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HSE responds to The Observer article "Inspection cutbacks could lead to deadly legionnaire's outbreaks"

"Inspection cutbacks could lead to deadly legionnaire's outbreaks" - The Observer, 12 August 2012
Response date:
20 August 2012

Dear Editor

The article in last week's Observer rightly drew attention to the concerns expressed over industrial sites which have the potential to give rise to outbreaks of legionnaire's disease.

It is indeed tragic that illness and deaths are seemingly occurring as a result of failure to observe well established precautions which are a legal obligation on those who run the businesses concerned.

We should be clear however that, contrary to suggestions reported in the article, there is no correlation between outbreaks of legionella and the number of inspections carried out by the regulators. The latter are a valuable part of our overall approach to highlighting this problem but can be no substitute for the appropriate measures being taken on sites day in day out by those with the legal responsibility.

Yours faithfully,

Geoffrey Podger
Chief Executive
Health and Safety Executive

Updated 2012-08-20