The health and safety executive has recently updated legislation regarding the control of legionnaires disease. This means that the legislation now applies to residential homes.
All residential properties, which are rented out, must now have a risk assessment undertaken to determine the risk of Legionella, which will allow landlords to implement a suitable control scheme.
Legionella is bacteria that are common in natural rivers and lakes however they are also very common in artificial water systems, eg hot and cold water systems which are found in residential buildings including showers, water tanks, pipework etc.
People usually associate legionella with larger water systems for example in a factory or hotel but they can also live and grow in smaller water supplies including your own home and other residential accommodation.
The law states as a landlord you have a responsibility to take suitable precautions to prevent the risk of legionella .
Your responsibility includes carrying out regular checks and doing risk assessments and keeping record on all of your risk assessment results so this will become easier when trying to find any potential risks.
What should a risk assessment include
- Management responsibilities, including the name of the competent person and a description of your system
- Any potential risk sources
- Any controls currently in place to control risks;
- Monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures;
- Records of the monitoring results, inspection and checks carried out; and a review date.
If you decide that the risks are insignificant and are being properly managed to comply with the law, your assessment it complete. You will not need to take any further action, but it is important to review your assessment periodically in case anything has changed.