Important Legionella Safety Update – New Rules for Hot & Cold Water Systems

Important changes have been published by the UK’s Health & Safety Executive in relation to the control of Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease in HOT & COLD WATER SYSTEMS

The system of legionella control in the UK now comprises of the HSE’s ACOP L8 (4th edition)and HSG274 which is split into three parts:

How will these changes affect you?
Hot and cold water systems, covered by the recently published HSG274 Part 2, are the most common form of water system that can potentially create a legionella risk. These changes are likely to affect you, your staff, your clients and your organisation. It is important that you understand the changes to remain fully compliant with the law.

Key Changes.

New: “Residential accommodation: Landlords and shared premises”
It is essential that managing agents, property owners, landlords and tenants understand this new section. This new section gives guidance on how to risk assess and control both domestic and commercial tenanted properties.

HSG274 Part 2, the guidance covering hot and cold water systems has now increased significantly from 15 to 58 pages… a substantial increase in detail.

All risk assessments should now consider both the risks associated with legionella bacteria and scalding from hot water. To complete a competent risk assessment a good understanding of the process of thermal disinfection is now also essential.

New buildings & Commissioning of systems. This is an important area for developers, builders and other owners/managers of property. In the past the commissioning of new buildings has resulted in significant legionella growth. There is now a section devoted to this topic which includes guidance when “mothballing” water systems for times of non-use.

New routine monitoring recommendations are now included these include combination heaters, TMV’s, point of use heaters and others. This in turn creates a requirement for additional routine monitoring tasks and KPI’s.

More information covering water system engineering & design, including:
Simple definition of a low risk system.
Calorifiers attached to solar heating systems.
Expansion vessels.
Point of use water heaters and combination water heaters.

New: “Special considerations for healthcare and care homes”. 
The guidance gives new information on where there are susceptible individuals, including revised guidance on acceptable levels of legionella bacteria in water systems.

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