Legionella and Coronavirus: What You Still Need To Do
With everyone focused on the current coronavirus pandemic – as they rightly should be – it’s easy to forget about other aspects of health and safety, those, perhaps, that don’t feel quite so important right now. But although some can be put on the back burner for the moment, especially if buildings are empty and people aren’t at work or at school, some simply cannot.
Legionella control and water hygiene maintenance are two of those health and safety elements that need to continue, as far as possible, throughout the pandemic and throughout the lockdown. If not, there could be even more danger lurking in those now empty offices, schools, factories, dental surgeries, pubs, restaurants, hotels, and shopping centres than ever before.
Legionella bacteria really doesn’t care that no one is in the building. It will still breed and grow in water temperatures ranging between around 20oC and 50oC. It will still linger in little used outlets and deadlegs. It will still cause potentially deadly lung disease if inhaled, particularly by those who have an already weakened immune system – perhaps someone, for example, who has had COVID-19.
This means that, despite the lockdown, legionella control still needs to be a priority. Little used outlets should be flushed weekly, and since there will be more of these than ever considering the emptiness of many buildings, this is a job that will take an even longer time.
Plus, the temperature is getting warmer. More and more legionella is going to be able to grow and, if left unchecked, it could cause a major health hazard within your building.
What Can Be Done?
As mentioned above, weekly flushing should certainly be taking place. All outlets should be flushed if safe to do so. Not only that, but temperature monitoring should be carried out as it normally would be too – we will need to know where the risks lie. Plus water sampling to get a picture of the health of your water.
Tank cleans can also be carried out at this time, and if buildings are empty entire pull-throughs can be completed, giving you a much more thorough clean.
And risk assessments can be completed, to help you work out a plan of attack.
Even training should be done, keeping your employees and those responsible for the legionella control and general health and safety of your building up to date on legislation and good practice.
Assured Water Hygiene can assist with all of this. Continuing to adhere to social distancing rules, we can attend your site to carry out flushing, temperature checks, and water sampling. We can carry out virtual training sessions via Zoom. And we can carry out risk assessments, either in person (again, adhering to social distancing and wearing appropriate PPE), or virtually.
Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you now, and in the future.