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What Is Legionella?

Find more about Legionnaires disease

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What is Legionnaires' disease? 

Legionnaires' disease is a potentially fatal pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria.  It is the most well-known and serious form of a group of diseases known as legionellosis.  Other similar (but usually less serious) conditions include Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever.  At present over 60 different species are known. 

Infection is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by the bacteria.  The disease cannot be passed from one person to another.  

Everyone is susceptible to infection but someone people are at higher risk e.g. those over 45 years of age, smokers and heavy drinkers, those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease and people whose immune system is impaired. 

What are my duties under the law?

Identify and assess sources of risk.  
Prepare a scheme (or course of action) for preventing or controlling the risk  
Implement and manage the scheme – appointing a person to be managerially responsible, sometimes referred to as the “responsible person”  


Keep records and check that what has been done is effective  
If appropriate, notify the local authority that you have a cooling tower(s) on site  

The risk assessment is your responsibility as the employer of the person in control of the premises.  

Under General Health and Safety Law you have to consider the risks from Legionella that may affect your staff or members of the public and take suitable precautions as a person in control of a premises or as an employer. Freeston Water Treatment can help you comply with this Legislation by carrying out a Legionella Risk Assessment of the Water Services. 

Go to Risk Assessments

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