Legionella bacteria can multiply in water systems. Droplets released by water systems such as cooling towers, showers, taps, Jacuzzi and whirlpool spas can be inhaled and cause serious pneumonia-like illness following exposure. Specific controls are required in Guernsey.
Local Approved Code of Practice on controlling legionella
- The Commerce and Employment Board (now Committee for Employment & Social Security) Approved a Code of Practice entitled "The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems in Guernsey" (the ACoP) [1Mb] under the powers of the Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance 1987. The ACoP requires those in control of buildings with cooling towers and water systems (property owner / facilities manager / building occupiers) to adopt suitable means to control Legionella in their premises. Therefore, water systems within the work place must not pose a risk to health so far as is reasonably practicable.
- The principal requirements of the ACoP are as follows:-
- Survey, identify and assess the sources of risk;
- Prepare a scheme (or course of action) for preventing or controlling the risk;
- Implement and manage the scheme - appointing a competent person to be managerially responsible, sometimes referred to at the 'responsible person';
- To provide training for persons with delegated responsibilities;
- Implement a system for sampling to ascertain biological activity and biocide concentration and keep records of the results;
- Monitor and keep records of water temperature in various parts of the system;
- In addition, under the Health and Safety at Work (General) (Guernsey) Ordinance, 1987, Section 9 and Schedule 2 Part I (9), some positive Legionella results must be reported (online form) to the HSE depending the number of Colonies Forming Units (CFU) found:
- Between 0 and 99 CFU/L: No requirement to report to the HSE; take corrective action (for example cleaning, flushing) and resample;
- Between 100 and 999 CFU/L: Report to the HSE (e-mail is acceptable) with a list of remedial actions either taken or to be taken within a specific time frame;
- 1000 CFU/L and above: RIDDOR report to the HSE with an IMMEDIATE plan of action and ongoing investigative/remedial action.
- Please note that this relaxes the requirements of Section 9 and Schedule 2 Part I (9), which would otherwise require all positive results to be reported.