A Legionella Assessment is Essential For All Landlords

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A legionella assessment is an essential process that must be conducted by all landlords who manage buildings with water systems. This includes building owners, operators and managers (particularly in the construction, retail, hospitality, health and safety, education, and social housing sectors) who have a statutory duty to assess and control the risks from Legionella and other harmful waterborne bacteria.

A risk assessment is the most important first step to ensuring people in your building are safe from Legionella exposure. It will reveal any potential problems with your building’s water system and help you to plan, implement and record the precautions you take to avoid an outbreak of illness.

Detection of Legionella in environmental samples can be achieved by either culture or qPCR testing. Culture methods are preferred for determining the identity of the bacteria, but qPCR is useful in screening samples for Legionella, especially when cultures are not available.

The Importance of Legionella Assessment in Preventing Disease Outbreaks

Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal infection that causes pneumonia in humans. The symptoms are similar to influenza, and include fever, chills, a dry or wet cough that produces sputum, muscle aches, fatigue, and a general feeling of being unwell. Some people also develop a headache, confusion and a low or absent heart rate, known as relative bradycardia.

The risk of Legionnaires’ disease in a building depends on the complexity, age and operating history of its water system. Regular tests, such as those recommended in HSG274 Part 1 for evaporative cooling systems and HSG282 for hot and cold water systems, are crucial in controlling the risk of exposure to legionella.

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