What is Legionnaires’ disease?
Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by legionella bacteria. The most serious is Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.
The risk increases with age but some people are at higher risk including:
- people over 45 years of age
- smokers and heavy drinkers
- people with chronic respiratory or kidney disease
- diabetes, lung and heart disease
- anyone with an impaired immune system
Where does it come from?
Legionella bacteria live in natural water systems such as rivers and ponds. However outbreaks are more likely from exposure to legionella growing in purpose-built systems. These have to be where water is kept at a temperature high enough to encourage growth. These include cooling towers, evaporative condensers, hot and cold water systems and spa pools.
How do people get it?
You contract Legionnaires’ disease by inhaling small droplets of water, suspended in the air, containing the bacteria. Certain conditions increase the risk from legionella if:
- the water temperature is between 20-45 °C
- breathable water droplets are created and dispersed through something like a cooling tower
- water is stored and/or re-circulated
- deposits exist that provide a source of nutrients for the organism like rust or sludge
Legionella risk assessment for landlords
So who needs to carry out a legionella risk assessment? The onus is on the landlords to get the Risk Assessment done in each of their properties. If the property is being managed by a letting agency/property management company, they must inform the landlord to consider carrying out a Risk Assessment. Residential properties are lower risk as they have a high turnover of water. But a periodic risk assessment is still recommended.
What templates are available in TouchRight to help create Risk Assessments?
We have 3 standard templates available to help produce Legionnaires Disease Risk Assessments, that have been created to Residential Landlord Association standards:
- Legionnaires Disease Risk Assessment (reference notes hidden) – this template includes areas to add information about all of the standard risk categories including hot water and little used outlets. It includes useful reference notes for the inspector such as guidance for cold water and hot water temperatures, but these notes do not appear in the final report for the client.
- Legionnaires Disease Risk Assessment (reference notes visible) – this template is identical to the one above, but the reference notes will be visible in the final report for the client.
- Legionnaires Disease Risk Assessment 12-Month Review – this is a simple review report, designed to be completed once a year to check if any changes have been made to the property, that might then require a further full Risk Assessment.
How can TouchRight Software help further?
It is important that each Risk Assessment is carried out by a ‘competent person’ with the necessary skills and experience.
We have a number of national, qualified Legionella providers who are using TouchRight to complete Legionella Reports digitally for their clients, and we can connect you with a provider who will be able to produce legionella risk assessment reports using our Risk Assessment template and a follow-up Review template.
Up to 15 legionella risk assessment for landlords reports can be completed by an assessor in one day, if in close proximity.
Just get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01904 390109.