Legionnaires’ disease is a big issue wherever and whenever it occurs. It causes panic to people since it is not passed from human to human, but through water-borne bacteria breeding in taps, water tanks, shower heads, cooling appliances, and even ice cream machines. News of Legionnaires’ disease triggers paranoia. Also, this is a disease that can be fatal for older people, so many are quite concerned over cases of Legionnaires’ disease.
An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease indicates that danger lurks somewhere and anyone can be a victim. Due to this unsettling situation, Legionella risk assessments need to be carried out. Now, here’s what you need to know about the process:
1. It is a legal requirement to uphold for all landlords, whether you are renting out a property or just a room. It’s the responsibility of landlords to make sure that the properties they own are safe for their tenants.
2. The Legionella risk assessments that landlords have to carry out need to be done regularly. They are as crucial as your annual gas safety checks. However, landlords are allowed to carry them out more frequently especially whenever there are changes in the water system within the property. If risks are identified after the assessments, they must take remedial action as soon as possible.
3. Risks should be managed for both large and small water systems because organisms that cause Legionnaire’s disease can spread in both.
4. Your tenants must be aware of the control measures they need to undertake such as regular cleaning of their showerheads and to inform immediately if water is not heating properly.
5. In case of property vacancy, you have to make sure that water does not stagnate. Extra care should be done for properties that are vacant for a long time. You have to arrange for weekly flushing of every outlet or the most suitable way of draining the system.
6. Most landlords can do risk assessments themselves but if you don’t feel competent to do so then you can seek the help of qualified assessors such as Aquacert.
7. It is a legal requirement to have a risk assessment however, if someone had contracted Legionnaire’s disease from the water system within the premises then landlords will be liable and will have to present evidence that they have fulfilled their duty.
8. Legionella risk assessment is different from Legionnaire’s testing. The former is compulsory; testing, however, is not.