Legionella Risk Assessments are imperative to ensure the is no risk of contamination to employees, visitors and users of Commercial and Public Buildings. Landlords also have obligations to ensure their property is safe. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about Legionella and the Legionella Risk Assessments we provide:

What is Legionnaires' Disease?
Legionella pneumophila, is the organism that causes most cases of Legionnaires’ disease. Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia. It is an uncommon but serious disease. The illness occurs more frequently in men than women and usually affects middle-aged or elderly people. It more commonly affects smokers or people with other chest problems. Legionnaires’ disease is uncommon in younger people and is very uncommon under the age of 20.
How do people get Legionnaires' Disease?
Legionnaires’ disease does not spread from person to person, it is a germ that causes the disease commonly called Legionella pneumophila a bacterium. People catch Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling small droplets of water suspended in the air, which contain the Legionella bacterium. However, most people who are exposed to Legionella do not become ill.
Where does Legionnaires' Disease come from?
The bacterium which causes Legionnaires’ disease is widespread in nature. It mainly lives in water and outbreaks occur from purpose-built water systems where temperatures are warm enough to encourage growth of the bacteria, e.g. in cooling towers, whirlpool spas and from water used for domestic purposes in buildings such as hotels, care homes, doctor surgeries and dental practices.
Most outbreaks in the United Kingdom have been linked to installations such as cooling towers or evaporative condensers, which can spread droplets of water over a wide area. These are found as part of air-conditioning and industrial cooling systems.
What measures are there to control Legionnaires' disease?
Companies which operate systems such as air-conditioning and industrial cooling systems must comply with regulations requiring them to manage, maintain and treat them properly to prevent the occurrence of Legionnaires’ disease. Amongst other things, this means that the system is cleaned regularly, and the water treated.
More information can be found at HSE The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems.
What are the symptoms of Legionnaires' disease?
The symptoms of are similar to those symptoms of the flu:
• High temperature, feverishness and chills
• Cough
• Muscle pains
• Headache; and leading on to
• Pneumonia,
• Diarrhoea (very occasionally) and signs of mental confusion.
How is Legionnaires' disease treated?
The illness is treated with an antibiotic called erythromycin or a similar antibiotic.
Do all places require a Legionella Risk Assessment?
Simply put, Yes, all places of work do require a Legionella risk assessment, however domestic properties are exempt from regulations the HSE approved code of practice for Legionella is only relevant in circumstances where the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 applies, therefore most domestic properties are exempt from regulation, however, if you are a landlord you do have an obligation to ensure the property is safe for your tenants and so the regulations apply.
How often should I carry out a Legionella Risk Assessment?
According to HSE The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems, the assessment should be reviewed every 2 years and if there is reason to suspect that is no longer valid, for example:
• Where there have been changes to plant, the water system or its use;
• Where there have been changes to the use of the building;
• Where new information about risk or control measures has become available;
• Where monitoring indicates that control measures are no longer effective.
Is there legislation governing Legionella Management?
Yes, you have two main pieces of legislation for Legionella control, there are:
• The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWAW or HSW)
• Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)
How much does a Risk Assessment cost?
The cost of a risk assessment is entirely dependent on the amount of water services in use at the property. We offer a free consultation to assess your need. Call us on 0330 6600264 or email [email protected]