Posted: April 28, 2020

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia caused by bacteria. It is usually contracted by breathing in mist from water that contains the bacteria.

Exposure to Legionella can be caused by inhaling droplets of water from things like air conditioning. Symptoms include a high temperature, fever, cough, muscle pains, headache, mental confusion and diarrhoea.

With the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown, many buildings will be empty or experiencing minimal occupancy and, as a result, domestic water systems within the building could potentially become a Legionella risk if action, such as regular flushing, is not taken.

Unoccupied buildings run the risk of water stagnating, providing conditions where harmful Legionella bacteria can proliferate.

We are recommending landlords, managers and tenants to be aware of the risks and take the appropriate action.

Here are six suggested ways to tackle Legionella risk in vacant buildings amid COVID-19

  1. Review your Legionella risk assessment and written control scheme, particularly with current occupancy and operations in mind [ if you don’t have one we can help]
  2. Identify low use water outlets and set up a flushing regime
  3. Identify if occupants or visitors may be more susceptible to Legionella and control the risk
  4. Ensure flushing of low or zero use outlets on a regular basis and recording of such activities
  5. Ensure routine water temperature testing records are maintained
  6. Ensure that water systems which have been left stagnant are recommissioned as if new (i.e. sterilising, microbiological testing).

If you require some initial help contact Daniel.hawkes@hawkeshealth.com  or phone us

on 01382 797479 or 07931 332 517.

 

 

 

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