Essential Legionella regulations guide for commercial businesses

For businesses looking to understand more about Legeionla regulations and their responsibilities as landlords and business owners, this article should serve as a helpful compliance guide.

There are a number of factors to address to ensure your businesses’ health and safety is compliant with HSE’s and ACOP L8’s guidelines. Below, we have included the core regulations to ensure the safety of your business and staff.

1a. Arranging a Legionella risk assessment 

Arguably the most important step to ensuring your compliance with health and safety law guidelines, arranging a Legionella risk assessment is easy with AMES Group. Our process monitors the water flow and temperature of your water supplies and water systems to ensure they’re operating correctly and at the right temperatures. Our process typically involves:

  • Locating your hot and cold water systems and testing them
  • Surveying your water tanks and providing reports
  • Performing stagnation and water flow tests
  • Sourcing any potential aerosol threats
  • Our team offering helpful advice on conducting your own risk assessments

1b. The process

After arranging your Legionella risk assessment, an AMES Group surveyor will visit your property, identify key water sources (tanks, systems etc) and collect samples from these sources around the property. Then, they are sent to a UKAS-accredited testing station for further analysis. Your Legionella sampling results usually take around 2 – 3 weeks, and once we have received them, we will contact you and advise further action if necessary.

2. Understanding how to conduct a risk assessment

As long as Legionella regulations are followed, most landlords can conduct their own Legionella risk assessments. We have included a helpful guide on how to check each of your systems on our Legionella Testing article. 

The most important factor is to appoint a competent, willing person from either within or outside your business to take responsibility for your Legionella regulations. The appointed person will have to identify the main water sources of the building and conduct the necessary control measures to alleviate the risk of Legionella bacteria to ensure the safety of the occupants.

3. Keeping records of your risk assessments

We strongly advise keeping hold of your Legionella risk assessment records for future reference, specifically when you are due another assessment. It’s also important in case your property is ever audited, records prove that a comprehensive assessment was carried out.

You may want to consider placing someone in charge of overseeing all Legionella-based responsibilities. The selected person should be trained to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment as well as being able to identify potential risks and threats associated with Legionella bacteria. This would include monitoring water temperature, identifying water tanks and systems throughout the property and ensuring all testing guidelines adhere to HSE’s Legionella regulations. 

4. Getting trained or finding a certified engineer

Understanding the basics responsibilities for overseeing Legionella control can be achieved by most Landlords and does not require extensive training. In some cases, you may not want to place sole responsibility on someone from your business, especially if they don’t want to be trained. In this case, you can elect someone from outside your business who is trained in Legionella risk assessment.

The main Legionella regulations in the UK

While the HSE and ACOP L8 regulations are the benchmark to which all risk assessors adhere to, there are more specific codes of conduct that you may find useful. We’ve listed these information sources below:

Is your property compliant with Legionella regulations?

We understand that adhering to Legionella regulations may sound daunting, but there are only a few essential rules you need to follow to be compliant. However, if you don’t have the time or do not feel equipped to bear the responsibility of overseeing your property’s Legionella regulations, AMES Group can help. 

We conduct hundreds of Legionella risk assessments every year,m ensuring properties are risk-free and safe from the threat of Legionnaires’ disease. If You would like to arrange a Legionella risk assessment, simply complete the contact form below and our team will get back to you swiftly to arrange a date that suits you.

FAQs:

Is a Legionella risk assessment a legal requirement?

According to HSE, landlords have a legal requirement to assess and control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria. Although having a risk assessment is not compulsory, it alleviates liability in the event of a Legionella outbreak, which makes it appealing for many landlords. However, the Health and Safety law does not require or demand a ‘Legionnaires test certificate’.

What temperature should water be to prevent Legionella?

Hot water temperatures should remain above 60 degrees Celsius or higher, whereas cold water systems should remain below 20 degrees. If temperatures do not meet these criteria, Legionella bacteria has a platform and habitat to grow and multiply.

How often do legionella risk assessments need to be done?

We strongly advise that all properties have their water systems assessed for Legionella sampling and testing at least every two years. There is no ‘rule’ that states a landlord must conduct a risk assessment within a given time period, but landlords still have a legal requirement to control the risk of Legionella exposure.

How long do you need to keep Legionella records?

It’s advised that once your Legionella risk assessment is complete, you keep a record of your results for the next time you require an assessment. This could be anywhere between two and five years.

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