Legionella Risk Assessment Examples | Water Hygiene Solutions Ltd

Whilst there is a published standard of Legionella risk assessment quality (BS 8580) that has been produced to improve consistency, legal compliance and more clearly define the structure of Legionella Risk Assessments the truth is that there is much variance in both the layout of Legionella risk assessments and in the quality.

A high quality Legionella risk assessment will adhere to the criteria laid out below:

  • It will be truly specific to your site and will not include any references to assets not present on your site such as dental chairs (unless they are present).
  • It will provide an assessment of the Legionella risk from the system as a whole, based on usage, persons present and materials of construction. It will not just concentrate on outlets, main tanks and water heaters.
  • It will provide an assessment of the current Legionella management regime and responsibility structure on site as well as highlight any additional training needs required by the current site staff.
  • It will provide cost effective and sensible recommendations on remedial actions required to ensure the water system meets the minimum legal requirements.
  • It will provide a site specific ongoing Legionella control program with all outlets requiring testing being named to avoid any confusion. For example "Monthly temperature monitoring of Ground Floor, Gents WHB Sink Hot and Cold Taps (Sentinel Outlets)".
  • It will determine the turnover and usage of water system on the premises and highlight any low use outlets or problems with water turnover.
  • It will provide where necessary a preliminary report to ensure any high risk issues are dealt with quickly whilst the remainder of the report is finalised. It will also ensure discussion with the actual assessor in the event of any queries.
  • It will provide a schematic layout of the site water system, highlighting any dead legs, little used outlets or other high risk areas.
  • It will be performed by an assessor of relevant experience and training depending on the complexity of the system.

By ensuring these criteria are followed you will ensure you receive a high quality Legionella risk assessment that will determine the true Legionella risk associated with your water system and ensure you have the information to control those risks in the future.

Unfortunately many companies provide Legionella risk assessment that do not meet the above criteria and are only interested in speed and profit. These risk assessments will not provide you with adequate detail or ongoing Legionella control information to enable you to effectively manage the risk and as such can leave you vulnerable to prosecution.

Poorer quality Legionella risk assessments tend to have the following traits.

  • The company carrying out the Legionella risk assessment is not registered with the "Legionella Control Association" or if they are they do not show Legionella risk assessment as a relevant category.
  • They often follow a very generic template with irrelevant information relating to systems you do not have.
  • They do not assess the current management of Legionella on site or knowledge of Legionella control within the company leading to a breakdown in future Legionella control through a lack of understanding.
  • They often concentrate purely on the larger assets such as water storage tanks and water heaters with an outlet asset register and do not examine the water system as a whole, missing vital information regarding usage, dead legs and potential high risk areas.
  • They can often miss large areas of the water system by relying on site knowledge and not examining all parts of the water system for themselves.
  • Where schematic diagrams are provided they are basic and rely on assumption. They do not determine any deadlegs excessively long pipe runs or areas of stagnation such as dead legs.
  • Remedial and ongoing management information is generic and does not provide adequate detail, often leading to confusion and uncertainty as to the ongoing Legionella control program.
  • Generally there is minimal time on site and actual report is are completed in an office by a junior member of staff with little/no experience of the site or sometimes even Legionella management.
  • The actual site visit may be performed by an unskilled member of staff working from a basic tick box template.
  • Often there is no opportunity to discuss findings with the assessor to iron out any queries or misunderstandings, leaving clients with inadequate answers.
  • The cost per hour is generally greater than that of a highly detailed assessment, resulting in poor value for money.
  • They are also regularly used as a tool to frighten prospective clients into having additional works carried out by the risk assessment company at often inflated prices.

This type of Legionella risk assessment will not provide you with adequate legislative cover and are false economy, making ongoing management of Legionella difficult for site staff and resulting in unnecessary works being undertaken.

It is therefore vital that when procuring the services of a Legionella risk assessment company that examples of previous work is obtained and references are sought from previous clients. Water Hygiene Solutions are happy to provide many of these.