Protecting your staff and general public against legionella

All companies have an absolute responsibility to protect people from legionella bacteria.

“£1.8m fine for Legionnaires’ disease risk at G4S site.”

This headline is connected to the G4S’s site in Harlow, which was identified as the potential source of infection…

“… although it was not confirmed that the disease came from this location, officers found that G4S failed to maintain its water systems in compliance with the relevant regulations. It erratically monitored and tested its systems, inadequately trained its staff, had out-of-date policies and had not carried out suitable and sufficient risk assessments.”

This company contravened the Health and Safety at Work Act and, as a result, was fined one of the biggest amounts of money ever recorded for lack of legionella control.
G4S has subsequently begun measures to correct their mistakes, but it might be said that the damage is now done. Damage to their reputation and finances.

What is Legionnaires’ Disease?

This is a lung infection caused by the legionella bacteria. It’s a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. However these risks increase with age, smoking and existing illnesses.

“Legionella bacteria are widespread in natural water systems such as rivers and ponds, however, the conditions are rarely right for people to catch the disease from these sources. Outbreaks of the illness occur from exposure to legionella growing in purpose-built systems where water is maintained at a temperature high enough to encourage growth e.g. cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools used in all sorts of premises, work and domestic.”

Legionnaires’ Disease is serious. However it can be controlled when the correct monitoring and maintenance regime is in place.

When you have a duty of care to staff, residents, tenants and service users… you simply must take that duty seriously.

For advice and solutions please do not hesitate to us.

We are happy to help and would love to speak you. Please contact SAFESOL on 0191 447 8008, via email or through our contact page