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Legionella and the Law

Updated: Jul 27, 2023



What is Legionella?


Legionella is a type of bacteria that can cause a serious lung infection known as Legionnaires' disease.


This infection can be acquired by inhaling contaminated water droplets, usually found in man-made water systems such as domestic hot and cold-water systems, cooling towers, and many other systems such as car washes. In recent years, the legal implications of Legionella have become more prominent as building owners and managers are becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect the health and safety of those who occupy their premises and those who could be affected by their water system.


What is the Law on Legionella?


The laws concerning Legionella vary from country to country. These guidelines include maintaining cleaning and maintenance schedules of cooling towers, hot and cold water systems, regular testing, and promptly addressing any Legionella contamination found.


Is Legionella testing a legal requirement in the Uk?


In the United Kingdom, a series of regulations known as the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 require building owners and managers to assess the risks posed by Legionella and implement control measures to prevent or minimize the risk of Legionella exposure. In addition, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 provides guidelines for the management of hazardous substances, including Legionella, in the workplace.


The law takes a serious view of Legionella risks and expects building owners and managers to take all reasonable steps to protect the health and safety of those who use their premises. Failure to comply with regulations and guidelines may result in heavy fines, legal action or, in the worst cases, criminal offences.


Legionella is a serious health risk that must be managed carefully by building owners and managers. Failure to comply with the relevant legislation and guidelines may have serious legal consequences. All building owners and managers should take the necessary steps to assess and manage Legionella risks. If you are unsure about your responsibilities, seek guidance from regulatory authorities, specialist consultancies or legal experts.


How to stay compliant with Legionella.

Booking a Legionella Risk assessment will outline the potential risks and how to effectively treat and comply with legionella Laws.

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