Russell Surveying Services are able to offer a comprehensive water hygiene management package from conducting Legionella risk assessments which will define actions required for compliance with the guidelines and provide a schedule for any required ongoing monitoring.All risk assessments will be lodged with Quidos, a certified scheme provider.Russell Surveying Services use UKAS accredited laboratories to carry out Legionella testing. Sampling can provide valuable information on the efficacy of the control scheme, of which pre-planned maintenance (PPM’s) such as temperature monitoring etc may form a part of.Legionella Risk AssessmentAs an employer or organisation in control of any premises, you have an absolute legal duty to undertake a legionella risk assessment. This duty is a requirement of the following legal framework:The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974The Management of Health and Safety at Work RegulationsMore specifically, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and:HSE Guidance, The Approved Code of Practice: Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (ACoP)The risk assessment doesn’t have to be complicated but will determine the right precautions that maybe required to reduce the potential risk of exposure to legionella.What is Legionnaires Disease?Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. Infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another. Everyone is potentially susceptible to infection but some people are at higher risk, e.g. those over 45 years of age, smokers and heavy drinkers, those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease and people whose immune system is impaired. Legionella bacteria are common in natural water courses and as they are widespread in the environment, they may contaminate and grow in other water systems such as cooling towers and hot and cold water services. The bacteria thrive at temperatures between 20°C-45°C if the conditions are right, e.g. if a supply of nutrients is present such as rust, sludge, scale, algae and other bacteria. Although the bacteria can survive low temperatures they are killed by high temperatures. Legal requirementsThe general duties of the Health and Safety at Work (Jersey) Law 1989 (HSW Law) applies to the control of legionella. This means that ‘dutyholders’, (employers and those withresponsibilities for the control of premises eg landlords) are required to ensure, so far as isreasonably practicable, that water systems do not pose a risk to health.Although there are no prescriptive legal requirements in Jersey which relate to the control oflegionella, reference can be made to the UK Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE)documentation as the standards which should be met to achieve compliance with the HSWLaw.A revised Approved Code of Practice “Legionnaires’ disease. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems L8 (fourth edition)” was published by the HSE in 2013. This fourth edition is supported by guidance in the publication ‘Legionnaires’ disease. Technical Guidance HSG274’. Copies of these publications are available from www.hse.gov.ukThe principal requirements of the UK Approved Code of Practice include the following: identify and assess sources of risk if appropriate, prepare a written scheme for preventing or controlling the risk implement, manage and monitor precautions keep records of the precautions appoint a competent person with sufficient authority and knowledge of the installationto help take the measures needed to comply with the lawWater systemsA water system includes all plant/equipment and components associated with that system, e.g. all associated pipe-work, pumps, feed tanks, valves, showers, heat exchangers, quench tanks, chillers etc. It is important that the system is considered as a whole and not, for example, the cooling tower in isolation. Deadlegs and parts of the system used intermittently, also need to be included since they can create particular problems with microbial growth going unnoticed.Once brought back on-line they can cause heavy contamination, which could disrupt theefficacy of the water treatment regime.A reasonably foreseeable risk of exposure to legionella bacteria exists in: water systems incorporating a cooling tower water systems incorporating an evaporative condenser hot and cold water systemsRevised September 2015 other plant and systems containing water which is likely to exceed 20oC and which mayrelease a spray or aerosol (i.e. a cloud of droplets and/or droplet nuclei) duringoperation or when being maintained, eg spa pools.Not all systems require elaborate assessment and control measures. In some cases, a simplerisk assessment may show that the risks are low and therefore no further action will benecessary. Examples include: in a small building without individuals ‘at higher risk’ from legionella bacteria where daily water usage is inevitable and sufficient to turn over the entire system where cold water is directly from a wholesome mains supply (no cold water tanks) where the only outlets are toilets and wash hand basins (no showers)Legionella TestingRussell Surveying Services use UKAS accredited laboratories to carry out Legionella testing. Sampling can provide valuable information on the efficacy of the control scheme, of which pre-planned maintenance (PPM’s) such as temperature monitoring etc may form a part of.Showerhead Cleansing and DisinfectionShowerheads and hoses require cleaning and descaling 4 times per year in accordance with the Health and Safety Executives guidance the ACOP in regard to legionella control.The shower head needs to be dismantled so that all the removable parts can be cleaned and descaled. This includes the head, inserts and hoses.Water Quality TestingDrinking water in any workplace is delivered in different ways, from taps to bottled dispensers, vending machines and water fountains. Maintaining that quality is important to not just the health of the workforce but the systems and processes that rely on water too. Water is also used for washing, cleaning, sanitation, heating and cooling, irrigation and a whole host of other processes. Like drinking water, it also needs to be of the right quality, whether microbiological (total viable counts (TVC), potable water testing, chemical, metal or other via a UKAS accredited laboratory.
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