Legionella in the UK

Posted by Jonathan Pile on Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The Recent tragic outbreak of Legionella in Scotland highlights the needs for companies and organisations to be aware of the dangers of legionella and the legal requirements to safeguard against Legionnaires Discease. The HSE published in April this year a timely guide "Legionnaires Disease - A Brief Guide for Duty Holders"  INDG 458 (download a free copy here)
which should be essential reading for any organisation with cooling towers, showers, spa pools, water fountains, humidifiers and other water systems.

As those people over 45 years of age (a growing and significant slice of the population) are at higher risk and the disease is often fatal (1 in 10) .Manufacturers, Hospitals, landlords, Sports Clubs and Hoteliers must take note.
Under the law there is a duty to appoint a competent person  to assess risks, to test and prevent legionella outbreaks from happening.

In April 2010 a Manchester Care Home was fined £5,000 for failing to have a plan to prevent Legionella, having been previously been visited and served with an HSE Enforcement notice. 

Dangers in the Shower

Legionella multiplies in water temperatures between 20-45 degrees, and shower heads are a perfect breeding ground to release legionella in the spray. Always a good idea to run the shower at hot for a few minutes to kill any shower head bacteria.?

 This have caused many organisations to consider self-purging showers on safety grounds as regular use of showers is not reliable as frequence can vary.