This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Swiftclean: We need greater diligence on legionella control as Basildon Hospital receives fine

10 September 2013

“What dismays us most, is that after a fatality in 2007, when lessons should have been learned, another death from legionella was allowed to occur in 2010,” says Gary Nicholls, MD of legionella control expert Swiftclean, of the imposition of a fine on Basildon Hospital for failure to prevent an outbreak of legionella. The hospital, which also failed to prevent the fall from a first floor window by an elderly patient, was fined £350,000 for the two offences, including prosecution costs.

“What it does demonstrate,” he added, “is the need for expert legionella control services and more training of the facilities management and cleaning teams in the importance of adherence to L8 guidelines.”

The HSE Approved Code of Practice and Guidance L8 is the document which contains recommendations for the control of legionella, and adherence to them ensures that organisations meet their legal obligations under the COSHH Regulations for legionella control. Understanding and applying its recommendations is essential for good water hygiene. “L8 is currently undergoing a review and will change in the near future, so expert advice will be vital, not just to keep organisations legally compliant, but also because at times human lives depend on legionella control best practice,” warns Nicholls.

It is essential to ensure that hot and cold water supplies adhere to strict temperature guidelines; hot water must be delivered at a minimum of 50°C, while cold water must be below 20°C. Water stored in calorifiers must be kept at temperatures above 60°C. Water hygiene also depends on diligent cleaning and flushing routines to prevent stagnant water, including the frequent flushing of infrequently used outlets and regular descaling of shower heads at prescribed intervals. Plumbing changes may also be required to ensure that pipework is as short and direct as possible and to eliminate dead legs in which water can sit immobile.

Expert advice is needed to ensure an effective risk assessment is carried out and adequate legionella control processes are in place. Accurate record keeping is also essential to demonstrate compliance with regulations as organisations and even individuals may face prosecution if negligence can be proved, as the case of Basildon Hospital has shown.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

Making the Leadenhall Building fit for purpose

Firmly established as one of the most notable buildings in the City of London, the Leadenhall Building (informally known as the cheesegrater) provides a st...
Article image

YLOTY2018 winner comments on his success on the night

This year's PFM Awards Young Leader of the Year winner, Kristian Trend, gives his reaction winning the award after receiving his trophy on 7 November at Th...

Benchmarking maintenance

BSRIA has just published this year's operation and maintenance benchmarking report as a guide for building operators to evaluate their performance against ...
Article image

Can Far-UVC increase occupancy levels and reduce operating costs?

Despite the relaxing of government restrictions, the pandemic is not over. Many businesses themselves still feel nervous about bringing people back to work...
Article image

Account Director finalists confirmed for PFM Awards

Three finalists have been confirmed to attend the final day of judging within the PFM Partnership Awards 2022 Account Director of the Year category....