At the end of March this year, a Southampton care home was told it requires improvement after health inspectors found it did not “properly assess the risk” of a possible legionella outbreak.
The grading was made when inspectors visited the Southampton care home in January and its findings have been revealed in the latest CQC report. The provider was told it did not “properly assess the risk” of legionella, a potentially fatal bacteria that can cause a serious type of pneumonia.
Annual tests for the bacteria had been negative but the testing was not in line with current guidance, inspectors said. This led them to say they were not assured “sufficient steps” had been taken to protect people from the bacteria.
Staff at the home did not always have the complete or most up-to-date training and it was also observed by inspectors that there wasn’t a robust system to ensure employers were suitably qualified, competent and experienced.
Employers are required to understand the health risks associated with Legionella and control any hazards
These responsibilities are outlined in HSE’s ACoP L8 “Legionnaires’ Disease: The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems”; the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA); the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR); and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)
Hotels, healthcare facilities, housing units and senior living centres are particularly attuned to mitigating legionella risks to protect people within their facility and in their care.
Safety First specialises in a range of services aimed at preventing exposure to the Legionella bacteria – Legionella risk assessments, Legionella awareness training, Legionella Monitoring and water sampling.
We urge facility owners, managers, and their planning engineers to reach out to us to ensure they have the latest, up-to-date information, assessments and training to mitigate any legionella risk.
The importance of Legionella awareness training
Legionella bacteria causes Legionellosis, a collection of serious diseases that includes Legionnaires’ disease, Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaire’s disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia that can affect anyone – there were 84 deaths in England and Wales from 2011 to 2013.
A root cause of outbreaks is lack of awareness of the risks and how to control them. The HSE’s ACoP L8 specifically states that people involved in implementing precautionary measures must be properly and adequately trained.
Identify and mitigate risk with Legionella risk assessments, monitoring and training from Safety First
The Safety First team is qualified and experienced in delivering risk assessments to ensure that your business complies with HSE’s ACoP L8, HSG274 parts 1, 2 and 3, and British Standard BS8580:201
With over a decade of experience, our legionella experts can conduct a thorough risk assessment of your premises and provide a full report detailing any actions that need to be taken in order to be compliant with standards within 25 days.
Our friendly and qualified technicians are on hand to answer any questions you have about Legionella water sampling, monitoring, risk assessment and more! You can call us on 0845 004 2133, or catch us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For general enquiries you can also visit our contact page here.