Buildings are now being occupied again following the easing of lockdown restrictions. Business owners, the self-employed and landlords have a duty of care to protect individuals by identifying and controlling risks associated with legionella.
As a result of a building closure or during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak the property had reduced occupancy, and the lack of water system use could create the occurrence of water stagnation increasing the risks of Legionnaires’ disease.
Managing the risks
To manage the risks a review of your risk assessment should be taken when a water system is being reinstated or started including some types of air conditioning units. (Note: A regularly used water system still requires the appropriate measure of maintenance to prevent legionella growth.)
The managing of specific products includes:
- Cooling tower and evaporative condensers – operational reviews and plans to ensure systems work should already have been reviewed and put in place
- Hot and cool water systems – used infrequently can cause a build-up of stagnated water and should be flushed weekly
- Air conditioning units – units which generate an aerosol from the source of water and are not used for an extended period will need to be assessed, larger units where water can stagnate in trays are a reservoir for bacteria to grow. Some units with closed cooling systems such as small wall or ceiling mounted should not present a risk
- Pools and hot tubs – existing control regimes should be maintained when in use. If not in use they should be drained, cleaned and disinfected
At BSE|FM we have competent specialists who can work with you to identify any possible issues and rectify or implement suitable controls that will need to be put in place to reduce legionella outbreaks.
If you would like advice and would like to talk to one of our team, contact us at 01444 390 593.