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Do I need a Legionella Risk Assessment?

A Legionella risk assessment is mandatory for all hot and cold water systems in rented, commercial, and industrial premises.

Not all systems will require elaborate control measures.

A simple risk assessment may show that the risks are low, and they are being properly managed, to comply with the law.  In such cases, your assessment may be complete, and you may not need to take any further action. It is important however to review your assessment if any works are undertaken on the hot or cold water system. And it is good practice to review your assessment in any case, at least every two years.

What does a good Legionella Risk Assessment include?

Environmental Inspection will undertake a detailed inspection of the system, and will endeavour to identify ambient conditions, and high-risk locations, within hot and cold water systems, where it is possible that Legionella bacteria can multiply.

As part of the Legionella Risk Assessment, we will undertake the following:

  • Inspect storage tanks, and their condition.
  • Inspect pipe work, to identify dead legs.
  • Identify Temperature Mixing Valves, and assess their effectiveness.
  • Check cleanliness of shower heads, and taps.
  • Temperature monitoring of all system outlets.
  • Identify any other items that may pose a risk.

The findings of the Legionella Risk Assessment will be presented within a written Legionella Risk Assessment Report, with any recommendations that are required.  All of Environmental Inspection’s Legionella Risk Assessments are undertaken in line with current guidance in HSG274 Part 2 The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Hot and Cold Water Systems.

Is a Legionella Risk Assessment really required on a simple hot and cold water system?

The law is quite clear with regard to Legionella Risk Assessments, and in what circumstances they must be conducted.  There is no need to take actual water samples from a standard hot and cold water system, unless an incident has occurred.  The first step to being compliant however, is to have a Legionella Risk Assessment undertaken. This will identify any potential high-risk areas within your water system.

The L8 Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) was revised and republished in November 2013. It retained the guidance in relation to the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and Control Of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH), for employers, and those with responsibilities for the control of premises, including landlords. (L8 ACOP, paragraphs 1 and 2).

This code of practice applies to the control of Legionella bacteria in any undertaking involving a work activity AND applies to premises controlled in connection with a trade, business, or other undertaking, where water is used, or stored, and there is a reasonably foreseeable risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria (L8 ACOP, paragraph 22).


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