As summary of the changes to L8

Some of the main changes to the HSE’s ACOP L8

The technical guidance has been removed from the new ACOP L8. This new ACOP L8 makes clear reference to COSHH, HASAW Act, Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations and gives guidance on how to comply.

The technical guidance (removed from the ACOP) is now contained in HS274 which is split into three parts as follows:

  • Part 1 - Cooling water systems.
  • Part 2 - Hot and cold water systems.
  • Part 3 - Other risk systems.

The new documents give improved guidance on how to comply with health & safety law.

Risk Assessments

Details concerning “Carrying out a Risk Assessment” are no longer simply guidance, they are now specifically included in the new approved code of practice (Para 38) giving this aspect greater authority.

The previous ACOP L8 stated that legionella risk assessments must be reviewed after no more than two years. This is no longer the case but the new ACOP L8 states that they should be reviewed regularly or if there is a belief that the risk assessment is no longer valid. The ACOP gives a number of specific circumstances where risk assessments should be reviewed.

Responsible Person

There is now the potential for the role of the “Responsible Person” to be an external party.

Control Measures

Details concerning the need to review control measures are no longer simply guidance, they are now specifically included in the new approved code of practice (Para 61) giving this aspect greater authority.

Other Changes

TMVs

All strainers and filters associated with thermostatic mixer valves to be inspected, cleaned, descaled and disinfected annually.
Where practicable, TMVs should be incorporated directly in the tap fitting, and mixing at the point of outlet is preferable.
Only Type 3 TMVs can be installed in healthcare premises, these should be checked regularly to ensure they are fail-safe if the cold water supply pressure is interrupted.

Temperatures

  • Hot water should be stored at least at 60 °C and distributed so that it reaches a temperature of 50 °C (55 °C in healthcare premises).
  • Recording of tank temperatures is reduced to annually (Summer).
  • Hot water subordinate loops to be tested for temperature quarterly on a monthly rolling rota. 
  • POU (Point of use) water heaters with a capacity less than15litres should maintain a temperature of 50˚C - 60˚C (55˚C min in healthcare premises).
  • HWS which supply outlets to high-risk users and incorporate tertiary loops, eg showers in healthcare premises, should be identified as areas for additional temperature monitoring.

Water Softeners

  • Water softeners to be serviced and disinfected annually.

Combination Water Heaters

  • For combination water heaters (ie with integral water tank and heater) – tanks should be inspected annually and temperatures taken monthly.

Flushing

  • Expansion vessels, where practical, flush through and purge to drain monthly

Capacity of Cold Water Storage Tanks

  • The volume of stored cold water should be minimised and should not normally exceed that required for one day’s water use although in healthcare premises, a nominal 12 hours total onsite storage capacity is recommended.

+Duncan Hollis