Legislation and Guidance

From paragraph 4 in L8 ACoP: The following diagram summarises the five key areas that employers and those with responsibility for the control of premises (statutory duty holders) should implement in order to comply with their legal duties (COSHH regulations 2002 and HSWA 1974).

Before implementing control measures the risk assessment should be carried out to ensure that the efforts and expense of any legionella management systems and processes target the areas that are likely to cause the highest risks and bacteria growth rates.
For example, simply taking a legionella sample, or carrying out a clean and disinfection, may provide an indication of bacteria growth, or help with removal of bacteria respectively at that time, but will not enable identification of any root cause or potential for bacteria growth or understanding other measures that will ensure that the bacteria do not return.

L8 paragraph 185: Legionella samples are required as part of a monitoring programme for evaporative cooling systems and spa systems. In domestic water systems they would also be recommended for systems that are:
Treated with biocide chemicals and hot water distribution temperatures are subsequently reduced;
Failing to meet the temperature or biocide control levels consistently;
When an outbreak is suspected or has been identified;
Where high risk individuals are exposed – immunologically compromised
(hospital wards, certain care homes).

Sampling does not replace the need for an effective monitoring and control scheme. Samples do provide information on the effectiveness of any legionella control scheme and therefore are often taken from a variety of water systems to provide extra ‘peace of mind’ for the responsible person.
Healthcare premises should also pay attention to the Health and Technical Memorandum HTM04-01 for the control of Legionnaires’ disease on health care premises, which replaced HTM 2040, provided by the Department of Health.
The above applies to commercial properties, including office or industrial buildings, leisure facilities, retail etc and their owners, occupiers, managers or other position of responsibility for the property or employees.
The Association of Residential Managing Agents (ARMA) recommends that its members and landlords ensure that all communal parts of their building water systems are risk assessed periodically, unless the landlord and tenant contract includes the internals of the flats/tenants property as the landlord’s responsibility, in which case the entire water system should be assessed.

Included in the risk assessments will be an asset register and schematic diagram which are recommended in L8 ACoP for keeping in the logbook as reference material for the design and layout of the site water systems.
Extra information for providers of residential accommodation in the HSC leaflet INDG376 is aimed at:
local authorities
universities
housing associations, including housing companies
charities
hostels
landlords in the private renting sector
managing agents
hoteliers, B&B, guest house and holiday camp owners and;
caravan and camping site owners, including fixed caravan sites.

Personal residential property on freehold land, or designated as the tenants responsibility, is not covered under HSWA or COSHH and as such there is no legal obligation to implement an extensive legionella control programme. Care should be taken however to avoid conditions in your own home that could encourage legionella bacteria to grow, such as water stagnation through lack of tap use (unused annex building, away from home for long periods of time for example) or water temperatures being maintained between 20-45°C.

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