Human Resources

Legionella

 Legionella is a bacteria which can form and grow in water providing specific conditions are present.  It occurs naturally in rivers and streams but can also spread and grow in man-made water systems where: 

  • water is stored or re-circulated as part of the water system

  • temperature is between 20 and 45 degrees celsuis

  • there is a presence of rust, sludge, scale or organic matter

  • potential for water droplets to be produced and dispersed via showers or aerosols

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) identifies legal duties which are required to assess, prevent and control the risk from bacteria like Legionella.  Any such work must be carried out by a competent person and should include:

  • control of water temperature

  • non stagnation of water 

  • maintenance of clean water

  • treating water to kill legionella

  • other controls to minimise legionella growth

Records must be kept.

The presence of Legionella bacteria can lead to Legionnaires Disease which can cause a very serious fom of Pneumonia.  Those most at risk are: 

  • people over 45 years 

  • smokers and heavy drinkers

  • people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease

  • anyone with impaired immune system