The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) consider Legionnaires disease to be a preventable disease and it’s therefore treated as such by the law. Moreover, health and safety law underpins the statutory obligations of; duty holders, employers or those in control of premises which pose a risk to occupiers with respect to acquiring Legionnaires’ disease. The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) provides specific advice on the health and safety law which applies and the associated duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and HSG274 (Parts 1,2 &3) provide prescriptive guidance notes on how to comply with these duties – stressing that compliance is the ‘minimum requirement’ and should the recommendations detailed in HSG274 not be followed then compliance will need to be demonstrated by other means – in order to satisfy the HSE that risk has been suitably mitigated.
UK legislation places a duty on building owners and those in charge of premises to manage the risks to health and safety associated with water systems.
Exciting things are happening at the Water Hygiene Centre, and we want to share some important news with you. We are proud to announce that due to continued growth, we have moved to more spacious offices on the idyllic Cornbury Park Estate, located in the town of Charlbury, Oxfordshire. The estate, originally a royal hunting ground, comprises of 5000 acres, mostly farmland and woods and includes a grade 1 listed English country house built in the 16th Century.
Due to their complex design and often considerable size, healthcare water systems can harbor a multitude of pathogens and microorganisms. Amongst the most commonly found in healthcare water systems are gram-negative bacteria such as legionella, with other lesser known organisms such as mycobacteria, fungi and mould also present, if less abundant.
The requirement to identify and evaluate risks is embedded in UK health & safety regulations.
Where there is deemed to be a foreseeable risk in regards to bacterial proliferation, a risk assessment must be carried out by a suitable independent body, for the purpose of determining the risk to the users of the building in regards to potential harm from water-borne pathogens.
The head of an estates team or building manager has a duty of care under health and safety law to the patients, staff and general public who use their site. Today we will discuss the importance of a hot water risk assessment and the importance of controlling temperatures on a healthcare site.
Do you know your PsA from WSP? Do you know your LD from your LP? Surely water safety is about having lifeguards sat around swimming pools?
The objective of this guide is to outline what water safety means and what it may include. The context we can then start to explore is how someone who has responsibility for water safety can proactively manage water safety, and what could happen when things go wrong.
Back in 2002 the largest outbreak of Legionnaires ’ disease occurred in Barrow in Furness [B-i-F]. The investigation report identified six key failures. Coupled with the fact that in the last few weeks numerous Healthcare organisations have fallen into the media spotlight for various estates issues, such as non-compliance and backlog maintenance.
Summer has arrived here in the UK! With average summer temperatures of around 22°C - 30°C. Cases of Legionnaires’ disease are known to increase during summer months. This is in part due to increased ambient temperatures that encourage bacterial proliferation in water systems if the right conditions are present.
Image credit: Herald Scotland
“Poor Water Hygiene Management, Large Maintenance Bills and the Potential for Legionella Outbreaks” is one example of recent media description surrounding freedom of information requests made to various healthcare organisations.
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