What You Need To Know About Legionella Risk Assessment For Landlords
One of the questions that we get asked most frequently with regards to legionella risk assessments in residential properties is ‘Is a legionella risk assessment a legal requirement for landlords, and does it include a what is included in it’ legionella risk assessment form for landlords pdf
The short and simple answer to the first question is yes, a legionella risk assessment is a legal requirement for landlords.
In this article, we will look deeper into the second part of this question.
In our previous article titled Legionella Risk Assessments Explained, we reviewed the reasons why it is very important to understand the consequences of not being compliant with health and safety legislation on Legionella Regulation (the ACOP L8) which states that employers, landlords, or property owners must take suitable precautions to prevent or control the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria.
In other words, landlords of residential accommodation have sole legal responsibilities when it comes to issues relating to the control of the risks that can lead to Legionnaires disease.
Legionella bacteria is commonly found in small droplets of water and is mostly caused by inhalation of the airborne water droplet that has been contaminated by the Legionella bacteria. The contaminated water can either come from an unclean domestic hot and cold water systems or stagnant water tanks which flows through pipes and shower heads. Therefore it is the responsibility of the duty holder or responsible persons regularly assess the risk of legionella in a domestic property.
Part of the legal responsibility of a landlord is to ensure tenants or occupiers are not exposed to any health and safety risks. Therefore he or she must have had a legionella risk assessment carried out and thereafter maintain identified control measures to minimise the risk.
It is very important to understand that Legionnaires disease is a very deadly disease which, if outbreaks occur, can result in death or substantial physical harm in survivors. If the risk and procedures are ignored, this can incur significant fines and even criminal proceedings in the regrettable cases of human harm.
As a Landlord and property owner, what should you do to be compliant with health and safety law.
- Ensure you are competent and that you know what you need to do to assess and control the risk of legionella in your property.
- Ensure all tenants and visitors are protected from the risks of legionella
- Make sure that an adequate legionella risk assessment has been completed, or Do It Yourself
- Make sure you put all the necessary measures in place that will help to reduce the risk of exposing your tenants or visitors legionella bacteria.
Just as we mentioned in the previous article, it is important to note that the Health and Safety Executive have clarified their position on Landlord Legionella Training, and have confirmed that it is not strictly required. It also states that landlords are not required to have legionella test certificates. However, there is still an absolute requirement for landlords to have a Legionella Risk Assessment for their property, and a record that proves that he or she has taken all necessary measures to mitigate the risk of Legionella outbreaks e.g. legionella testing certificate.
A few things you should know about Legionella risk to improve your understanding
- You should know the water temperatures in which Legionella bacteria can survive and thrive i.e. between 20-45 Degrees
- You should know the high-risk sources that tenants can contract legionnaires disease from e.g. showers, pools etc
- You should know the nutrients that the bacteria can feed on
- You should know the groups of people that are more vulnerable to Legionellosis e.g. immune-surpressed persons, elderly people etc.
What should a Legionella Risk Assessment for landlords contain?
In order to help landlords save money, we have created a very user-friendly package. Part of this is a legionella risk assessment form for landlords (pdf format). This package will provide you with the knowledge you need to complete your own Legionella Risk Assessment, as well as the template required to produce the required formal document.
With our DIY legionella Risk Assessment template, you will get a step by step guide to help you assess legionella risk in your property. You will also be able to use the assessment form multiple times, along with a copy of our training workbook to prove you with the basic knowledge that is required for you to complete your risk assessment.
The below is a list of some of the items your Legionella Risk Assessment (Residential Property) will contain:
- A section for the name of the assessor including their job tittle
- A section that details any legionella risk that has been found or identified
- A section that details the control measures that have been put in place to mitigate the risk of legionella, and how they were implemented.
- Information about the state and condition of the water systems in the property, including how they are used and tested.