LEGIONELLA RISK ASSESSMENT

Introduction

Legionnaires’ disease was first identified after a large outbreak of pneumonia among people who attended an American Legion Convention in Philadelphia in 1976. A previously unrecognized bacterium was isolated from lung tissue samples, and was subsequently named Legionella PNEUMOPHILA

The disease is normally contracted by inhaling Legionella bacteria, either in tiny droplets of water (aerosols), or in droplet nuclei (the particles left after the water has evaporated) contaminated with Legionella deep into the lungs. There is evidence that the disease may also be contracted by inhaling Legionella bacteria following ingestion of contaminated water by susceptible individuals. Person-to person spread of the disease has not been documented. Initial symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease can be treated effectively with appropriate antibiotics.

The incubation period is between 2 days to 10 days (usually 3 days to 6 days). Not everyone exposed will develop symptoms of the disease and those that do not develop the “full blown” disease may only present with a mild flu-like infection.

What is Legionella?

Legionella are common aquatic bacteria occurring naturally in freshwater environments, such as lakes, rivers and streams. There they are found in very low numbers, but the bacteria can become a health concern when it finds favorable conditions to grow (multiply) and colonize in human-built water systems.

What is Legionaries?

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious type of pneumonia caused by bacteria, called Legionella, that live in water. Legionella can make people sick when they inhale contaminated water from building water systems that are not adequately maintained.

Why is Legionella Prevention Control important?

Disease causation is not simple. The mere presence of Legionella in a water system or device is not sufficient to cause disease. To cause disease, the bacteria must ultimately be inhaled or aspirated (going down the “wrong tube” when swallowing) into the lungs of a susceptible person. People with conditions that have reduced their ability to fight off infections are especially susceptible.

One of the most dangerous water borne bacteria is Legionella. Responsible for Legionnaire’s disease, it thrives in warm water and can be contained in water present in a number of industries. In workplaces, common sources can include industrial cooling water systems, central air conditioning systems, domestic hot water systems, fountains, swimming pools, spas and other sources that use the public water supply.

Where it can be affected?

The types of business that can be affected are:

  • Hotels and restaurants
  • Commercial buildings
  • Industrial companies (cooling towers and air-conditioning)
  • Shipping
  • Schools
  • Sports halls, swimming and leisure pools, spas and saunas
  • Dental practices
  • Hospitals and care homes
  • Food Processing industries

How it can be controlled?

We can help you reduce the risk of contamination with regular assessment and examination of your water quality. This can decrease the likelihood of bacterial growth and drastically reduce future contamination. Our accredited teams have a wide experience in water analysis and facility assessment. We can efficiently inspect all suspected risk locations and deliver speedy results within 48 hours.

Our accredited technical expert conducts independent assessment, analysis, hygiene audits, indoor climate control and risk and management planning. We can help you develop workplace design and equipment maintenance guidelines for those areas likely to contain Legionella. Our management plan will be a valuable addition to your health and safety guidelines and help you meet regulatory requirements. Take control of this important aspect of your workplace health and safety by calling our team today.

Prevention Control methodology

The Risk form this dangerous bacteria is possible by adopting BISCE organized RISK Management system.

  • Risk Assessment
  • Preventive Control measures
  • Management of Cooling systems
  • Treatment and control program
  • Management of hot and cold water systems
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Protection of personnel
  • Monitoring System
  • Microbiological monitoring
  • Monitoring for Legionella

High Risk Area

First identify whether the risks are present in your premises and then rate them from 1-10 depending on how high-risk they are. To do this, consider how likely your tenants are to be exposed to Legionella bacteria from these sources. The most high-risk areas (rated 5+) are the ones that you’ll need to address first. Write down what the exact risks are. For example, is the water likely to be stagnant? Is it held at a constant temperature? Is water sprayed into the air and so more likely to be inhaled?

  • Pipe work
  • Water pumps
  • Hot water tanks
  • Cold water Tanks
  • Showers
  • Mains pressure hot water systems
  • Gravity fed water systems
  • Combination boilers
  • Fountains and water features
  • Sprinkler Systems

Who can approach for PRC audit?

If your industry uses water in production processes or in the workplace, you could be at risk of harboring dangerous Legionella bacteria. BISCE can help reduce the risk of contamination with. Call our experienced team today for a Legionella risk assessment.

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