Legionella Risk Assessments

Employers have a duty of care to staff to make sure that the water in a workplace is safe, specifically from Legionella bacteria

If you’re a landlord letting out a domestic property you have the same duty of care to your tenants

If you cannot prove that you are taking control measures against Legionella, either in the workplace or a domestic rented property, you risk prosecution.

Most domestic rented premises will be low risk but as Legionnaires disease is potentially fatal it is important that you risk-assess your rented residential premises.

Baxter Development Services carry out Legionella Risk Assessments for a flat rate

Legionella Risk Assessments

What is Legionnaires Disease?

Legionnaires Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal in up to 1 out of 3 cases. The infection is caused by breathing in airborne droplets of contaminated water from showers, whirlpool spas, water spray, cooling towers, etc. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another. The majority of outbreaks are single cases and affect men more commonly than women and also those with suppressed immune systems.

Legionella bacteria are found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems such as hot and cold water systems, showerheads and cold water tanks. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20-45°C if the conditions are right. The bacteria are difficult to kill with chemicals if the system is not kept clean and so cleanliness is essential in controlling the risk.

Health and Safety Executive guidance states that domestic hot water system should be set at up to 60°C and water should reach 50°C at discharge within one minute. Even if there is no storage of hot or cold water in the system and the hot water system temperature is set above 45°C a risk assessment is still necessary, but straight forward. Suitable controls have to be introduced as a result of the assessment.

What is the Landlord’s responsibility?

Landlords have a duty to assess the risk of exposure and if need be implement appropriate control measures.

Landlords must consider the risks from Legionella that may affect anyone they employ and any members of the public, tenants and guests, and take suitable precautions. The responsible person should record the risks and precautions and review the assessment from time to time.

What does the Landlord need to do?

A landlord needs to consider which water installations or systems on the premises may give rise to a risk of Legionella and carry out a risk assessment. . Baxter Development Solutions are fully accredited for Legionella Risk Assessments.

What happens if the Landlord does not carry out his/her obligations?

The consequences may be serious. As a landlord you are legally required to manage properties so as not to expose tenants, residents and visitors to risk. Heavy fines or even imprisonment can be imposed . You can be prosecuted if there is an exposure to risk without anyone actually becoming ill.

Do I need to do anything before Baxter Development Solutions arrive?

Please ensure the immersion heater/hot water is turned on so that the systems may be tested and temperatures taken.

What does it cost?

Baxter Development Solutions offer residential/domestic property Legionella Risk Assessments and Testing to help compliance with current UK regulations including Health & Safety at Work Act and the COSHH regulations for a flat rate.

Phil Baxter, Dip DEA, Award LRA, Retrofit Assessor