compliance services

Legionella: How You Can Remain Compliant with our Compliance Services

At Sussex Facilities Management, we are well aware of the responsibilities that come with being a business owner. During times such as this, where circumstances are both uncertain and unprecedented, it can be even more challenging to keep up with the operations of your business. It comes as no surprise then that some companies may delay compliance paperwork, and let it fall to the bottom of the priorities list. However, keeping your business compliant and ensuring you adhere to health and safety guidelines is a legal requirement, so we recommend you endeavour to keep on top of it at all times. If you find that you need an extra pair of hands, we are here to help. Our highly qualified and insured providers can offer you support and compliance services whenever you need it. In the meantime, the team at SFM have put together this article outlining one of the most prominent threats – Legionella.

 

Legionella: What is it?

Legionella is a species of bacterium found in natural freshwater environments such as lakes or rivers. However, it can pose a major health concern when it develops and spreads in man-made buildings and water systems. It can then spread through tiny water droplets that are small enough for people, your employees for example, to breathe in and can lead to Legionnaires Disease or even Pontiac Fever. It also tends to develop over an extended period of vacancy. Fortunately, it cannot usually be passed from person to person.

The most common areas of build-up within a work environment include:

  • Showerheads and sink faucets
  • Fountains and water features
  • Hot water tanks and heaters
  • Large plumbing systems
 

As a business owner, yourself and your landlord (if applicable) are the only people in control of your premises, so you have a legal responsibility to monitor the levels of legionella within your water systems and treat as necessary. We would advise you do this by carrying out a detailed risk assessment that includes the following:

  • Identify and assess any potential sources. For example, your sink faucets or plumbing system.
  • Prepare a written scheme for preventing or controlling the risk of development and exposure to legionella.
  • Implement, manage and monitor the effectiveness of precautions.
  • If you feel it is necessary, appoint an additional person with sufficient authority and knowledge to help implement and maintain the measures needed.
 

If you require assistance, this is something we offer as part of our compliance services. Aside from a risk assessment, there are several other measures you can take to prevent or treat Legionella:

  • Flush out the system on a regular basis.
  • Avoid letting debris get into the system and ensure all seals are watertight
  • Ensure that any redundant or damaged pipework is removed or replaced
  • Ensure that exposed areas are cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis, such as sink faucets and showerheads.
 

If the maintenance of the building does not lie with you and is managed by a letting agent or property manager instead, it should state clearly in your contracts who is in charge of your water systems. If this is not specified within the contract and no agreement has been made, the responsibility falls to whoever is in the charge of the property – in this case, the letting agent or property manager.  

If you would like any assistance with this, or you would like to make an enquiry about our compliance services, building maintenance or even something else, contact us today on 01444 812 171 to speak to a member of our team. Alternatively, you can email us at office@sussexfacilities.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

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