LEGIONELLA RISK ASSESSMENTS
One very quick question ... are you a landlord or letting agent? ... then LRA's do really matter to you.
Legionella in House and Home?
Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia, which is contracted by inhaling small droplets of water containing the Legionella bacteria. Legionella bacteria are present in low numbers in natural water systems such as rivers and ponds, and can be present in domestic and commercial hot and cold water systems. If conditions are favourable, the bacteria may multiply to dangerous levels in 9-10 days and it is possible to contract Legionnaires' disease, or the less harmful Pontiac Fever as a result of exposure to contaminated water.
Legionnaires' disease mainly affects people in so called 'high risk' groups including those over the age group of 40/50, new born babies, smokers, heavy drinkers, those with heart disease and anyone who has a weakened immune system.
Landlords of residential accommodation have a responsibility to take measures to combat ‘Legionnaires’ Disease in their properties. Landlords are under a duty of care to ensure that the risk of exposure to Legionella for tenants, residents and visitors to their properties is adequately assessed and controlled. Specifically, landlords are obligated to have a risk assessment conducted on their properties followed by subsequent periodic reviews.
The Approved Code of Practice L8, about Legionella disease states quite clearly that the risk assessments on water systems should be reviewed on a regular basis, at least every two years or when there is a change in the water system, a Legionella outbreak, or a change in the use of the building or the occupants.
Tenants should always be provided with up to date advice about the possible risk of Legionella. Reference to any control measures in place to reduce the risk should be clearly made within any Tenancy Agreement.
The purpose of a Legionella Risk Assessment is to show that sufficient care has been taken to assess the risk of Legionella throughout the property. The control of Legionella in all rental properties is a legal requirement and duty of care is placed on Landlords. Please refer to ‘House of commons briefing paper 07307’. The current legislation and guidance is as follows:
1) The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
2) COOSH Regulations 2002
3) Legionnaires Disease - The control of Legionella Bacteria in water systems: Approved code of Practice L8 2013 (HSE)
4) Legionnaires Disease - The control of Legionella Bacteria in hot and cold water systems HSG274 2014 (HSE)
5) Risk Assessment for Legionella Control BS 8570:2010
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