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Nurseries are not generally a high risk for Legionnaires’ Disease since they do not normally have more than one shower on the premises and younger children are less likely to be classified as ‘High Risk’.  As with all commercial buildings though, a Risk Assessment, a Written Scheme and appropriate measures for dealing with any problems highlighted should be in place, together with written records.  Regular screening of the water for legionella bacteria is recommended and will give you peace of mind that the systems in place are adequately controlling the risk.

In our opinion, a higher than normal risk in Day Nurseries is general hygiene as faecal contamination of taps is common.  This bacteria can, in turn, be transferred easily, for example if a Nursery Assistant is helping a child to wash their hands and then touches a kitchen tap which is used for drinking water purposes, this could result in a child ingesting contaminated water.

Regularly checking the drinking water tap for bacteria is considered good practice to highlight if the hygiene regimes are adequate or require review.  The test is referred to as a ‘potable’ test and consists of :

  • Total Viable Count at 22°C
  • Total Viable Count at 37°C
  • E.Coli
  • Coliforms

Links to order ‘Potable’ Test and ‘Legionella’ Test

LAW

  • Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999
  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
 

RELEVANT DOCUMENTS

HSG274 Legionnaires’ disease: Technical guidance:-

  • Part 2: The control of legionella bacteria in hot & cold water systems
 

HSE- Legionnaires’ disease A guide for employers
HSE - Essential information for providers of residential accommodation

British Standards Institute – BS9554:2015 Code of Practice for the sampling & monitoring of hot and cold water systems in buildings.

Which kit to buy?

The number of samples and frequency should be stated in the ‘Written Scheme’ which is produced following the risk assessment.

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