This graph showa data from Public Health England and summarises data from cases of Legionellosis reported to the National Surveillance Scheme for Legionnaires’ disease in residents of England and Wales with onset of symptoms in 2016, adding monthly report data for the last 3 years.
For the full report - Click here
Article taken from The Daily Mail Online 04/06/2017 - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/~/article-4569428/index.html
Researchers warn killer disease is on the rise - and showers could be to blame
Of the 5000 sites in GB notified to LAs under the Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992, only about half were initially allocated for visits. Before any site visits took place, there was considerable effort to cleanse the data. Sites were removed for several reasons:
sites no longer had cooling towers (or they had been replaced with a dry cooling system);
sites had changed use /companies had gone out of business; or
for operational reasons a visit was inappropriate (eg. a recent inspection, such as in preparation for the 2012 Olympics or an on-going investigation/prosecution).
Note I think this would exclude all cooling towers in Corporation of London & Westminster as well as the more obvious Boroughs local to the Olympics).
HSE, LAs or ONR considered some 2,500 sites where evaporative condensers or cooling towers were known or thought to be present.
HSE identified material breaches at ~ 33% of sites, meaning that at these sites at least written advice was needed to secure adequate levels of compliance.
HSE served 400 Improvement and 11 Prohibition Notices on the control of legionella risk at 229 different sites. A further 100 Improvement Notices and 8 Prohibition Notices were served on ancillary issues with a possible impact on legionella control, including work at height eg. to maintain drift eliminators.
LA inspectors sent a letter or served a notice at 21% of LA sites. LAs issued Improvement Notices at 9 sites and sent letters to a further 112.
There has been one successful proactive prosecution, Pride Cleaners (2000) Limited, of Dudley Road, Stourbridge, which has ceased trading, pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £100 and ordered to pay £50 costs
Notifications of Contraventions were issued against a number of service providers (water treatment companies outside the scope of this programme). It is reasonable to expect this also to have a gearing effect, with the learning being shared across company regions and with other clients.
Water Safety Plans and Water Safety Groups (see paragraph 9) represent a holistic approach to managing the risks from HCWS in health care and social care premises, and we plan to explore the potential for collaborative work in this area especially with the LCA, PHE and others. Later, it might also be appropriate to consider auditing standards of compliance eg. in NHS trusts.
Top tips from Alan Greaves of L8MS, who was one of a number of industry professionals recently involved with the HSE in the re-write of guidance on Legionella, hot & cold water systems.
What happened to cause the current attention?
The Approved Code of Practice for the control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems (ACoP L8) was re-published in November 2013. Revised guidance for hot and cold water systems (HSG274 part 2 - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/hsg274part2.pdf ) was issued early in 2014.
Has anything really changed?
Actually very little in 2003 the HSE released INDG376 Legionnaires Disease. Essential Information for Providers of Residential Accommodation which suggested “landlords in the private renting sector” need to comply with ACoP L8. However the inclusion of specific paragraphs on the responsibilities of Landlords who provide residential accommodation and Legionella control in HSG 274 part 2 has highlighted the need for risk assessments.
Must I do these assessments?
This is a difficult question but what we can be sure about is that if you don’t have a Legionella risk assessment and anything goes wrong then the ACoP (and need for assessment) may well be used against you in court.
Who can do these water risk assessment?
Legionella risk assessments need to be completed by someone who is competent. There is no regulating body or defined certificate. In theory then anyone could offer the service, look for individuals who can offer evidence of training, for example QCF Level 2 Award in Legionella awareness as a minimum.
How much will they cost?
Costs will vary greatly depending on region and the number of properties being assessed. For simple properties it may prove cost effective for letting agents approved engineers, looking after gas appliances, to get themselves trained up so that they can assess for Legionella.
What should the assessment include?
In complex buildings Legionella risk assessments are well established, the on-going works can be quite significant and demanding. It is important in simple residential properties that the reports are ‘proportional’ to the risk and scaled down, they should: -
• Refer to control measures that the landlord should have in place.
• Provide safe operating guidance for the tenant.
• Provide a simple but accurate schematic drawing of the water system
• Define any remedial works required, with a priority rating
• Consider likely abnormal conditions, such as the property being unoccupied.
Companies could try to recover cheap assessment costs with any required remedial costs, make sure any corrective works are correctly priced.
If you look after a number of properties then it is useful to define the risk assessment survey & report format at the start and for all properties and assessors. The common system makes things much easier to understand and act on in the future.
“Got a question then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org”.
This document has now been released http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/hsg274.htm