Who can get Legionnaires’ disease?

People of all ages can be affected but it mainly it affects people over the age of 50 years.

Men are three times more likely to get Legionnaires’ disease than women. Individuals with underlying medical conditions such as heart lung or liver disease – those with impaired immune systems are also at greater risk from the disease. Smoking is also considered a significant risk factor.

What should I do if I think I have Legionnaires’ disease?

If you believe you have Legionnaires’ Disease, you should tell your doctor so that the appropriate investigations can be started.

How is Legionella diagnosed?

A rapid diagnosis can be made by testing a urine sample from the patient, once the relevant symptoms have occurred. The urine test itself can give an initial result within 2-3 hours. Other more specialised tests, including growing the bacteria from clinical samples, can take several days.

How soon do Legionella symptoms occur?

The incubation period can range from 2 to 19 days with a median of 6 to 7 days after exposure.

Do I Need a Legionella Risk Assessment for a Residential Property?

The control of legionella Bacteria in Water Systems (L8) is only relevant when the Health & Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 applies, therefore most domestic property is exempt from regulation.


Do you rent your property?

If you are a Landlord and rent your property then you will be responsible.

Information can be found by downloading this HSE document page 45/46. HSG 274 Part 2: The control of legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems.

Also see What are my duties as a Landlord and visit RLCS

If I am not storing hot or cold water in my system, do I need to carry out a Risk Assessment?

Yes. There may be other factors within your system that increase the risks of Legionellosis, e.g. deadlegs, shower heads and/or long runs of pipe work containing warm water. A Legionella Risk Assessment also considers the people who could be potentially exposed to any Legionella bacteria in your system, as well as any particular groups that are at a higher risk of contracting Legionellosis’.

How can I help keep Legionella under control?

For areas of low usage (low flow) regular flushing and cleansing of the system will help to keep it under control but will not remove it from a system.

Is Legionella contagious?

No. It is contracted by breathing in contaminated microscopic water vapour/aerosol.

How will I know if Legionella is an issue in our water system?

Where the risk assessment identifies an area of high risk a water sample is taken and analysed.

Who is responsible for carrying out a Legionella Risk Assessment?

The dutyholder/responsible person is responsible. The easy way to explain this is, if you have to pay the bill when a tap, boiler or shower head breaks or leaks then you are the duty holder/responsible person.

What are the risks of Legionella to health?

Legionella can seriously affect health with a significant risk of death. The bacteria are identified under COSHH regulation and Legionellosis is a reportable disease under RIDDOR.

What is Legionella?

Legionella bacteria are naturally present in water courses. In man-made water systems, where conditions allow it can multiply and become deadly.

How much does a Legionella Risk Assessment Cost?

The cost of a legionella risk assessment is entirely dependent on the water services in the property the size of the property.

Typical costs start from £250.00 for a small shop or Bed and Breakfast. Our assessors undertake regular assessments of all types of buildings and water systems.

Need a legionella risk assessment on your property?

Contact us now and we’ll provide you with a fixed cost quotation.

Please provide us with the following details:

1. Geographical location of the premises. (Town or City) 2. Number of rooms in the property with water in them. 3. Number of toilets, kitchens, wash rooms etc

A Legionella and water risk assessment is your first step towards compliance with the Health and Safety Executives Legionella approved code of practice and guidance document, ACOP L8.

Who can undertake a Legionella risk assessment?

As an employer or a person in control of premises, you must appoint someone competent to help you manage your health and safety duties, e.g. take responsibility for managing risks. A competent person is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety, including the control measures. You could appoint one, or a combination of:

  • Yourself
  • One or more workers
  • Someone from outside your business

Most organisations trust legionella risk assessments to specialists. Remember you should be satisfied that the assessor you appoint is be competent and have sufficient experience, expertise and training to be able to carry out the work to the standard you require. For more information on Legionella Risk Assessments or to speak us call 0808 1080 766 or click here to email.

What are my duties as a landlord?

Organisations, or self-employed individuals, who provide residential accommodation or who are responsible for the water system(s) in their premises, are responsible for ensuring that the risk of exposure to legionella in those premises is properly controlled.

This means that they have a duty to assess the risk from exposure to legionella to their staff, residents, guests, tenants and customers by implementing appropriate control measures. This is especially important in residential buildings, where vulnerable people may be at risk, such as retirement flats, or where the accommodation is provided specifically for a group who may be susceptible to legionelloses.

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