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  • Lisamarie Lamb

What Happens If You Have a High Risk Legionella Risk Assessment?

If you are the responsible person within a business or at a premises, you’ll already know how crucial it is to have a legionella risk assessment carried out. This assessment, conducted by a qualified, experienced professional, will highlight any areas that pose any kind of risk of legionella being a problem.

In most risk assessments, you will be given a scale from low to high, depending on the level of risk. What you really want to see are lots of low scores, but what happens if the assessment comes back and your risk of legionella is high in some or all areas of your building?

The first thing to do is not to panic. By staying calm and working through the assessment with your water hygiene expert, you will be able to come up with the right solutions to mitigate that risk. By panicking all that will happen is that nothing really gets done, or extreme measures are taken (such as closing the building or specific areas of it) when there is no need.

In most cases, the high risk of legionella can be reduced and potentially even eliminated.

Read The Assessment

So the first thing you’ll need to do is take the time to read the legionella risk assessment thoroughly. Simply scanning through to see the results will give you an overview, but it won’t explain the reasons for the scores, and this is what you need to know.

Make sure you read through why the assessor has determined what one area is a much higher risk than another. Is it that there are showers there? Perhaps deadlegs? Or maybe more vulnerable people use that room or part of the building. It might be that the cold water storage tank needs cleaning, or has some issues with its structure. Knowing the reason is vital if you are going to come up with a solution.

Remedial Actions

If the legionella risk assessment you have had carried out is of a high quality, conducted by someone who knows what they are doing, there should be a list of remedial actions you can take along with the issues flagged up during the check. These remedial actions should be your next step.

The assessor will have listed them out – sometimes in great detail – so that you can see exactly what needs to be done, and then create a timeline for booking in the work. Some of the actions such as raising temperatures or flushing little used outlets or removing deadlegs will be down to you. Others, such as more regular legionella water tests, chlorinations, and disinfections, should be subcontracted to a water treatment company to ensure the work is properly done.

What Causes A High Risk?

There are a number of different factors that can constitute a high risk on a legionella risk assessment. In part, the score will be down to the subjectivity of the assessor, which is why it is so important to use someone with a lot of experience. The more experience they have, the more they will have seen in their jobs, and the more they will instinctively know what is a high risk and what isn’t.

Some of the points that will be noted include:

· Fluctuating or low water temperatures in both stored water and outlets

· Rust, sludge, scale, or other debris and organic matter within stored water

· Deadlegs

· Showers (especially if there is no cleaning or testing regime in place)

· Cooling towers

To book your risk assessment, contact Assured Water Hygiene today. We have decades of experience when it comes to knowing what a high risk of legionella is, and how to reduce that risk quickly and efficiently.

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