The Health and Safety Executive has issued new guidance for employers and those in charge of premises, e.g. landlords.
The guidance aims to address the potential for man-made water systems to be a source for legionella bacteria growth.
Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria. This includes the most serious legionnaires' disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever.
The changes now mean that all residential lettings (Landlords) are required & are duty bound as a "care of duty" to the tenants of their properties to have a Legionella risk assessment carried out to assess the risk to the properties, which then allows for a suitable control scheme to be implemented.
This guidance is for duty holders, which includes employers, landlords & those in control of premises and those with health and safety responsibilities for others, to help them comply with their legal duties. These include identifying and assessing sources of risk, preparing a scheme to prevent or control risk, implementing, managing and monitoring precautions, keeping records of precautions and appointing a manager responsible for others.
The guidance gives practical advice on the legal requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 concerning the risk from exposure to Legionella and guidance on compliance with the relevant parts of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Inventory Line Limited are fully qualified & insured to carry out Risk Assessments, management consultancy & Reviews on residential properties. All of our Assessors & staff are trained to BS 8580 standards & have accredited qualifications gained from IOSH accreditation.
Please contact us on 01474 833 454 for further information and bookings.
Information for Tenants
Legionella bacteria is found in the natural environment and may contaminate and grow in water systems, including domestic hot and cold water systems. They survive low temperatures and thrive at temperatures between 20 - 45°C if the conditions are right. They are killed by high temperatures at 60°C or above. Legionella Bacteria can cause Legionnaires’ Disease which is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by inhalation of small droplets of contaminated water. This advice sheet gives tips for residents of rented domestic accommodation to help keep risks low.
- Most importantly, make sure that hot water in the system remains hot, cold water is kept cold and water is kept circulated.
- It is important that you DO NOT interfere with the settings on your boiler or hot water system. The hot water should be set so that the water is heated up to 60°C.
- Where a property is left vacant for any time longer than 1 week make sure that when it is occupied again at the outset both hot and cold water systems are flushed through by running all taps for at least 2 minutes. You should also flush all WC’s once.
- This also applies to showers and little used outlets that are not used on a daily basis. So for instance any taps or Wc’s in any second bathrooms or second sinks in utility rooms. If you have an outside tap this should also be run at least once a week for a minimum of 2 minutes.
- Clean any shower head regularly, de-scale and disinfect them. This should be done at least every six months. If any shower heads or hoses are rusted or corroded they should be replaced as soon as possible as rust and scale are a nutrient that feed the Legionella bacteria.
- If you have a spa bath or shower with jets, the jets will need to be cleaned regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions
Tell your Landlord or Estate Agent if:
The boiler or hot water tank are not working properly, particularly if the water is not coming out of the taps at a sufficiently high temperature. It should come out at a temperature of 50°C after it has run for a minute.
If you notice any debris or discolouration in the water.
It is your landlord’s responsibility to take precautions to prevent Legionella being present in the hot or cold water system but tenants and residents also have an important part to play in taking these simple and practical precautions.