Legionella Risk Assessment

A Legionella Risk Assessment must be done every year, this is legally binding under the Health & Safety Act. For Legionella Risk Assessments, AquaChem use an Independent Risk Assessor complying with and conforming to all National Guidelines. An Independent Risk Assessor ensures there is no bias and a logbook is prepared for each site.

What is Legionella? 

Legionella pneumophila is a thin, aerobic, pleomorphic, flagellated, non-spore-forming, gram negative bacterium of the genus Legionella.  L. pneumophila is the primary human pathogenic bacterium in this group and causes Legionnaire’ Disease, also known as legionellosis.

In nature, L. pneumophila infects freshwater and soil and is generally harmless in the natural world. However, when humans collect and store water in an artificial environment, such as a water storage tank, Legionella bacteria can grow.  If a person inhales this aerobic bacterium it can cause that person to contract Legionnaires’ Disease.

What is Legionnaires’ disease?

Legionnaires’ Disease, also known as legionellosis, is a form of atypical pneumonia caused by any type of Legionella bacteria. Signs and symptoms include cough, shortness of breath, high fever, muscle pains, and headaches. It is a serious illness and is life threatening.

Legionella can appear in:

  • Water systems incorporating a cooling tower.
  • Water systems incorporating an evaporative condenser.
  • Hot and cold-water systems.
  • Spa pools.
  • Natural thermal springs and their distribution systems.
  • Respiratory and other therapy equipment.
  • Dental chair unit waterlines.
  • Fountains/sprinklers.
  • Water-cooled machine tools.
  • Vehicle washes.
  • Potting compost/soil in warmer climates.

Those at Risk of Legionella:

  • People over 40 years of age.
  • Those with excessive alcohol intake.
  • Immunocompromised organ transplant patients, patients with a compromised or weak immune system, the elderly, children and those receiving systemic steroids. Patients with chronic underlying disease such as diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic liver failure are also high risk.

Guidelines for the control of Legionellosis is covered under the 2009 Guidelines

Risk Assessment’s carried out by AquaChem:

  • In Ireland, under occupational health and safety legislation there is a legal obligation on employers to carry out a risk assessment in relation to Legionella prevention and control in the workplace and where a risk are identified the appropriate control measures should be put in place and a risk management plan adopted.
  • A risk assessment is carried out specifically for each building on an individual basis