Legionella – The Facts

It is clear that Legionella is a worldwide issue. This presents lots of questions. Is the Legionella situation improving over time? Are people sufficiently aware of the risks associated with the bacteria? Are sufficient control measures being adopted to comply with regulations? We explore these questions below.

Is the Legionella situation improving?
Recent research suggests that the number of cases of Legionnaires’ disease is actually on the rise. In fact, within the past decade cases have increased by more than 200%. Climate factors may contribute, as stagnant water caused by drought and hotter weather presents the perfect breeding ground for the bacteria. In addition, heavy rainfall can be an issue. It is important to remember that Legionella bacteria actually originates in natural water sources, meaning that it can proliferate in most man-made supplies.

Are people sufficiently aware of the risks associated with the bacteria?
Interestingly, since there are more cases of Legionnaires’, it does mean that the disease is being identified easier. As symptoms of Legionnaires’ usually resemble the flu, it is an illness that has often been underdiagnosed in the past. There is still a long way to go, which is why Ellis Whittam is keen to ensure preventive measures are taken by duty holders to control the risks. We can offer risk assessments and complete management packages for your Legionella solutions.

Are sufficient control measures being adopted to comply with regulations?
It’s a difficult question to answer, although hopefully by raising awareness the answer can definitely be “yes”. Legislation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) dictates the need to comply with Legionella regulations if you own or manage premises. In particular, compliance is also very important in the care sector such as in care homes, GP surgeries and dental practices. This is due to the fact that those most at risk of catching Legionnaires’ disease are the elderly or any individuals with existing health conditions. For such environments to be fully CQC compliant, you must put sufficient measures in place for the control of Legionella bacteria. This cannot be achieved by a ‘one off’ risk assessment, as water systems must be carefully monitored in the long term, which Ellis Whittam can help with.

Hopefully, you will have found this article insightful. The Legionella threat is still very real in 2016 and we can help raise awareness and enable you to take appropriate action. For further information please read this FAQ.

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