• Lisamarie Lamb

What To Look For When Choosing A Legionella Risk Assessor

A risk assessment is required by a number of health and safety regulations if you employ more than five people at any site. For example, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations require you to conduct an assessment of the risk of Legionella bacteria exposure in your premises from your water systems.



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What Areas Should Be Risk Assessed?

You must identify any significant risk posed by your workplace, working practices, products, and so on. As a result, all of your water systems (including showers, cooling towers, humidifiers, storage tanks, and fire fighting systems) must be evaluated to determine whether Legionella bacteria are present.


· Capable of entering the system

· Possibility of growth in the system

· Whether the system is likely to produce fine aerosols or water droplets

· Whether any vulnerable people would be in danger


Furthermore, you must determine whether the current control measures are appropriate and sufficient to eliminate or adequately control the identified risks.


What Should A Legionella Risk Assessment Include?

Your risk assessor will examine your maintenance documentation and water treatment records to ensure that the proper procedures are followed and documented in order to identify the risks.

· A detailed asset register of your water systems and the facilities they serve; and

· A comprehensive schematic, so you can prove that all systems that could pose a risk in the premises have been identified and suitably assessed.


Who Should Conduct A Risk Assessment?

The risk assessment should ideally be performed by someone who has no vested interest in managing or servicing your water systems. UKAS can accredit legionella risk assessments under ISO 17020. It is always advisable to use a UKAS accredited organisation so that you can be assured of receiving a high level of accuracy.

If you use a maintenance or water treatment contractor to conduct the risk assessment, you will be asking those to whom you have delegated specific control tasks to provide formal reports on their effectiveness. If some of the routine tasks they perform are performed incorrectly, they may be unaware of their errors.



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It is also important to remember that when it comes to risk assessments, you get what you pay for. Many businesses provide low-cost risk assessments. However, the cost is likely to be reflected in the quality of the assessment and subsequent report. The cost should reflect the risk assessor's expertise as well as the time required to conduct the assessment and analyse the results. Investing in a low-cost risk assessment may result in a subpar report that will not persuade enforcement agencies that the risks in your building have been identified and appropriately assessed. A low-cost risk assessment will not always protect you. It may hold you liable and necessitate the completion of another assessment before your compliance can be guaranteed.


Contact Assured Water Services today to find out more.

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