The risks to sports centres from the legionella bacteria

The Risks to Sports Centres from the Legionella Bacteria

by | Jun 21, 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

Sports centres and sports clubs need to take the threat of legionella bacteria seriously. Water is an essential element of a sports facility, whether it’s for showers, swimming pools, spa pools, bathroom facilities, hoses, or sprinkler systems for playing fields.

However large or small your sports centre or sports club, you must appoint a responsible person to manage and control risks. This person must have the training, knowledge and authority to be able to implement strategies and carry out operational procedures competently in order to prevent and control the bacteria. 

As legionella thrives in stagnant water, extra care needs to be taken in humid surroundings and with recirculated air. That means air conditioning and shower facilities are of particular concern, and if your centre has a pool or steam room, you also need to take precautions.

 

Teaching staff about the dangers of legionella

An important part of risk management is to educate staff about the bacteria. When cleaning the showers and changing rooms, for example, if they understand why it’s important to ensure no puddles are allowed to stagnate, they’re more likely to keep these areas clean and dry. The dangers of stagnant water are also the reason why your staff need to report blocked drains or broken showerheads, enabling them to be fixed as soon as possible. 

 

Regular Legionella testing 

The Health & Safety Executive’s Guide for dutyholders states: “Under general health and safety law, as an employer or person in control of a premises … you have health and safety duties and need to take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella.” It continues: “Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility and will help you to establish any potential risks and implement measures to either eliminate or control risks. You may be competent to carry out the assessment yourself but, if not, you should ask someone with the necessary skills to conduct a risk assessment.” 

There are no official guidelines as to how frequently legionella testing needs to be carried out, but we usually recommend annual testing or when you think there may be a problem. Legionella bacteria can double within 15 minutes, so it is also important to review your risk assessment regularly and keep records.

If you would like advice about the best practices for your sports centre or sports club, we can carry out a detailed legionella risk assessment that will make recommendations for best practice, including the regularity of testing. 

 

Further information 

If you want to find out more about legionella, you are very welcome to join one of our free legionella webinars. Education is an important part of the control of the bacteria, which is why it is important to do what we can to spread the safety message. 

We also run an online Legionella Awareness Course aimed at dutyholders and responsible persons. It is only £35 (+ VAT) and covers topics such as legal requirements, medical, the background of legionella, and ongoing monitoring requirements.

Legionella and Water Hygiene Blog Posts

How to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease in Your Salon

How to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease in Your Salon

With hairdressing businesses relying so heavily on water, hairdressers can understandably be worried about the legionella bacterium. Legionella is waterborne, and if inhaled on droplets or aerosols, it has the potential to cause the potentially fatal...

read more
How to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease in Your Hotel

How to Prevent Legionnaires’ Disease in Your Hotel

An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in your hotel would have disastrous consequences for your business. An outbreak could close your hotel with immediate effect until remedial work has taken place, resulting in adverse publicity as well as the stress...

read more
How Safe is Your Gym’s Water? And when to check it.

How Safe is Your Gym’s Water? And when to check it.

January is traditionally a time of year when gyms are at their most crowded. The combination of Christmas over-indulgence and New Year’s Resolutions is enough to get half the population squeezing into their shorts to try to get back into shape. So with...

read more

Water Hygiene Services

Why do so many choose uRisk?

25 Years Experience

Over 25 years of water hygiene and legionella control experience.

Customer Service Excellence

Friendly and simple advice by phone, email & online at your convenience.

City & Guilds Qualified

All staff are trained water hygiene consultants and engineers.

Nationwide Coverage

With engineers located all across the UK, we’re never too far away.

UKAS Accredited Testing

Our labs are UKAS approved providing you with quality assurance.

Full Compliance Services

Your one stop shop for legionella control, no need to go elsewhere.