Tragic deaths highlight the importance of regular water monitoring

Water monitoring is essential

The tragic cases of two women who died after developing infections linked to contamination in a hospital’s water supply has brought the importance of water monitoring into sharp focus.

In 2019, the two women were patients at a hospital in Cambridgeshire where they developed Mycobacterium Abscessus. At an inquest, the coroner acknowledged the hospital had followed the national guidance around water monitoring and testing at the time, but said he remained concerned about the possibility of future cases.

In this blog, the experts at Acorn Safety Services explain more about the importance of regular water monitoring and the steps you can take now to protect the people around you.

Why is water monitoring necessary?

Regular testing and water monitoring is an essential part of your health and safety toolkit.

By carrying out tests, weekly, monthly, every six months or annually, as determined by a legionella risk assessment, you can ensure that the water supply to your premises is safe and that those around you are protected from bacteria including legionella. If left undetected, legionella could go on to cause Legionnaires’ Disease, particularly among those whose immune system is compromised.

As an employer or duty holder for your premises you have a legal obligation to ensure the correct water monitoring takes place and a legionella risk assessment should be your first step.

Carried out by one of Acorn Safety Services’ expert consultants, a legionella risk assessment will help you to:

  • Identify, quantify and assess the potential sources of risk of exposure to legionella bacteria
  • Assess the existing control measures already in places such as service records, cleaning and monitoring regimes
  • Assess the level of training, awareness and competence in regard to the management of legionella bacteria
  • Provide guidance on any remedial actions to reduce any potential exposure to legionella bacteria.

We will also inspect any fittings, hot and cold water tanks and other assets which require maintenance and monitoring by law and guidance.

What is legionella?

According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), legionella bacteria is commonly found in water and can multiply quickly if the water reaches the optimum temperature of between 20-40°C.

Inhaling airborne droplets which contain legionella bacteria can cause serious illness, including Legionnaires’ Disease – a potentially fatal illness which is similar to pneumonia.

Any one is at risk of developing Legionnaires’ Disease, but the elderly, people with cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease or kidney disease should always take extra care.

Symptoms are similar to the flu and include high temperature, feverishness and chills, cough, muscle aches and headache.

How can I arrange an assessment?

Getting a risk assessment arranged couldn’t be easier.

Simply get in touch with our team of experts  using the contact details below and we’ll do all the hard work for you.

On the day, our fully-trained consultant will carry out the survey and give you guidance about any steps you may need to take, including legionella treatment remediation.

After the appointment, your report will be quality checked and a pdf will be emailed to you within five working days.

It will contain the results of the assessment, including photographs and temperature data where appropriate, as well as recommendations for effective legionella control.

With offices in Northampton, Wolverhampton and London we offer complete nationwide coverage. While costs for legionella risk assessments do vary depending on the size of the property or premises, the amount you are quoted will always be the price you pay – no hidden extras or nasty surprises.

To make things easier for you to manage, 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.

And because Acorn Safety Services is a fully-independent health and safety consultancy, you can be sure that advice we offer is with your very best interests at heart.

For more information about water monitoring and the range of services we offer at Acorn Safety Services visit www.acornhealthandsafety.co.uk

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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