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Compliance Requirements for Owners/Operators of Water Systems

Owners/operators of water systems must abide by the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance document ‘Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems’ (L8). This Code has a special legal status. If you are prosecuted, and it is proved that you did not follow the relevant provisions of ACoP L8, a Court could find you at fault for a criminal offence. According to the Legionella Control Journal www.lcj-online.co.uk/svc14.php

‘An outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease can lead to severe discomfort, even death. Where death has occurred as a result of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, the prosecuting authority (police) is under pressure to secure a conviction for involuntary manslaughter.’

Under the Heath & Safety at Work Act 1974 every employer is under a duty to ensure (so far as is reasonably practical), the health, safety and welfare of all employees (section 2) and to conduct his undertaking in such a way that persons not in his employment are not exposed to risk to their health and safety’.

According to the ‘Recommended Code of Conduct for Service Provider’ published by the Legionella Control Association

‘Legislative requirements for the control of legionellosis put the responsibility for compliance clearly with the owner/operator of water systems. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations as regards risks from legionellosis, all owner and operators of such systems have a responsibility to ensure that the risk is controlled and kept to an acceptable level.’

The HSC’s Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (L8) stresses that whilst the tasks required to be undertaken to control the risk may be contracted to an external specialist, the owner/operator must take all reasonable care to ensure the competence of the service provider to carry out the work on his behalf.

If you are responsible for Health and Safety, read more HERE.

If you are the ‘Duty Holder’ or ‘Responsible Person’, read more HERE.