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  • Lisamarie Lamb

Do You Need A Legionella Risk Assessment If You Employ Fewer Than 5 People?

Certain things in life aren't as straightforward or clear as they may seem to be at first sight. Indeed, so-called 'grey' zones may be found around many corners. The rule regulating when and where the size of a workforce influences whether or not a legionella risk assessment is legally required is one example of this 'is it/isn't it?' issue. Historically, there has been some ambiguity around the issue of acceptable employee numbers, which specify whether or not an employer is required to do an important risk assessment. So, with that in mind, we're giving you the official - if not conclusive - low-down on the matter, in the hopes of providing some much-needed clarity.

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Currently, and in accordance with HSE laws and administration, most of the 'thinking' is based on keeping records. Insofar as a firm employs less than 5 persons, there is no legal duty to document any conclusions pertaining to legionella risk assessments that the company has initiated/performed; or rather asked third parties to undertake. In contrast to the laws and regulations that apply to businesses and organisations with 5 or more workers. Even so, as we've long advocated, it's always a good idea to monitor, record, and constantly review any results or crucial information relevant to legionella risk assessment, management, or control, regardless of the numbers involved.

To summarise, we would always recommend that, regardless of the scale of your organisation - in terms of both physical and structural footprint, as well as, in this case, personnel - you do basic legionella risk assessments to be safe rather than sorry. Although compliance isn't always required for businesses with less than five employees, we firmly think that going to relatively unnoticeable measures to ensure employees' health and wellness aren't jeopardised is precious and should never be undervalued. And, of course, if, but more importantly, when, legionella risk assessments are performed, it is critical that all findings are reported and logged, while existing records are regularly received and maintained in accordance, so that those who may need to observe documents of this nature in the future have instant access.

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