What is Legionella?
The water-borne legionella bacterium is found in natural environments including ponds, rivers and lakes. However, if conditions are ‘right’, legionella can also establish itself in the mains water supply, where it can be distributed in the form of airborne droplets (aerosols), putting people at risk. The danger to humans is that if the legionella bacteria is inhaled, it can develop into the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease.
Risks from the legionella bacteria therefore need to be closely managed, and if you are in control of premises, you must be aware of the risks that it poses. There are a number of conditions that allow for growth of the bacteria, including:
- Water temperatures between 20°C and 50°C
- Available nutrients (including sediment, biofilm, algae, scale, rust, material, etc.)
- Presence of biofilm on surfaces of water
- Poor or inadequate management or maintenance caused by lack of training and awareness
A water risk assessment will reduce the likelihood of the legionella bacteria spreading.
Legionnaires’ disease, which is also known as legionellosis, is a type of pneumonia. For those in the main risk groups, it can potentially be fatal – those most at risk are the elderly, people with suppressed immune systems, people over the age of 55, smokers, heavy drinkers or those suffering from diabetes, as well as those with chronic respiratory, heart or kidney disease.
The legionella bacteria can also cause other, less harmful illnesses such as Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever, which can affect anyone.
The main route of infection of Legionnaires’ disease is through inhalation of airborne water droplets that contain legionella bacteria. Air conditioning units have become a common source of outbreaks, as have domestic water services, evaporative cooling towers and spa pools. Less common sources of infections include garden hoses and bags of garden soil, compost, mulch and potting mix.
It is also important to regularly assess water systems in residential properties, especially where water systems have been stagnant for some time. Tenants may have been advised on Legionnaires’ disease by their estate agent when signing their lease, but ultimately it is a landlord’s responsibility to ensure that a legionella risk assessment is carried out on their properties. If you are a landlord, it is a legal requirement for you to ensure a legionella risk assessment is carried out on your rental properties for the health and safety of your tenants, and it is your responsibility to remove any legionella bacteria from the water systems.
Legionella Risk Assessment service provider
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and in compliance with the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP L8, HSG 274), duty holders, including employers and those in control of premises, must ensure the health and safety of their employees or others who may be using their facilities or visiting their premises, including protecting them from the risk of legionella.
As a water hygiene service provider, uRisk carries out a full range of control measures services including an initial water risk assessment, any remedial works needed, legionella testing, ongoing monitoring for tasks, water tank cleaning, and even training around this troublesome bacterium. We are your one-stop-shop for legionella safety.
Your water risk assessment will be carried out by one of our qualified and DBS-checked assessors. We will undertake a complete survey of the premises for factors such as non-WRAS approved fittings and poor cold-water tank or hot-water cylinder conditions, as well as temperature profiling and accessibility to all areas that require monitoring and maintenance by law.
As a water treatment company, we provide non-technical schematic drawing services to help identify potential risks. If you do not already have this in place, we will produce a comprehensive report for you outlining any risks within your water systems and any actions required to comply with the HSE’s HSG 274 guidelines.
Contact us to book your water risk assessment today.
Legionella and landlords
The law around legionella states that if you are a landlord and rent out a property you own, or a room within the home, then you have legal responsibilities to protect your tenants and keep them safe from health hazards. Do not take this responsibility lightly. Failing to comply with the law around legionella can result in fines and, in some extreme cases, prosecution, if convicted of a health and safety offence.
Tenants should be informed by their estate agents or the landlord directly of any control measures that are in place at the property and anything that needs to be maintained while at the property. Record-keeping is not a legal requirement for landlords, but it is certainly advisable to maintain and keep records of any assessments and advisories or any ongoing remedial works at your properties to show that you are doing everything possible to ensure the health and safety of your tenants.
To help prevent Legionnaires’ disease, uRisk provides Legionella Risk Assessment for single property landlords, multiple property landlords, estate agents, letting agents and property management companies.
Get In Touch today for a landlord assessment quote!
What’s included in the water risk assessment?
You will receive a fully comprehensive assessment helping you meet compliance.
Control and Management
Control measures checked
Introduction to Legionella
Learn about legionella
Water Logbook Records
Records are checked
Frequently asked questions
Water System Overview
Water system description
Additional fees apply for legionella samples, water logbooks and schematics. If you have had a previous legionella risk assessment you may not need any of these. But the only way for us to tell if they are needed and how many, is by carrying out the initial legionella risk assessment.
Once you are happy with our quote we will confirm a suitable date and estimated time of arrival for your appointment.
An engineer will be with you on your scheduled date, and will provide a curtesy call to confirm they’re on route.
Report & Support
Your report is then Quality Checked and emailed to you in PDF format, typically with Next Day Delivery but you should allow for 5 working days.
All payments are due prior to booking completion unless agreed in writing for 30 days from the date of invoice. We will hold your booking time for 24 hours whilst we await payment.
