Legionella - Preventing or controlling the risk

Legionella - Preventing or controlling the risk


Preventing or controlling the risk

You should first consider whether you can prevent the risk of legionella by looking at the type of water system you need, e.g. identify whether it is possible to replace a wet cooling tower with a dry air-cooled system. The key point is to design, maintain and operate your water services under conditions that prevent or adequately control the growth and multiplication of legionella.

If you identify a risk that you are unable to prevent, you must introduce a course of action ie a written control scheme, that will help you to manage the risk from legionella by implementing effective control measures, by describing:

·         your system, e.g. develop a schematic diagram

·         who is responsible for carrying out the assessment and managing its implementation

·         the safe and correct operation of your system

·         what control methods and other precautions you will be using

·         what checks will be carried out, and how often will they be carried out, to ensure the controls remain effective

You should:

·         ensure that the release of water spray is properly controlled

·         avoid water temperatures and conditions that favour the growth of legionella and other micro-organisms

·         ensure water cannot stagnate anywhere in the system by keeping pipe lengths as short as possible or removing redundant pipe work

·         avoid materials that encourage the growth of legionella (The Water Fittings & Materials Directory   references fittings, materials, and appliances approved for use on the UK Water Supply System by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme)

·         keep the system and the water in it clean

·         treat water to either control the growth of legionella (and other microorganisms) or limit their ability to grow

·         monitor any control measures applied

·         keep records of these and other actions taken, such as maintenance or repair work




Based on OHSAS 18001 and BS 8800 which are the recognised UK models for Health & Safety Management Systems, Envirochem is able to provide Health & Safety Assessment Services as part of a range of occupational health and safety support services to cover all health and Safety issues.


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