Legionella is a life-threatening illness. There are approximately 200 cases of Legionnaires disease each year in the UK. While this a relatively small number, in 2016 27 of these cases proved fatal. The sad fact is, all of these deaths could have been prevented.
A Legionella prevention strategy is required by law in all properties with water services. While some may have a policy in place, many private and commercial properties are not compliant with the HSE code of conduct and are therefore putting their employees and residents at risk.
In this blog, we discuss four telltale signs that your Legionella prevention strategy is not up to code, and how a digital management system could help you get compliant fast.
1. You’re not performing routine risk assessments
Risk assessments are an essential part of a legionella prevention strategy. While you may already have one in place, don’t let it collect dust.
Whether you’re an appointed Facilities Manager or a private landlord, you’re required by law to perform routine risk assessments. While domestic properties are a lower risk, landlords must perform assessments whenever there is a change to the water system. For commercial properties, the ACOP L8 Regulations state that the Facility Manager must perform risk assessments every two years or after any changes to the water supply.
2. You think you’re not at risk
Although it’s widely known that Legionnaire’s is caused by contaminated water, many don’t see their facilities as an issue.
While any property with an excess of showers or sinks is at risk, studies show that those with air conditioning units, sprinkler systems and even solar thermal panels must routinely test for the presence of Legionella.
Furthermore, there are certain industries that must be extra diligent. Those working in the leisure, hotel or water service provider industry are most at risk. In fact, studies have found that laboratory analysts and even those in construction are contracting the disease while at work.
3. You’re not taking detailed records of test results
If your commercial business has more than five employees, you are required by law to keep records of your Legionella water tests and risk assessments. While these Legionella water tests need to be carried out by a trained professional, it is your responsibility to take detailed notes of the results.
Traditionally, these notes are stored on paper logbooks, but there are plenty of drawbacks to this approach. For instance, paper records are at greater risk to loss and damage, and old-fashioned note-taking can increase the chance of human error.
A digital management system is the ideal way to store these critical records. Custodian was created in partnership with Aegis Water, with the sole purpose of making these essential records easier to retain, access and analyse.
4. You’re not keeping your test results for up to five years
If you’re not keeping your water test documents safe for up to five years, you’re not compliant with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Understandably, retaining these documents can be a struggle. With the abundance of paper documents you already handle, it’s easy to lose or misplace certain files. That’s why keeping your Legionella test results on a digital system makes perfect sense. Not only are the results easily accessible and quick to audit,our centralised management system, Custodian, improves accountability and keeps you compliant.
Revolutionise your legionella prevent strategy
While Legionnaires is not as prevalent as it once was, 200 cases a year is 200 too many. By using a digital management system, you can simplify the water testing process and keep a bird’s eye view of your water systems.
Routine tests may not seem like life-saving actions, but having an airtight Legionella prevention strategy could just save your employees’ and residents’ lives. To learn more about Custodian, get in touch.