What is Legionella?
Legionella bacteria lives in water causing the rare but potentially fatal form of pneumonia called Legionnaires disease. Previously, it was thought only large water systems like those in hotels posed a health risk, studies now show more people contracting Legionnaires disease from domestic water systems than commercial ones. This means that Legionella Risk Assessments are required not only for commercial properties like care homes, offices, hotels etc, but also for residential properties being rented out.
What has changed?
Because of this, the existing protective legislation has been revised to include all rental properties. Previously, only properties with a water system greater than 300 litres were required to have a legionella risk assessment carried out.
Commercial & rental properties are covered by the Health and Safety at Work Act etc. 1974 and are affected by this revision in guidance. It is now a legal requirement for a Legionella Risk Assessment to be performed on every commercial & rental property, and the responsibility for ensuring this happens rests with the dutyholder.
A Legionella risk assessment examines the water system at the property to determine the level of risk posed to occupiers/tenants and recommends safety improvements where necessary.
Make Sure You're Compliant with Legislative Requirements,
For commercial properties, there is usually someone in place who has been appointed to be the "dutyholder", responsible for legionella risk assessments. For rental properties, if the landlord manages the property directly, they are the dutyholder, if a letting agent manages the property on behalf of a landlord (dealing with rent, maintenance, repairs etc) they are the dutyholder. In the same way as for a gas safety check the dutyholder must ensure a Legionella Risk Assessment is carried out and that the person doing so is suitably qualified (competent person) and that the assessment is sufficient to identify and assess the risk of exposure to the Legionella bacteria.
The risk assessment is a "live document" and records the risk assessments, control measures to be implemented, actions taken and reviews carried out and should be kept for at least 5 years to show that the dutyholder has complied with the regulations. Whilst the appointed competent person is responsible for assessing the risk and reviewing the recommended actions, it is always the dutyholder who is responsible for ensuring that any necessary actions have been completed.
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Alpine Energy can ensure that you meet your legal obligations
At Alpine Energy, we are fully qualified and insured to provide legionella risk assessments for commercial properties. be aware that many people offering legionella risk assessments for landlords do not hold a recognised qualification, and may therefore not be insured to prvidethe service.
As recognised competent persons, let Alpine Energy help you meet your legal obligations by providing;
• A visit to the premises to carry out the Legionella risk assessment
• A documented report containing suggestions for improvements where necessary
• Management of property reviews and retention of relevant documentation
• For a compliance investigation provision of documentation and photographic evidence