L8 Risk Assessment FAQs
When and how often do I need a risk assessment?
Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and in compliance with the Approved Code of Practice (ACoP L8, HSG 274), duty holders, including employers and those in control of premises, must ensure the health and safety of their employees or others who may be affected by their undertaking, this includes the risk of legionella. Legionnaires Disease is a form of pneumonia, which can be fatal and the main route of infection is through inhalation, by inhaling airborne water droplets that contain Legionella. This also applies if you are a private Landlord and have rental properties which are occupied.
This includes taking suitable precautions to prevent, manage and control the risk of exposure to legionella. You can do this by undertaking the following: a risk assessment, actioning all identified risks within the initial report with remedial works, sampling the water quality to confirm bacterial presence with water testing, and carrying out ongoing record keeping also known as monitoring.
Do I need testing, a risk assessment or both?
Legionella testing, water testing or sampling is not to be confused with a legionella risk assessment. You are required by law to undertake a legionella risk assessment under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, COSHH and a number of other regulations where you can show you are working to comply with the HSE’s HSG 274 legionella guidelines.Testing or sampling whilst not a legal requirement on it’s own, it plays an important role in determining how efficient a water system is managed. Your risk assessment may identify that sampling is required due to existing risks or as a control and management precaution. In this instance sampling then becomes a requirement from your assessment. Without an L8 risk assessment you will not know where and how many samples are required. And without water testing/sampling you cannot determine how affective your control and management is. These two actions therefore should be undertaken together, not necessarily at the same time but unison to effectively management your risk from legionella.
Water testing services include Legionella, e-Coli, total viable count (TVC), Pseudomonas, hard water, chlorine free, pH levels and more. Learn more about legionella testing. We only use UKAS approved laboratories giving you peace of mind that the test will be of the highest quality possible.
How much does an L8 risk assessment cost?
All assessments vary in prices depending on the number of water outlets, cold water storage tanks, hot water cylinders, combi boilers and other water assets that may be present. The number of assets within your water system will determine the time spent on site and how long it will take to produce your report.
So how much does it cost? Across the industry, prices vary enormously often depending on the size of the company you use and their processes, the speed of works and professionalism. There are two types of assessments, the first is commercial and the second domestic, also referred to as residential rental properties or landlord risk assessments.
Commercial risk assessments normally start from £250 to in excess of £750, however our prices start from £99 depending on the size of the water system and location.
Domestic risk assessments can range tremendously with a number of plumbers, gas engineers and other tradesmen offering these assessments without the specialist training, it’s important to check that your assessor or engineer is properly qualified. Our prices start from £55 for multiple landlord properties to £95 for single landlord properties. Our prices for residential rental properties are based on the property being no more than 5 bedrooms.
How long will the risk assessment take?
On average, the time our qualified assessor spends on site is 1 hour for every 10 outlets (sinks, showers, baths, etc). So an assessment can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 6 or 7 hours. It entirely depends on the size of your water system and the number of water assets you have such as cold water storage tanks, cylinders or combination boilers.
Our engineers will work closely with you to ensure minimal disruption to your business is caused. Clear and easy access to rooms and buildings will play a part in time spent on site at your premises.
When will I receive your findings?
Your report is Quality Checked and emailed to you in PDF format, typically with Next Day Delivery but you should allow for 5 working days.
What happens after I receive the report?
Within your report document, you will have an action plan offering guidance which lists all identified risks, with photos, that need remedying in order of importance. By following our advice and undertaking remedial works you will reduce the risk of exposure to Legionnaires’ disease. Once all the remedial works are complete, you will then need to focus on implementing your monitoring (periodical checks and maintenance) with a logbook for recording keeping all legal duties and monitoring requirements.
Are uRisk qualified?
Yes, all of our assessors are fully qualified and accredited by City & Guilds and can help assist you in meeting compliance today for HSE (ACoP L8). We are also Safe Contractor and Construction Online approved so you can rest assured that you are working with a trusted water hygiene service provider who put health and safety first.
All our engineers are DBS Checked to ensure suitable people are entering your premises and to safeguard vulnerable people. We are committed to maintaining the highest standards.
Do uRisk service my area?
Yes, our services are nationwide. Whether you have one or multiple water systems and one or multiple sites, we provide services across the country, with qualified engineers scattered throughout the UK and offices based in Hertfordshire which is a 30-minute train journey to London King’s Cross.
Your dedicated water hygiene team
Customer Service Manager
Water Hygiene Engineers
Why choose uRisk?
Over 25 years of water hygiene and legionella control experience.
Friendly and simple advice by phone, email & online at your convenience.
All staff are trained water hygiene consultants and engineers.
With engineers located all across the UK, we’re never too far away.
Our labs are UKAS approved providing you with quality assurance.
Your one stop shop for Legionella control, no need to go elsewhere.