Legionella Risk Assessments protect everyone on your school’s premises, as Legionella can cause Legionnaire’s disease which, at worst, can take lives. This is why it is a legal requirement for schools to maintain their water systems and prevent the growth and spread of Legionella.
From a thorough inspection of your water systems by an experienced and qualified assessor to a detailed report to prove that you have fulfilled your legal obligations, Citation can give you the peace of mind that your school’s water systems are operating safely and are legally sound.
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Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause Legionnaire’s disease, a potentially fatal severe form of pneumonia that can affect anyone. In 2017 alone, 693 cases of Legionnaire’s disease were reported – a 40% increase on 2016’s figure.
Though it exists in large quantities in natural water supplies (rivers, lakes etc.), it is more commonly contracted in places that are part of an insufficiently managed network, with the optimum temperature for bacteria growth between 20-45°C.
The disease is caught by people simply breathing in small droplets of water containing Legionella particles.
If you have contaminated water on your school premises, all your pupils, employees and visitors run the risk of being exposed to it, and so it is vital you put measures in place to reduce and control exposure risk.
The duty holder is the employer or those with the responsibility for the premises. In the context of your school, this will depend on its status and who maintains the premises.
Though not always realised, when a school converts to an academy, they automatically assume the role of the duty holder.
Citation’s expert team can advise you on who is responsible for maintaining your school’s water systems.
Assuming you are the duty holder, you are legally obliged to undertake a Legionella Risk Assessment.
In the vast majority of cases, this must be done by a member of the Legionella Control Association to ensure that tightly controlled codes of conducts are followed.
Legionella Risk Assessments may reveal that risks are insignificant, in which case no further action must be taken. However, risk assessments should be carried out at least every two years to re-assess risks. It is also worth making sure that the assessor is aware of any time periods during which water systems are likely to be inactive (e.g. during the school holidays), as this can hugely increase the risk of bacterial growth.
If monitoring and preventative measures are required to reduce the risk in the water system, these requirements should be clearly set out in a ‘written scheme of control’. Once this is in a place, a competent person should be delegated managerial responsibility for legionella control at your school.
It is essential to adopt any control measures required, as well as implementing monitoring regimes. You should clearly set out who is responsible for what, and when, which might require some additional specialist training.
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