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  • Lisamarie Lamb

Common Mistakes When Conducting A Legionella Risk Assessment

A legionella risk assessment for a property is a legal obligation that is part of a building owner's health and safety responsibility. However, it is an area that is often misunderstood, which may lead to issues such as insufficient risk assessments or no risk assessments at all (the 'ignorance is bliss' approach, you could say). We undertake numerous legionella risk assessments for our customers each year, as well as examine documentation done by others, therefore we've compiled a list of the most frequent problems we notice, to assist you to avoid the hazards.

Poor Understanding Of Plumbing Systems

A legionella risk assessment in a typical home or apartment is likely to be very simple, but you will need to be familiar with a plumbing system. It is critical that the person doing the risk assessment understands how water flows through the pipes, where all of the tanks and thermostats are located, and understands the differences between the many kinds of fittings that may be utilised. Different equipment poses varying amounts of danger, and if the plumbing has been changed or adapted over time (for example, if there has been an addition or conversion), there may be Legionella hot spots such as dead legs, blind ends, or seldom used outlets. You can't adequately analyse the danger if you don't know what you're looking at or searching for, so hire a specialist.

Lack Of Visual Evidence

Visual proof of your examination, such as pictures and a detailed schematic layout, is required for legionella risk assessments. The quality and precision of the schematic drawing are critical, and it should preferably be created using CAD (computer assisted design) software. The visual evidence's objective is to indicate the condition of the water system fittings at that point in time so that you may compare the status of them when you examine the evaluation in the future. It also serves as vital documentation of your evaluation if the authorities ever want proof that suitable legionella risk measures are in place.

Out Of Date Information

Because there is no established period for assessing your legionella risk assessment, landlords and renting agencies are prone to do an initial evaluation and then filing the data away. A legionella risk assessment must be a 'living' document that is reviewed and updated whenever anything related to plumbing changes, so if you've had building work done, moved a bathroom, or even a dishwasher or washing machine, dust off the paperwork and make sure you change all relevant details and reassess the risk. We recommend that, regardless of any modifications to the plumbing system, all legionella risk assessments be revisited every two years to assure compliance.

Incomplete Remedial Actions

When doing a risk assessment, it's critical to consider if and how any detected risks may be mitigated. If a legionella risk factor is discovered during your inspection, make a note of any methods in which the risk might be minimised or eliminated, as well as – critically – the action to be taken, by whom, and when. Then, ensure that the action has been done and that the risk assessment has been updated appropriately.

Contact us if you're having trouble keeping up with your legionella risk assessments or if you need help completing one. We are always willing to help.

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