Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA), the UK’s health and safety law, a responsible person must understand the health risks associated with the legionella bacteria. Legionella water testing requirements are part of the responsible person’s legal duty of care which includes identifying, assessing and managing any risks to prevent an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease.
As part of legionella regulations, it is up to the employer, landlord or designated representative to understand and manage the health and safety risks involved in the management of all substances hazardous to health, part of which involves regular legionella risk assessments to prevent legionella growth and implement legionella control procedures.
Legionella training courses are an important part of safety risk management for responsible persons. Legionella risk management is an essential part of health and safety compliance under the Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice so as an employer, landlord, facilities manager or competent person, it is vital that you understand how to manage risks and protect your staff and visitors.
This legionella awareness training course is a great introduction to the dangers posed by legionella bacteria and how the risks can be managed. During the course, you will learn about the bacteria, the conditions that help it thrive and the conditions that will kill it. You will learn about Legionnaires’ disease to understand how important managing the risk of legionella is, and more about your legal responsibilities.
The online training course will take 1-2 hours to complete and is suitable for anyone who has a responsibility for safety in the workplace, such as an employer or duty holder. It is an ideal, low-cost way to raise general legionella awareness for any interested staff member.
One-day Classroom Courses
The rest of our legionella training courses offer one-day classroom-based training to help you minimise risks from legionella bacteria by the implementation of legionella control measures. They are run by our specialist staff who are also hands-on professionals in the risk management, monitoring, and testing of legionella bacteria, as well as remedial works necessary to remove an outbreak. They provide the opportunity to go into aspects of the training in more detail and are always available to answer any questions you may have.
All our training courses are suitable for responsible persons, duty holders, facilities managers, engineers, or anyone with responsibilities relating to legionella management. On the satisfactory completion of our courses, you will receive certification which can be used as evidence for compliance and auditing as well as for CPD purposes. They are perfect for people new to the subject, anyone wanting a deeper practical knowledge of legionella management, or those who need regular refresher training in water hygiene.
This is our classroom-based legionella awareness training designed for those who have responsibilities under the health and safety law about cold water systems of any size.
You are required by law to undertake legionella risk assessments of all water systems. This course covers legal requirements and regulations, as well as guidelines, schematics, and asset risk assessment. There is also a practical element which will give you a real-life taste for legionella risk assessment.
This course will cover all your monitoring and record-keeping requirements for both hot and cold water systems.
This course is aimed at service providers, engineers and water treatment companies to help them better understand the cleaning and disinfection process. It has a practical element and covers standards and guidelines, tank regulations, the tank cleaning process, as well as the disinfection process.
Held at our practical training centre to give you experience in a real-life environment, the course will look at the makeup of hard water, the benefits and types of water softeners, as well as their installation and maintenance.
Spa pools pose particular challenges when it comes to legionella risk management as they have the potential to provide the perfect environment in which legionella bacteria thrive. This course covers how spa pools work, the dangers they pose, and how to keep them safe.
This course covers topics relating to other risk systems, how they work, and how to monitor them.
Legionella Training FAQs
Why Is Legionella Training so Important?
Legionella bacteria are water-borne microorganisms. They are dangerous because, if they are inhaled by humans, they can go on to develop into the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease, which is why managing the risks from legionella is an important part of your legal responsibilities.
Therefore, in addition to providing a wide range of professional services to help businesses implement control strategies, we also run several legionella training courses taken by our health and safety specialists, to help you manage the risks and help keep everyone safe.
NB All of our legionella training courses are written by the Approved Code of Practice L8 (HSG 274).
Why is Legionella Testing Crucial for Businesses?
You will need to take samples from hot and cold water systems at various points throughout your premises. This is an important part of the water testing process as clusters of legionella bacteria in one part of your water system are unlikely to be detected in a different area. If the legionella testing is positive for low numbers of bacteria in your water, then the remedial action you need to take could be as simple as cleaning your water tank – work that can be done with minimal disruption to your business.
If high levels of bacteria are present, then you will not only have to make extensive remedial works but may also have to close your business until the outbreak has been dealt with. In such an eventuality, it is not just a case of spending money to solve the problem, but also a potential loss of business if you have to vacate the property until the outbreak has been dealt with.
There is also a possibility that an outbreak of bacteria could result in someone developing Legionnaires’ disease. If this happens, your company faces fines for breaching the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. As a recent example, a plastics manufacturer in the Midlands was fined £50,000 plus £11,000 in costs after an outbreak of Legionella resulted in five people developing Legionnaires’ disease.
What Are Legionella Control Measures?
Legionella control measures are therefore necessary not only to keep your staff, clients, customers and visitors safe but also to protect your business. To understand the best control measures to take, it’s first important to understand the conditions in which legionella bacteria can thrive.
The optimum conditions for legionella bacteria are in stagnant water that contains organic particles, sludge, limescale or rust, and in water temperatures between 20oC and 45oC. Flowing water means legionella is continually flushed through with no opportunity to settle anywhere and breed. It also means that any contaminants the bacteria might be able to feed on are also flushed through the system.
Temperature monitoring is therefore an important part of legionella management. To reduce legionella risk and prevent the bacteria from thriving, the recommended temperatures are for cold water systems to be kept below 20oC, and the hot water system kept to a minimum of 50oC. We suggest using a legionella thermometer to manage and measure water temperature.
To keep the water from stagnating, it’s important to keep flushing the system. If your premises are vacant for long periods, or if there are parts of your building that are used less than others, all you need to do is flush toilets and run taps for a couple of minutes once a week.
Do You Offer Legionella Risk Assessments?
Talk to us about sourcing your legionella risk assessment and water testing. As a specialist service provider, we can help you fulfil your legal requirement with regards to the management of legionella, giving specific guidance on legionella risks, water storage and water quality.
Why Do I Need A Legionella Training Course?
Investigations into outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease by safety regulators around the world have consistently shown that Legionella training and staff competence are critical components in any effective workplace risk reduction programme.
Training and competence both play an important role in ensuring worker safety and regulatory compliance is achieved.
While legionella training is not a legal requirement, UK safety regulators including the Health & Safety Executive and Care Quality Commission expect people with responsibility for the management of health and safety in the workplace to be properly trained to a level that allows them to perform their duties safely and effectively.