ChemTech Consultancy Ltd is a water management company supplying a range of legionella control services to the private and public sectors including: legionella risk assessment; provision of log books and written schemes; control scheme monitoring and inspections; cleaning and disinfection; microbiological/analytical monitoring services [UKAS accredited laboratory]; chemical water treatment services; independent consultancy; industry recognised training services.
Do you have one? Your Legionella Risk Assessment must produce a written scheme of control which is the day-to-day monitoring and control strategy for the system. It’s the lack of a written scheme that’s the most common failing in most Legionella management systems.
ChemTech Consultancy is based in Renfrewshire, Scotland and provide our clients with Legionella risk assessment and control measures to minimize the risk of Legionnaire’s Disease. Formed in 2002 we have expanded rapidly by meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations in assisting them with HSE ACoP L8 compliance.
ChemTech Consultancy provide a 'one stop shop' service provision for legionella control and risk management to ensure clients meet their responsibilities under the HSE ACoP (Approved Code of Practice), L8:2001 Legionnaires’ Disease - the control of legionella bacteria in water systems and Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations.
We are Category 1 members of the Legionella Control Association (the regulatory body for the water industry) and have accreditations in Quality Assurance BS EN ISO 9001:2008 and Health & Safety BH OHSAS 18001:2007.
We are members of The Water Management Society (the advisory body for the water industry).
We also hold CHAS membership of the Contractors Health & Safety Scheme for compliance with sound management of current Health & Safety legislation and Constructionline membership meeting pre-qualification requirements appropriate to public and private sector procurement.
Background to legionnaires disease and legislation
Legionnaires Disease was first identified following a large outbreak of pneumonia among people who attended an American Legion Convention in Philadelphia in 1976. A previously unrecognised bacterium was isolated from lung tissue samples which was subsequently named Legionella pneumophila.
It is normally contracted by inhaling Legionella bacteria, either in tiny droplets of water (aerosols), or in droplet nuclei (the particles left after the water has evaporated) contaminated with legionella, deep into the lungs. There is evidence that the disease may also be contracted by inhaling legionella bacteria following ingestion of contaminated water by susceptible individuals. Person to person spread of the disease has not been documented. Initial symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include high fever, chills, headache and muscle pain. Patient may develop a dry cough and most suffer difficulty with breathing. About one third of patients infected also develop diarrhoea or vomiting and about half become confused or delirious. Legionnaires’ disease can be treated effectively with appropriate antibiotics.
The incubation period is between 2-10 days (usually 3-6 days). Not everyone exposed will develop symptoms of the disease and those that do not develop the ‘full blown’ disease may only present with a mild flu-like infection. Infection with legionella bacteria can be fatal in approximately 12% of reported cases. This rate can be higher in a more susceptible population; for example, immunosuppressed patients or those with underlying disease. Certain groups of people are known to be higher at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ disease; for example, men appear more susceptible than women, as do those over 45 years of age, smokers, alcoholics, diabetics and those with cancer or chronic respiratory or kidney disease.
On average, there are approximately 200-250 reported cases with approximately 12% fatalities.
The Health and Safety Commission announced in April 1989 its intention to take statutory action to strengthen existing legislation and guidance on the control of Legionnaires' disease. The Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) 'The prevention or control of Legionellosis (including legionnaires’ disease)' associated with the Health and Safety Executive Guideline HS(G)70 - The control of Legionellosis including Legionnaires' Disease was approved by the Secretary of State for Employment on 10 April 1991 and became effective on 15 January 1992. It has since been amended in 1995 to include where applicable, references to the COSHH regulations (Rev. 1994) and place greater emphasis on the need for regular Risk Assessment reviews.
HS(G)70 itself has since been revised and published as a second addition in 1993 in order to cover the development of new control technologies and practical considerations arising after publication of the first edition.
It has now been replaced by the updated document L8 which came into effect on 8 January 2001.
The ACoP applies whenever water is stored or used in a way that may create a reasonably foreseeable risk of Legionellosis. In particular it applies to the following plants:
Cooling tower systems; Evaporative condensers; Hot and cold water systems non-domestic premises; Hot and cold water systems where the occupants are particularly susceptible. (i.e. Health/Care Premises); Humidifiers and air washers, spa baths and pools; Other plant and systems containing water which is likely to exceed 20C and which may release a spray or aerosol (i.e. a cloud of droplets and/or droplet nuclei) during operation or when being maintained. Whilst this is not an exhaustive list, it does identify those systems which are most likely to cause infection. Consideration should also be given to other systems, which can release spray or aerosol during operation, maintenance and testing.
The scope of a Legionellosis Risk Assessment is defined in the ACoP L8, paragraphs 18-38.