Reviewing what you do
Checking what you do and reviewing your risk assessment regularly allows you to assess your performance before an accident, incident or ill health can happen. This includes checking that you have been successful with your specific plans and objectives, the operation of your health and safety management system, and compliance with performance standards, e.g. for hot water outlets the water temperature should be at least 50 °C (55 °C for healthcare premises eg hospitals and NHS Trusts) within a minute of running the water. This will help to implement improvements in the future. You can find further information on our risk web pages and an HSE Audit Checklist is available.
The following general questions will help you to decide whether your approach to controlling legionella is working or whether it needs updating.
- Is there a risk assessment in place for the system?
- Does the risk assessment contain a description of your system, e.g. an up-to-date schematic diagram of the system, showing what the system comprises including parts out of use?
- Does the risk assessment conclude that there is no significant risk?
- If the risk assessment does identify a significant risk then:
- Is there a written control scheme in place to address the risks?
- Has a responsible person(s) been identified in writing?
- Are the roles and responsibilities of all staff involved in the control regime clearly defined in writing and have they all received appropriate training?
- If external contractors are used, are their roles and responsibilities clearly defined, in writing, and have you checked on the competence of the contractors/consultants and found it acceptable (e.g. experience and qualifications, training, membership of professional organisations or recognised trade body)?
- Have you considered all other health and safety issues (e.g. COSHH assessments for handling of water treatment chemicals, working at height, working in confined spaces, electrical safety and ease of access to parts of the system)?
Depending on your system, there are specific things you will need to monitor. The frequency of inspection and maintenance will depend on the system and the risks it presents. All the inspections and measurements should be recorded.
HSG274 Legionnaires' disease: Technical guidance
Technical guidance and further information can be found for the following systems, including summary checklist tables for inspection frequency:
- Part 1: The control of legionella bacteria in evaporative cooling systems
- Part 2: The control of legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems
- Part 3: The control of legionella bacteria in other risk systems
Information is also available on spa pools.