Why Is Lockdown Easing Raising Concerns About Legionella?
Lockdown easing is great news for most people. It’s great news for many businesses, especially those that were literally unable to make any sales or do any work during lockdown. But… and we hate to be the bearer of bad news… those buildings that were all locked up during lockdown – they might have a big legionella problem lurking which can cause problems for the health and safety of anyone who might come near. COVID-19 is a terrible virus, but legionella is a terrible bacteria and it can cause death just like coronavirus can. The symptoms are even similar.
Companies should be aware of the wellness and safety risks linked to premises that were left unoccupied or even run on a reduced occupancy throughout the COVID 19 pandemic, and it is crucial that these risks are evaluated before buildings are occupied once again.
One of the biggest risks is legionnaires’ disease, which would come from the water services in the building not having been used and having become stagnant in the months that the building has been left unoccupied.
Legionnaires’ Disease Symptoms
We’ve mentioned that legionnaires’ disease is similar in its symptoms to COVID-19, and that means:
· Difficulty breathing
· A cough
· Muscle aches and pains
Luckily, when compared to COVID-19, legionnaires’ disease can’t be transferred from one person to another, and that at least makes it a little less problematic, but it doesn’t make it any less dangerous and it needs to be considered when buildings are opening up once more.
When You Reopen
Before you open your doors to the public (and/or workers) once more, you need to have your building’s water systems checked and tested. They should also be flushed through (in fact, this should have been happening on a weekly basis throughout lockdown, but if you didn’t organise that, it should absolutely, crucially be done when you are about to reopen once more).
The responsible people within the business need to ensure that this happens. Even if they cannot do it themselves, they can have a third party – just like Assured Water – do it for them. If they don’t, this could be regarded as a breach of duty, and this can lead to fines or even, if someone should become seriously ill or die, a prison sentence for corporate manslaughter.
Contact Assured Water
Assured Water are here to answer all your questions about how to reopen your premises safely now that lockdown is easing. Whether you need advice or a more practical helping hand, simply contact us today to find out exactly what you need to do and how to do it.