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  • Lisamarie Lamb

4 Things You Should Know About Legionella

Each year, between 300 and 500 cases of legionnaires' disease are reported in England and Wales. Approximately ten percent of these instances are deadly. It is critical that you understand how legionnaires’ disease occurs and your duties as the responsible person for your building.

What Is Legionella?

Legionella bacteria causes legionellosis (or legionnaires' disease). The symptoms are similar to those of pneumonia, including a high fever, chills, and coughing. Inhaling droplets of water containing legionella bacteria causes legionella infection. The majority of legionnaires' disease cases occur in hospitals, hotels, and workplaces. It can, however, be detected in houses in rare circumstances.

It Can Spread Through Bathrooms

Legionnaire's disease is often transmitted by residential water fittings, such as showers, faucets, hot tubs, and air conditioning systems. Because the bacterium grows at temperatures ranging from 20 to 45 degrees Celsius, it can damage both hot and cold water systems. Bacterial growth is more common in stagnant water. Check the water systems if they haven't been used in a while.

Smokers & The Elderly Are Most At Risk

Although legionnaires’ disease can affect anybody, certain people are more vulnerable than others. People who smoke and drink excessively, those over the age of 45, and anyone with a history of medical problems (such as respiratory diseases) are at a higher risk.

It Is Your Duty To Prevent Legionella

If you are the responsible person, you have a duty of care to keep your building free of health risks, according to Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. To reduce the danger of Legionella in your property, implement the following measures:

1. Reduce the danger of bacteria formation by cleaning the water system as needed, ensuring that debris does not contaminate cold water tanks, and ensuring that water in the pipework does not remain stagnant for lengthy periods of time.

2. Conduct a Legionella Risk Assessment on a regular basis in the property.

3. If a Legionella risk is identified, follow the risk assessment instructions and, if required, see a physician.

4. Maintain a clear set of risk assessment records as well as a water log book in which to monitor water temperatures.

For further advice, please don’t hesitate to contact Assured Water Hygiene.

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