will identify and assess the sources of risk specifically:

  1. Potential sources and the risks they present
  2. Measures to be adopted, including precautions to be taken for the protection of people concerned, and their significance
  3. Measures to be taken to ensure that the controls remain effective, and their significance

Having a current risk assessment is a legal requirement and must be fully reviewed every two years.

For the assessment to be valid it has to be undertaken by a competent risk assessor having regards to current legislation and application of the guidance available.

One way of assuring competence is to ask for evidence of registration with the Legionella Control Association (LCA).

Additionally, contractors should operate in a safe manner with regards to Health & Safety issues. Membership of the Contractors Health & Safety Scheme (CHAS) is one way for home managers to assess the competence of contractors.

Step 2: Establish a water management team

The duty holder or appointed person is usually the premises owner or an employee with executive authority. They have a legal responsibility to ensure that a suitable and sufficient Legionella risk assessment is carried out.

They should then appoint a responsible person, normally the home manager or Health & Safety manager, who has managerial responsibility to provide supervision for the implementation of precautions.

A deputy responsible person may also be appointed to deputise for the responsible person in their absence. The deputy will have all the same responsibilities.

The persons appointed to carry out the control measures and strategies should be suitably informed, instructed and trained to carry out their tasks in a safe and technically competent manner.

Step 3: Prepare a scheme of work to control the risk

The risk assessment will identify what actions are required to minimise the risk of contracting legionnaire’s disease. This will usually involve:

  1. Controlling the release of water spray
  2. Avoidance of the water temperatures and conditions that favour the proliferation of Legionella bacteria and other micro-organisms
  3. Avoidance of water stagnation
  4. Avoidance of the use of materials that harbour bacteria and other micro-organisms, or provide nutrients for micro bacterial growth
  5. Maintenance of the cleanliness of the system and the water in it
  6. Use of water treatment techniques
  7. Action to ensure the correct and safe operation and maintenance of the water system, such as the prevention of Scald Risks.

Step 4: Implement, manage and monitor the control measures

The implementation of the scheme should be regularly and frequently monitored. Everyone involved in any related operational procedure should be properly supervised. Staff responsibilities and lines of communication should be properly defined and clearly documented.

Regular sampling of water systems is required as part of the monitoring procedure and should form part of the scheme of work control measures. Any adverse results should initiate an immediate remedial response.

Step 5: Record Keeping

The responsible person must maintain sufficient records including:

  1. The person or persons responsible for conducting the Legionella risk assessment, managing and implementing the written scheme
  2. The significant findings of the Legionella  risk assessment
  3. The written scheme required and details of its implementation
  4. The results of any monitoring, inspection, test, or check carried out and the dates

Records should be retained for 5 years. The site log book as provided by Nant Ltd would be ideal for this purpose.

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