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Beginners Guide to Legionella Compliance

Where do I start?

It can be daunting to be in the position of duty holder or responsible person and not know where to begin. An initial discussion with our team will help us gain an understanding of your business and any associated risks.

What is the next step?

Once we gain an understanding of your site then a Legionella risk assessment will need to be carried out to identify and assess sources of risk. This will include checking whether conditions are present which will encourage bacteria to multiply and if there is a means of creating and disseminating breathable water droplets.

I’ve got a Legionella Risk Assessment, what now?

A written scheme will need to be prepared to implement, manage and monitor precautions to reduce the risk from Legionnaires disease. This will include any one off remedial works required and an ongoing system of control.

What records do I need to keep?

Following the implementation of the system of control, competent persons with sufficient authority and knowledge of the water systems will need to be appointed in writing. This record will be kept in a site log book or electronic system along with all the ongoing control checks.

Who can carry out these control checks?

After the risk assessment and appointment of responsible persons, there will be a number of tasks that are required to be carried out. These tasks should be undertaken by a suitably competent personnel who have the necessary experience and training.

What are the ongoing control checks?

The risk from exposure should normally be controlled by measures that do not allow the growth of Legionella bacteria in the systems and which reduce exposure to water droplets. Precautions should, where appropriate, include the following:

(a) avoiding water temperatures between 20 °C and 45 °C and conditions
that favour the growth of legionella bacteria and other microorganisms;
(b) avoiding water stagnation which may encourage the growth of biofilm;
(c) avoiding the use of materials that harbour bacteria and other
microorganisms, or provide nutrients for microbial growth. The Water
Fittings and Materials Directory10 references fittings, materials, and
appliances approved for their compliance with the UK legal requirements
for plumbing fittings and water using appliances;
(d) controlling the release of water spray;
(e) maintaining the cleanliness of the system and water in it;
(f) using water treatment techniques;
(g) taking action to ensure the correct and safe operation and maintenance
of the water system.

Ok, I’ve put all the above in place, now what?

Keep the risk assessment and system of control under review to make sure that the precautions taken remain effective. This should be carried out by the appointed responsible persons and where appropriate any external contractor involved.

If you have any queries about compliance on your site, please contact us at 0800 8620458 or

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