What is Legionella?
Employers and those with responsibility for the control of premises (including landlords) have legal duties in regards to Legionella.
If you need to know more about Legionella and your responsibilities to minimise the risks to employees and others then keep reading.
What is Legionella?
Legionella refers to a group of bacteria which are common to natural water sources such as lakes and rivers.
When Legionella bacteria enters a manmade water supply system they can multiply to harmful levels when presented with the right conditions. They thrive in moist conditions between 20°C and 45°C.
What is Legionnaire’s Disease?
Legionnaire’s Disease is a serious lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria. It is contracted by inhalation of airborne water droplets, aerosols and mists containing Legionella bacteria.
It cannot be contracted through drinking, absorption through the skin, or from another person.
If contracted, Legionnaire’s is potentially fatal, particularly in vulnerable people. These include people over 45 years of age, males, smokers and heavy drinkers.
Legionnaire’s Disease is often mistaken for Flu as the symptoms are very similar.
What are my legal duties in regards to Legionella?
Key pieces of legislation / guidance to help your organisation decide what to do about the management of Legionella include:
The duty-holder (the employer or the person in control of the premises) should specifically appoint a competent person (known as the ‘Responsible person’) to undertake day-to-day responsibility for controlling any identified risk from legionella bacteria.
Responsible persons need to:
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