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Clarity on legionella in revised guidelines

Guidance on the management and control of legionella bacteria in water systems has been updated and clarified by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE). The UK's national regulator for workplace health and safety says the revised Legionnaires’ disease Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) (L8) better defines the legal requirements obligations of duty holders, providing clarity.

Guidance on controlling Legionella bacteria in water systems has been updated Guidance on controlling Legionella bacteria in water systems has been updated

Technical guidance has been removed from the revised Legionnaires’ disease Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) (L8) and is in the process of being published separately online. To date, Part 1: Evaporative Cooling Systems and Part 3: Other Risk Systems have been updated. A spokesman for the HSE said Part 2: Hot and cold water systems would be updated in the New Year.

The HSE said the technical guidance was 13 years old and significantly out of date, necessitating a detailed and thorough revision of its content. HSE is working with the Industry Review Group on the revisions.

Lorraine Medcalf, HSE’s Legionella policy lead, said: “The revised ACOP provides greater clarity for dutyholders on what constitutes legal requirements and what is guidance. Where possible we have simplified terminology.

“The review also enabled us to update technical guidance to incorporate technological advancements and separate it from general guidance on the regulations, making it available on our website.”

The ACOP for Legionnaires’ disease, which is aimed at dutyholders, including employers, facilities managers and health and safety personnel, was one of several identified for review and revision in line with a recommendation from Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his 2011 report Reclaiming Health & Safety for All.

The revised publication was subject to consultation and received HSE Board and ministerial approval. It includes information on:

  •  Identifying and assessing sources of risk
  •  Preparing a scheme to prevent or control risk
  •  Implementing, managing and monitoring precautions
  •  Keeping records of precautions
  •  Appointing a competent person with sufficient authority and knowledge of an installation to help take measures needed to comply with the law

The HSE says legal responsibilities to protect workers' health and safety are not altered by any changes to ACOPs. 

Click here for the current version of the technical guidance.

Author: Natasha Wiseman, Water & Wastewater Treatment Find on Google+
Topic: Drinking water quality
Tags: code of practice , water , legionella , health and safety

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