Mitigating Legionella In The 21st Century: Tips And Strategies

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Issues such as water safety often take a back seat in the current business climate. There are so many other problems and opportunities that deserve our attention, from avoiding bottlenecks to breaking into exciting new markets, that the fundamentals of running a safe business can get left behind. When it comes to something like legionella, this simply isn’t an acceptable or sustainable approach to risk for pretty much any business. To help you keep things under control, here are a couple of basic insights into mitigating legionella and the associated risk of Legionnaires’ disease in the 21st century.

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Does Legionella Still Pose A Risk?

Mitigating Legionella

Before you commit to a potentially resource-intensive mitigation strategy, you’ll likely want to know whether or not it still poses a genuine risk in the modern day and age. Unfortunately, the data shows that there has been a significant rise in Legionnaires’ disease breakouts in recent years, across both Europe and America.

This is at least partially due to business owners no longer believing that their mitigation efforts were necessary. Any organisation with material premises must recognise the ongoing risks posed by legionella and put the appropriate measures in place.

Risk assessment & mitigation

Similarly to any other form of risk prevention, mitigating the threat posed by legionella revolves around the use of specialised legionella risk assessment services. Legionella risk assessments will allow you to identify various areas in your organisation where the bacteria is likely to grow to dangerous concentrations, with different issues ranked from more to less serious.

Based on the findings of these risk assessments, you’ll be able to put concrete measures in place to mitigate those risks. In the context of legionella, this will normally include eliminating certain environmental conditions in which bacteria are able to thrive. Namely, stagnant water sources between around 20 and 45 degrees centigrade.

Employee training courses

While it’s important that you get help from water hygiene specialists, you need to ensure that you’re able to remain accountable for these kinds of issues within the organisation. One great way of achieving this is by providing employee training courses on water hygiene.

There are different kinds of courses that can be appropriate, depending on the level of responsibility that different individuals have. For example, cleaners will likely benefit from a different level of training compared to a designated Responsible Person.

These kinds of training schemes help to ensure that you don’t become reliant on external services for the day to day running of your premises and its water systems, helping to achieve both regulatory compliance and practical safety.

In most cases, that’s about all you’ll need to do to keep dangerous bacteria like legionella in check. By having risk assessments carried out by specialist service providers, and then implementing the system changes they suggest, you can keep the risk of Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks to an absolute minimum. It’s important that you never get compliant – it only takes a momentary lapse of attention for these things to get out of hand, often with catastrophic results.

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