Legionella: Heading back to the office after Christmas? Make sure you’re aware of the hidden dangers of this deadly bacteria

Legionella testing is an important part of your health and safety programme

IF you’re returning to the office after the Christmas break and your water supply hasn’t been used for a while we would recommend making regular legionella testing one of your new year health and safety resolutions.

Legionella bacteria can easily develop and build up in any water supplies which aren’t used regularly, causing a serious safety risk to your employees and those around you.

Here, the team at Acorn Safety Services explain more about legionella and the steps you can take today to protect those around you.

What is legionella bacteria?

While legionella bacteria may be small it packs a deadly punch.

It’s naturally found in streams, rivers, reservoirs and ponds but can cause huge problems if it gets trapped inside your water system, particularly if it hasn’t been used for a while.

According to the Government, there were 503 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in the UK in 2019. It’s a serious illness which can be fatal – symptoms to be aware of include fever, headache, cough and shortness of breath.

Any areas where water is stored or recirculated, where the water temperature is between 20-45°C or where rust, sludge, scale and organic matters are present, are considered to be at much higher risk of developing legionella bacteria.

We recommend that water monitoring and testing takes place annually to ensure any problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently. In buildings which have been closed for long periods of time, a test should be carried out while the property is unoccupied to ensure it is safe.

So what can I do to protect myself and my employees?

Last year, Acorn Safety Services launched a new legionella bacteria service, offering risk assessments and testing to help businesses, charities and organisations protect themselves from the significant dangers of legionella.

A full Legionella Risk Assessment carried out by one of our qualified assessors is the first important step in identifying and assessing your individual risk.

The survey will look for any non-Water Regulations Approval Scheme approved fittings, assess your cold water tank and conditions in your hot water cylinder and accessibility to all areas that require monitoring and maintenance by law.

At the end of the assessment, you will receive a full report which will include any advice about remedial work and repairs and steps you should take next which may include legionella treatment remediation – a process which removes legionella bacteria from your water system, usually by using chlorine to kill the bacteria.

We also offer a free online portal where our clients can store their risk assessment documents safely and securely online ensuring they are fully accessible whenever you need them.

For more information you can visit our dedicated website which can be found at www.legionellarisks.co.uk.

Short on time? We’ve got the solution

If you need our help – and you need it quickly – why not book in for one of our 30-minute virtual consultations?

We’ll put you in touch with one of the legionella experts who can talk through your individual risk and make recommendations about the next steps to take. If, at the end of the consultation we think you need a more thorough risk assessment, our expert will advise you and book it for you.

As your independent health and safety consultants, with offices and clients across the UK, there is no one better placed to offer you impartial advice about legionella. Get in touch today to see how we can help and protect you and those closest to you from the dangers of legionella.

For all your health and safety needs visit https://acornhealthandsafety.co.uk/ today or contact us at info@acornhealthandsafety.co.uk or on 01604 930380.


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