Legionella Risk and Control Management is Mandatory for Residential and Commercial Letting and Management Agencies as directed by the Health and Safety executive HSG274 Part 2 guidelines.
Summary of main requirements from HSG 274 Part 2:
Landlords who provide residential accommodation, as the person in control of the premises or responsible for the water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of tenants to legionella is properly assessed and controlled.
Where a managing (or letting) agent is used, the management contract should clearly specify who has responsibility for maintenance and safety checks, including managing the risk from legionella. Where there is no contract or agreement in place or it does not specify who has responsibility, the duty is placed on whoever has control of the premises and the water system in it, and in most cases, this will be the landlord themselves.
All water systems require a risk assessment. The law requires simple, proportionate and practical actions to be taken, including identifying and assessing sources of risk, managing the risk, preventing or controlling the risk; and periodically checking that any control measures are effective.
For most residential settings, the risk assessment may show the risks are low, in which case no further action may be necessary,. If the assessment shows the risks are insignificant and are being properly managed to comply with the law, no further action may be required, but it is important to review the assessment periodically in case anything changes in the system.
Summary of the Main Legionella Control and Management Actions for most Residential Properties
Simple control measures can help manage the risk of exposure to legionella and should be maintained, such as:
Flushing out the system before letting the property.
Avoiding debris getting into the system (e.g. ensure the cold water tanks, where fitted, have a tight-fitting lid)
Setting control parameters (e.g. setting the temperature of the calorifier to ensure water is stored at 60 °C).
Making sure any redundant pipework identified is removed.
Advising tenants to regularly clean and disinfect showerheads.
Landlords should inform tenants of the potential risk of exposure to legionella. Tenants should be advised to inform the landlord if the hot water is not heating properly or if there are any other problems with the system, so that appropriate action can be taken.
The risk may increase where the property is unoccupied for a short period. It is important that water is not allowed to stagnate within the water system.
Higher Risk Hot and Cold Water Systems in residential properties.
Here are some systems that require much more Legionella risk control management:
Water Softening Equipment
Thermostatic Mixing Valves
Properties with these types of system require a thorough and informed risk assessment as well as a detailed risk management control programme.
Legionella Risk Assessment
The first step in the control and management og Legionella is to undertake a Legionella Risk Assessment. To do this you need a competent person or company to carry out the assessment. GES Water Ltd are accredited with UKAS 17020 Legionella Assessment
The risk assessment will cover every aspect of your water systems and identify the level of risk and provide the basis of a control and management programme to minimise any problems.
UKAS 17020 Accredited Legionella Risk Assessment is fast becoming the bench required for building managers.
Why have a UKAS 17020 Accredited Legionella Risk Assessment?
The UKAS accreditation process determines, in the public interest, the technical competence and integrity of organisations offering testing, inspection, calibration and certification services.
UKAS is the only body recognised by Government to assess these types of organisations against internationally recognised standards, and it does so across all market sectors by offering a transparent and consistent approach which builds business and consumer confidence.
It therefore provides an independent and authoritative declaration that the organisation carrying out the risk assessment has the staff, facilities, technical expertise, management systems and track record to undertake the activity professionally and competently.
As an UKAS 17020 Accredited Company we at GES Water must demonstrate that:
Risk assessments are carried out independently and impartially. UKAS looks for sufficient safeguards to ensure that links to other bodies do not influence the risk assessment or any subsequent recommendations
Integrity is being maintained by all staff at all levels through contractual obligation to written codes of conduct. Such safeguards are necessary to ensure that inspections are undertaken with sufficient impartiality and that recommendations are appropriate to given situations.
This accreditation represents the commitment of GES Water Ltd to quality and consistency in all we do.
Typical cost for Legionella Risk Assessment from GES Water
1-6 bedroom house – £72 +VAT per property
6+ Bedroom property – £80 + VAT per property
For blocks of apartments where we can carry out multiple assessments then the price for risk assessments can be as little as £45 per apartment.
We can give tailored prices for larger premises or high volume assessment work.
Main Reference and Guidance Documents for the Control of Legionella
Legionnaires' disease - A brief guide for duty holders
The control of legionella bacteria in water systems L8. Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations
Health and safety guidance HSG274 Part 2 Hot and Cold water service
The control of legionella and other infectious agents in spa-pool systems