Water FAQs

Why do I need a Risk Assessment

The HSE’s ACoP L8 states that every building should have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment undertaken.

In buildings occupied by five or more people the results should be formally recorded. This document should be reviewed or updated regularly or at least every two years.

Uni water’s primary starting point to any water hygiene control is to undertake a Legionella risk assessment to establish the current statues and level of risk within the building.

The risk assessment will look at all aspects, from site usage, occupants and water services. Uniwater will record the findings with detailed report, including schematic diagrams and photographic records.

The risk assessment will provide straight forward remedial actions and risk factors associated to these, to reduce the risk and ensure compliance with water regulations.

How many reported cases are there per year?

Legionnaires’ disease has 300-400 cases are reported in the UK each year
Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease receive significant media attention. When outbreaks occur, they are usually in the summer and early autumn, though cases may occur at any time of year. The fatality rate of Legionnaires’ disease has ranged from 5% to 30% during various outbreaks. “The death rate for patients who develop Legionnaire’s disease while in the hospital is close to 50%, especially when antibiotics are started late.

How does Legionella become Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires disease is normally contracted by inhaling
the Legionella bacteria either in:-

  • Tiny droplets of water (aerosols)
  • Droplet nuclei (particles left after water has evaporated)

Person to person spread of the disease has not been documented

How does Legionnaires Disease manifest itself?

  • Pneumonia
  • Pontiac Fever
  • Lochgoilhead Fever
  • 12% of reported cases are fatal
  • Can be treated effectively with antibiotics
  • Long-term lung damage.

Who is at risk?

Potentially all human form
Age – Elderly
Illness
Immunosuppression
Smoking

How does Legionella proliferate (grow)?

Nutrient Sources for Legionella

  • Algae
  • Other Bacteria
  • Sediment
  • Sludge
  • Scale
  • Biofilms

What Legislation does the control of Legionella relate to?

  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health(COSHH)
  • Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR)
  • Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992

What could happen if I fail to comply/manage?

Fines? Could class as corporate manslaughter?
10% of annual turnover (£5.4b = £540m)
Possible imprisonment
Accountable from delivery to direction

What should I do if I suspect a Legionnaires Disease outbreak?

1. Legionnaires’ disease is not notifiable under public health legislation in England and Wales but, in Scotland, legionellosis (i.e. all diseases caused by legionella) is notifiable under the Public Health (Notification of Infectious Disease) (Scotland) Regulations 1988.

2. An outbreak is defined by the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) as two or more confirmed cases of legionellosis occurring in the same locality within a six-month period. Location is defined in terms of the geographical proximity of the cases and requires a degree of judgement. It is the responsibility of the Proper Officer for the declaration of an outbreak. The Proper Officer is appointed by the local authority under public health legislation and is usually a Consultant in Communicable Disease Control (CCDC). In Scotland, it is the Consultant in Public Health Medicine (CPHM) employed by the Health Board and acting as Designated Medical Officer for the local authority.

3.  Local authorities will have established incident plans to investigate major outbreaks of infectious disease including legionellosis. These are activated by the Proper Officer who invokes an Outbreak Committee, whose primary purpose is to protect public health and prevent further infection. This will normally be set up to manage the incident and will involve representatives of all the agencies involved. HSE or the local authority EHO may be involved in the investigation of outbreaks, their aim being to pursue compliance with health and safety legislation.

How can Uni water help us to reduce our Legionella risk?

Uni water can provide a full robust service to manage all of your Legionella requirements.

A member of the LCA and water management Soc Uni water have formally qualified dedicated water team to provide the solution however large or small.

What measures are there to control Legionella?

To prevent exposure to the Legionella bacteria, you as a duty holder must comply with legislation that requires you to manage, maintain and treat water systems in your premises properly. This will include, but not be limited to, appropriate water treatment and cleaning regimes.

Remember, Legionella can grow in any workplace if the conditions are right – you do not have to work with microbiological agents, e.g. in a laboratory, for exposure to occur. If you are responsible for any of the water systems described in HSE’s Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and Guidance “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems” (L8) you will need to assess the risk of employees and others in the workplace contracting Legionnaires’ disease.

Is there a solution?

Let Uni water take away your Responsibility

Uni water’s approaches the control of Legionella bacteria are through a methodical LCA approved method  assessing any potential risks based on the personnel and water systems  there may be, rectifying any immediate or significant risk areas, ongoing monitoring and sampling and finally any evaluation to ensure the systems are working.

This innovative niche method of delivery and proactive management makes Uni waters Legionella control process the envy of the water sector, this in turn will minimize the risk to the building occupants and ensuring the building adheres to the current legislation.

How is Legionnaires disease treated?

If you were to contract Legionnaires’ disease it would need to be treated with antibiotics. Without treatment it can be fatal.

How do you contract Legionnaires disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by inhaling small water droplets which can be suspended in the air known as aerosols.
Susceptible individuals may get infected even at relatively low doses.

What is Legionella pneumophila?

Legionella pneumophila is the type of Legionella species of which is accountable for outbreaks around the world.

What are remedial works?

Once Uni water Legionella risk assessment has been completed, there may be some items of remedial works which will require attention.

This could include the Clean and disinfections of cold water storage tanks, installations of Bylaw kits.

Uniassist can undertake these tasks for you using directly employed survive engineers, formally C&G qualified engineers, who hold many years specialist experience in water hygiene.

What is ongoing monitoring?

An integral part of the L8 requirement is the need to undertake periodic monitoring and system checks to ensure that they are operating a compliant service.

Using the Uni water Legionella risk assessment report.

A site bespoke water hygiene log book can then be instigated which can be used to record and collate all of the information relating to water hygiene. This service can also be provided by a live web based log book with unlimited storage.

Uniwater use and operate cutting edge technology to prevent the proliferation risk within your site, by monitoring water every 15 sections, significantly reducing the risk of Legionella proliferation.

Why do I need a Legionella review?

On a six monthly basis, the review of any water Legionella control programme is essential. This ensures the systems control measures are adequate and the risk of Legionella proliferation is controlled.

At this stage Uni water provides the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments to the control parameters to ensure total compliance.

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