Legionella Risk Assessments
Landlords have a legal responsibility to prevent tenants contracting Legionnaires’ Disease.
Health and Safety legislation requires that landlords carry out risk assessments for the Legionella bacteria which cause Legionnaires’ Disease and thereafter maintain control measures to minimise the risk. Most rented premises in Buckinghamshire will be relatively low risk but it is important that risk assessments are carried out and control measures introduced, to prevent serious legal repercussions on the Landlord and possible criminal conviction.
Since an amendment in January 2015, Landlords of residential properties now have a duty of care to ensure that the risk of exposure to tenants, residents and visitors by Legionella is properly assessed and controlled.
Legionella Risk Assessment from £65 + VAT
Jericos are qualified to issue a Legionella Risk Assessment with photographic evidence and advice on reducing risk. A clear risk assessment would satisfy a court that the Landlord has done everything in their power to prevent a case of legionella. We provide Legionella Risk Assessments to Marlow, High Wycombe, Maidenhead, Beaconsfield and the surrounding areas.
“How often do Landlords need a Legionella Risk Assessments?”
It advised that a Legionella Risk Assessment be carried out every 2 years (24 months) for low risk properties (with combination boilers) and every 12 months for those where water is stored eg. hot and cold water tanks present. It is also recommended that an inspection occurs when there is any change in the plumbing or change of tenancy.
“What is involved?”
A site survey is required to assess risk. This involves inspecting the full water system, taking temperature of water supplies and inspecting hot and cold water tanks (which may be in the loft). The hot water supply should be ON at the time of inspection to allow temperature readings to be taken.
“Do I need a Risk Assessment by law?”
Whilst failure to comply to any part of ACOP is not itself an offense, that failure can be used in criminal proceedings in court, in contravention of The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, COSHH 2002 & MHSWA 1999. Basically Landlords need to cover themselves from prosecution. We are in a ‘no win no fee claim’ culture and unfortunately Landlords are a target.
“What is Legionnaires’ Disease?”
Legionnaires’ Disease is a pneumonia like illness caused by the Legionella bacteria and can be fatal. The infection is caused by breathing in small aerosol droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria. The disease cannot be passed from one person to another. Legionella bacteria (Legionella pneumophila) are found in the natural environment and may conta
minate 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.Higher risk properties are those which have hot and cold water storage tanks especially where there are deposits that can support bacterial growth providing a source of nutrients for the organism e.g. rust, sludge, scale, organic matter.
The risk increases with age but some people are at higher risk including:
- people over 45 years of age
- smokers and heavy drinkers
- people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease
- diabetes, lung and heart disease
- anyone with an impaired immune system