Posted: 21 September 2018
Water Monitoring Day was marked around the world on 18 September. This day was established to encourage and educate people to monitor pollution levels in water in their area. As a Company you have little or no control of water quality reaching you. However, the way it is stored, distributed, and used on your premises greatly affects risks to all building occupants and appropriate monitoring and management is a legal requirement.
Inadequate control of risks from bacterial growth, such as Legionella, can cause serious illnesses and possibly death. Most people mistakenly believe that issues from legionella only occur from cooling towers. In fact, it is now believed that more people are affected from water delivered from standard distribution systems (albeit in very small numbers per affected system as opposed to potentially large outbreaks from cooling towers). Risk assessments are legally required under the COSHH Regulations.
Risks from legionella are generally low providing:
The management system must identify a Responsible Person to ensure such monitoring is carried out, and also remedial actions where deficiencies are identified.
The water distribution system should contain no blind-ends or dead-legs, and little used outlets must be flushed through on a weekly basis. Identifying these usually require the preparation of a schematic diagram showing all key features of the distribution system.
It is worth bearing mind that it is not necessary for legionella to be present in a system for HSE to successfully prosecute, simply inappropriate management!
For further information contact Dr Graham Newport.
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