Ensuring the safety of tenants
A professional water and Legionella risk assessment is now a compulsory requirement for all residential properties that are rented. As a landlord or letting agent you are legally required to use a competent person to carry out regular water system risk assessments on any properties that you are responsible for. This does not necessarily involve laboratory testing but he property must be assessed and any risk to your tenants must be minimised.
Our agents are all CPD certified and fully Legionella aware. Our standard assessment will assist you to comply with current UK legislation, including the Health & Safety at Work Act and COSHH regulations. Our service is fully compliant with both HSE and HSC guidelines and will help to minimise your liability.
We will attend the property and conduct a thorough inspection and risk assessment that will:
- identify the potential hazards
- evaluate the risks to decide:
- if remedial action would eliminate them
- or ongoing controls are required to reduce them to an acceptable level
- identify who could be at risk of harm and how this may materialise
- specifically including any vulnerable people
- record all findings in both written format and high definition video
- provide advice on how any recommended changes and control mechanisms can be implemented
- provide a documented report and a hosted webpage that shows video evidence of the condition of the water system
What is Legionella?
Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria. This includes the most serious condition Legionnaires’ disease, as well as the less serious Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease itself is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection.
What is the risk?
With around 350 to 400 reported cases per annum in the UK and an overall mortality rate of 10-12% the risk of legionella is not to be taken lightly. It is widely thought that the problem is significantly worse than these figures suggest due to the under-reporting of cases.
Some people are at a heightened risk if they:
- are heavy drinkers or smoke
- have an impaired immune system
- are forty-five years of age or older
- have chronic respiratory or kidney disease
- have diabetes, lung or heart disease
The bacterium legionella pneumophila and related microorganisms are common in natural water systems such as rivers, lakes an reservoirs. They can also be present in purpose built water systems commonly found in residential properties. If conditions are favourable and control mechanisms are not in place then the bacteria will grow thus significantly increasing the risk of Legionnaires’ disease.
The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems ACoP – L8 (Fourth Edition) and the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 place stringent obligations on ALL employers, building managers and landlords to undertake a water and legionella risk assessment. Assessments are to be carried out on any property where there is a foreseeable risk of exposure to Legionella bacteria. HSE guidelines outline the landlords duties to minimise the risk to their tenants.
HSE have produced a leaflet entitled Essential Information for Providers of Residential Accomodation which provides a summary of your obligations and the changes to ACoP.
It is a requirement under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) to assess the risk from biological hazards which include the killer Legionella bacteria.