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 is 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 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 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.

The S2 Partnership is a registered Legionella Control Association provider of water hygiene management services including risk assessments, consultancy, training and analytical services.

Please contact us for more information.