Water Hygiene Risk Assessment: Domestic Systems

A water hygieneThe growth of bacteria in water systems is a common cause of potentially-fatal Legionnaires’ disease.  Recent outbreaks of Legionella have highlighted the need for stringent water hygiene risk mana... risk assessment is legally required for all premises with water, where there I
s the potential to create a spray or aerosol and where there is the potential for the water on
site to exceed 20°C.

The requirement to carry out a risk assessment is laid down in section 6 of the Control of
Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and section 3 of the Management of
Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999).

In order to give clear guidance and instruction on how to comply with the regulations,
the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued an approved code of practice
ACOP L8, which details all the specific tasks, checks and policies/procedures
which need to be in place for any organisation to fully comply with the legislation.

A water hygiene risk assessment carried out by the S2 Partnership will detail all
the relevant assets, plant and systems on-site which have the potential to create
a risk with regard to the growth and dissemination of Legionella bacteria.

A condition survey of all relevant plant/assets will summarise those remedial
actions required in order to reduce the risk to a manageable level.

In addition, the S2 Partnership will audit all current activities on-site with regard to
Legionella control, as per ACOP L8, and set up a comprehensive management
plan/water hygiene log book system to include detailed policies and procedures and
method statements in order to ensure the site fully complies with all guidance and legislation.

What are the benefits?

A water hygiene risk assessment carried out by the S2 Partnership provides a number of benefits, including:

  • compliance with relevant legislation – specifically HSWA (1974), COSHH (2002), and MHSWR 1999;
  • prevention of an occurrence/outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal and as such, if negligence is proved, a prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 is a distinct possibility;
  • protection of reputation. Following recent outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease, public awareness and media involvement continues to gain momentum; and
  • the control of Legionella bacteria on sites is closely scrutinised by both the HSE and the Local Authority.

These agencies have the power to issue Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices. Following all the guidance outlined in an S2 Partnership risk assessment will ensure that audits by the HSE and Local Authority run smoothly and avoid the detrimental effects of having either a Prohibition or Improvement Notice served.

How can the S2 Partnership help?

The water hygiene risk assessment survey of domestic water systems on site to identify
hazards, assess risks and recommend risk controls that minimise the potential for legionella bacteria. If no schematic drawings are available on site, these can be produced for an
additional fee. As part of the water hygiene risk assessment, water log sheets will
be produced.

S2 partnership will produce a written scheme as per the requirements outlined in
ACOP L8 2013 Paragraphs 60 to 63; HSG274 Part 1 Appendix 2; HSG274 Part 2
Appendix 2.2, and where necessary will identify those areas which are to be
provided by other parties.

S2 Partnership provides a comprehensive service to audit and manage the level of
Legionella compliance/control on any site, which involves the following:

  • site survey of all relevant assets and plant to include a detailed condition survey
    outlining all faults and listing all necessary remedial actions required to ensure the
    water services on-site comply with the requirements of not only ACOP L8, but also
    other guidance documents and regulations, such as the Water Supply (Water Fittings)
    Regulations 1999;
  • audit of all Legionella control activities on-site, including all tasks carried out by sub-contractors and to include an assessment of the competency of all people involved in the management and control of Legionella bacteria;
  • provision of all documentation relevant to Legionella control, including policies and procedures, method statements, emergency procedures, log books, log sheets and risk assessments;
  • designing and delivering specific training programmes aimed at ensuring competency of on-site maintenance staff, managers and Responsible Persons/Duty Holders; and
  • carrying out sampling to prove the effectiveness of control regimes.

As part of your obligations to comply with current legislation and codes of practice governing the control and management of legionella (COSHH, RIDDOR, HSWA, MHSWA, Notification
of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations, ACOP L8). The following is
required from clients for water systems that they manage:

  1. The need to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment
  2. The need to prepare a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk
  3. The need to implement, manage and monitor precautions
  4. The need to keep records of the precautions
  5. The need to appoint a person to managerial responsibility

It is the client’s responsibility to maintain all records pertinent to the control of
legionella on site and to determine where these records will be kept. Records are
to be maintained for a period of five years

Our team of dedicated and professionally trained staff, ensure the ability to deliver
a comprehensive and effective water management service, including the following
key services for which S2 Partnership currently hold Legionella Control
Association Registration :

  • Legionella risk assessments for domestic and cooling tower systems
  • Independent water sampling
  • Training Courses
  • Independent Consultancy Services

The S2 Partnership Registration Certificate can be viewed here.

To see a current copy of the Legionella Control Association Code of Conduct which S2 Partnership comply with please click here.

Please contact us for more information.