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Companies urged to do more to protect workers and the public from legionella risks

Following a notice in July aimed at businesses with cooling towers, the Health and Safety Executive has issued a safety notice targetting companies and organisations that use hot and cold water systems for bathing and washing.

The notice urges employers to do more to protect both employees and the public from the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria. Among the organisations being targeted by this latest notice are leisure centres with spa pools and care homes.

Paul McDermott (HSE's Legionella Expert) said that although the risk from poorly maintained water systems and spa pools is likely to be less than that from cooling towers, this does not mean that they should not be considered a possible risk for the growth and spread of legionella bacteria.

The notice highlights the importance of having control measures in place and that these are to be reviewed on a regular basis.

HSE and local authorities are working in partnership to promote better awareness of how to control the risk of legionella.

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