It’s not enough to just test for Legionella. To ensure your business complies with legal health and safety standards, you must also conduct regular Legionella risk assessments. Without them, your water systems are likely to be unfit for use.
Small businesses of less than five employees and individual persons, such as landlords, are only expected to monitor risks (without the need for written assessments). Larger businesses with elaborate water systems, however, are responsible for conducting risk assessments. These businesses include:
- Hospitals and care homes
- Any premise that uses hot and cold water systems, air conditioning units, cooling towers, pools, or any other ‘at risk’ service
When it comes to recording your assessments in an accessible and cohesive way, it’s important you find the right management system. Paper templates should only ever be a starting point.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the downsides to paper documentation, and how a digital management system can overcome common Legionella risk assessment problems, such as inaccessibility and faulty data entry.
The cons of paper legionella risk assessment templates
A paper legionella risk assessment template or checklist, like the Health and Safety Executive’s free example, may seem like the best solution in the short term. However, for compliancy reasons, they aren’t always the smartest option.
In fact, paper risk assessments are likely to:
- Get lost. 71 percent of respondents in a Ponemon Institute study recall losing confidential or sensitive documents in their organisation. It’s easy to misplace or throw away paper files without realising. Without a backup, you risk losing Legionella risk assessments for multiple sites.
- Suffer human error. Whether it’s a result of messy handwriting or a lack of concentration, human error is much more prevalent in manual data entries. Unfortunately, once you’ve made a mistake it’s difficult to correct.
- Become inaccessible. Do you know where all your documents are stored? Have you got a simple storage system or a way of sorting risk assessments by date? Paper risk assessments are difficult to source quickly. So, unless your department is incredibly well-organised, your Legionella risk assessments could end up as another lost file at the back of a drawer.
- Pose a security risk. With the introduction of the GDPR, it’s vital you keep all data records secure. Physical documentation is no exception.
How can digital management solve these issues?
A legionella risk assessment is responsible for keeping your employees, residents and the general public safe. You can’t afford to cut corners.
For this reason, a paper Legionella risk assessment template is simply not enough. You are required by law to keep these documents available for up to five years, which can be an administrative headache.
As a result, it’s important to invest in a systematic, accessible and thorough approach to recording your Legionella test results and risk assessments. Using a digital management system offers a range of benefits:
- Never lose an important document again. With a cloud-based Legionella management system, you can store your records indefinitely and erase the likelihood of losing important documents.
- Improve accessibility. With all your documents stored in one portal, accessing the right report takes no time at all.
- Access information on the go. Mobile Legionella management system’s like ACUTEC’s [Insert software name] make it easier to log and access information on the move. As an engineer or facilities manager, this allows you to download critical reports, schedules or data from any site.
- Stay conformant. Digital management software alerts users if results are non-conformant. This ensures that all tests and risk assessments are carried out safely.
- Keep a tight schedule. Organising your regular Legionella risk assessment is challenging when you’re reliant on word-of-mouth communication. With the right software, however, you can schedule recurring tests and notify your staff when they’re due to assess specific sites. This can help to improve accountability within your team.
- Find the signal in the noise. Analysing numerous legionella risk assessments is difficult. With the right visual dashboard, you can turn your data into actionable insights and spot site-wide issues far more quickly.
Legionella risk assessments done right
Conducting a risk assessment of your water systems shouldn’t be a “done and then forgotten” job. Paper legionella risk assessment templates are useful for writing down your thoughts in the moment, but it’s not always easy to access them during future tasks.
Investing in a digital Legionella management system eradicates the issues with paper documentation and ensures you’re compliant, safe and in control of your water systems.