Managing Legionella Risks


What is Legionella?

Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a serious form of pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ disease. It is commonly found in natural water sources such as lakes and rivers, but it can also grow and spread in man-made water systems such as cooling towers, hot tubs, and plumbing systems.

When the bacteria are inhaled in the form of mist or vapors, it can cause illness in humans, especially those who are older or have weakened immune systems. Legionnaires’ disease can be severe and even life-threatening, so it is important to take proper precautions to prevent the growth and spread of Legionella bacteria in man-made water systems.

What is a Legionella Risk Assessment (LRA)?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) requires that all employers or building managers understand the risk to health posed by Legionella.

The responsibility does not lie with the company but rather with the individual employer or responsible person, this means that any repercussions that arise due to negligence will fall on the individual.

The recommended way to identify Legionella related risks is to carry out a risk assessment (LRA), this will give a snapshot in time of the current state of a premises’ water system and the risk of Legionella within. From this Risk assessment, a management plan can be produced to help reduce the specific risks identified by the assessment.

If you are an employer or building manager and you think that Legionella is not a big issue for you and your building, it is still a good idea to get an independent risk assessment to show this. This is because if for any reason the unthinkable happens, and an outbreak occurs, it will be your responsibility.

If you have a valid legionella risk assessment (LRA), you can show that you have fulfilled your responsibility to identify and reduce any risks. During our work, we have found cold water storage tanks that building managers didn’t even know existed which posed legionella risk to the system due to a lack of cleaning. It is important that you can show that you have taken the necessary steps to identify legionella risks, but it is also just as important to manage any legionella risks that are identified.

Legionella Risk Assessment Advisories


It is much safer to take steps to prevent any risks relating to legionella, this can be achieved by changing water systems or carrying out any remedial actioned suggested in the risk assessment. Sometimes this is not possible due to the costs involved or the age and accessibility of a building. As part of your responsibilities as an employer or building manager, you are required to appoint a responsible person to manage legionella risk. This can be yourself or an employee, but they must be competent to do so. The other option is to appoint a 3rd party to manage the risks for you, KTIC can manage your legionella risk through our fully LCA accredited partners, giving you peace of mind that we can provide all the evidence you need that you have fulfilled your obligations with regards to legionella risk management.

There are specific requirements with regards to Legionella risk management, Health and safety Acts and codes of practice that govern Legionella management. KTIC can advise on and provide this information on request so if you are worried about this or unsure as to what you need to do please just give us a call and we will be very happy to help.

Take Preventive Measures Now!

Appoint a competent company to manage your Legionella risk today. Get in touch with us to learn more about specific requirements and codes of practice for Legionella risk management