Legionella Risk Assessments
Landlords of residential accommodation have a responsibility to take measures to combat ‘Legionnaires’ Disease in their properties. Landlords are under a duty of care to ensure that the risk of exposure to Legionella for tenants, residents and visitors to their properties is adequately assessed and controlled.
Specifically, landlords are obligated to have a risk assessment conducted on their properties followed by subsequent periodic reviews. The Approved Code of Practice L8, about Legionella disease states that the risk assessments on water systems should be reviewed regularly, at least every two years or when there is a change in the water system, a Legionella outbreak, or a change in the use of the building or the occupants.
Tenants should be provided with advice about the risk of Legionella. Reference to any control measures in place to reduce the risk should be clearly made within any Tenancy Agreement.
Legionella in Homes
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which is contracted by inhaling small droplets of water containing Legionella bacteria.
Legionnaires’ disease mainly affects people in ‘High Risk’ groups including those over the age of 50, new born babies, smokers, heavy drinkers, those with heart disease and anyone who has a weakened immune system.
Legionella bacteria are present in low numbers in natural water systems such as rivers and ponds, and can be present in domestic and commercial hot and cold water systems. If conditions are favourable, the bacteria may proliferate rapidly. When these bacteria are released as an aerosol, e.g. showers, spa baths, cooling towers, spray taps, they can be inhaled and cause the disease in susceptible individuals.
The purpose of a Legionella Risk Assessment is to show that sufficient care has been taken to assess the risk of legionella in the property.
The control of Legionella in rental properties is a legal requirement and duty of care is placed on Landlords. Please refer to ‘House of commons briefing paper 07307’
The current legislation and guidance (Mar 2016) is as follows:
a) The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
b) COOSH Regulations 2002
c) Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella Bacteria in water systems: Approved code of Practice L8 2013 (HSE)
d) Legionnaires disease: The control of Legionella Bacteria in hot and cold water systems HSG274 2014 (HSE)
e) Risk assessment for legionella control BS 8570:2010
Essex Domestic Energy Assessors are Qualified and Accredited Legionella Risk Assessors
Costs for providing a Legionella Risk Assessment are dependent on the Water System Type and details can be found on our Price List page.
Contact - Roger Gilbey 07855 778567