Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit

A guide to making a commercial property’s water system safe, during periods of low occupancy It’s likely to be in breach of law to simply occupy a building that’s operating at low occupancy or has stood idle. Building Managers need to conduct a Low Occupancy Property – Water Hygiene Audit and recommission their water systems. To read HSE guidance on what you must do, click here. Alternatively, read our guide below.   Why is it so important to audit water hygiene, at times of low occupancy? Because Legionella bacteria may now be lurking in water systems! It’s vital that we audit water systems now because water usage has been so significantly reduced in commercial properties. And in addition to Legionella risk, drinking water retained within buildings may no longer be potable following a period of prolonged stagnation.   If duty-holders haven’t put a proper recommissioning process in place for their […]

Making a property’s water system safe post lockdown

A guide to recommissioning water systems in commercial properties It is unacceptable and likely to be in breach of law, to simply re-open a building that has stood idle, without recommissioning its water system. As the focus is on signage & sanitation right now, making a property’s water system safe post lockdown is something that many property managers are overlooking. To read HSE guidance on what you must do, click here. Alternatively, feel free to read our guide to recommissioning water systems in commercial properties, below.   Why is it so important to assess water hygiene, at this time? Because Legionella bacteria may now be lurking in water systems! It is vital that we assess water systems now because water usage has been so significantly reduced in commercial properties during lockdown. And in addition to Legionella risk, drinking water retained within buildings may no longer be potable following a period of […]

COVID19 Legionella risk post lockdown

When tackling the spread of the COVID19 virus, it has been easy for property managers to lose focus on general day to day obligations. It is important for property managers to ask what is the impact of the COVID19 lockdowns on the risk from legionella bacteria. In many instances, reduced staff on site constitutes as a significant change to a property and therefore the COVID19 legionella risk should be re-assessed. At this time, Health and Safety Law continues to apply and duty holders still maintain a legal obligation to protect those in and around their properties from exposure to legionella bacteria both now and in the future. Legionella bacteria can grow at temperatures between 20°C and 45°C, where a suitable nutrient is available and where turnover of water is low. As businesses increasingly move to a home-working model, the demand for water in many commercial buildings will be significantly reduced. […]

Understanding Your Legionella Risk Assessment

There is often a misconception that a Legionella Risk Assessment is just looking for the presence of Legionella; as if it’s a tick boxing exercise to state whether it’s there or not. However, a Risk Assessment of this kind is actually exactly what it states: it assesses not just whether Legionella is present, but what the risks are of the bacteria emerging. It’s about making sure your site is safe and recommending actions to reduce the risk from Legionella bacteria. To give you guidance on what’s involved in a Legionella Risk Assessment and how you should use the report, we’ve answered some key questions: What is a Legionella Risk Assessment? During a Legionella Risk Assessment, we’re not looking for Legionella in the system, the assessment is instead designed to identify potential conditions that would encourage Legionella to grow. Then we recommend steps to eliminate or reduce that risk, making sure […]

Suspended sentences for bosses who ignored consultants’ advice over Legionella risk

The recent case of two people who have been sentenced to serve 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, after failing to control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria demonstrates how serious this matter is. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recently reported that two people have been sentenced after failing to control the risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria in the cooling tower at their business premises in Spring Hill, Birmingham. Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard that between June 2017 and February 2018, Kulwant Singh Chatha and partner Satpaul Kaur Chatha of Isher Hangers actually ignored concerns raised by their own water treatment consultants, and no Legionella risk assessments were in place. An investigation by the HSE found that the cooling tower was not being managed to control the risk from Legionella bacteria. This failure exposed employees of Isher Hangers, as well as members of the public, […]