HSE Publishes New Guidance

HSG282 : Control of legionella and other infectious agents in spa-pool systems.

Why introduce this guidance.

Spa-pool systems are a recognised source of diseases caused by infectious agents including the organism that causes legionnaires’ disease, primarily Legionella pneumpohila. There have been a number of outbreaks linked to spa pools in leisure centres, hotels, holiday homes, on cruise ships and on display.  These include JTF Warehouse in Stoke on Trent and a spa pool located in a hotel in Dundee.

Who is this guidance for?

This guidance is primarily for those who manage or operate spa-pool systems and explains how to manage and control the risks from legionella and other infectious agents. It will also help service suppliers, designers, manufacturers, importers, suppliers and installers of spa-pool systems meet their legal responsibilities.

As well as guidance on operating and maintaining commercial-type systems, there is specific advice on domestic-type spa pools or hot tubs used as part of a business activity, for example in holiday-park rental units, hotel bedrooms with a dedicated spa and systems on display or at exhibitions.

The guide includes advice on effective ways to safely manage and control spa-pool systems through:

  • design, commissioning, operation and maintenance;
  • testing and monitoring spa-pool water quality;
  • quality and frequency of inspections.

What happens if you fail to comply?

Duty holders and companies who fail to comply with these regulations could face heavy fines or even imprisonment in light of the new sentencing guidelines effective from 1st February 2016 had the effect of increasing the level of most fines available for magistrates’ courts to unlimited fines,  (previously £20,000 for most health and safety offences).  The new sentencing guidelines suggest that prosecutors should consider the risks rather than actual harm caused, meaning greater penalties for non-compliance regardless of whether or not there is an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.  A recent example of this would be the £1.8 million fine for G4S for failing to protect its workers from Legionnaires’ disease.

To download a copy of the new guidance please click here.

If you require further assistance regarding a Legionella risk assessment or have questions relating to your responsibilities around spa-pools e.g. testing regimes etc.

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Based near Stafford in Staffordshire we are ideally placed to carry out an Legionella Risk Assessment or Asbestos Survey in Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, West Midlands, Cheshire, Manchester East Midlands and North West