Safe Water Management during COVID-19
Guidance regarding Safe Water Management during COVID-19
Safe Water Management is imperative to every business looking to maintain a water system appropriately, for the good of its employees and its premises. But it’s safe to say that this time last year, there were very few (if any) businesses who foresaw having to look after those two elements amidst a worldwide pandemic.
This has caused an element of confusion and uncertainty for those responsible, with lots of questions being asked, and understandably not all being answered. There is one thing for certain, that existing laws and legislations still apply, and which are underpinned by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974’.
With COVID-19 being at the forefront of most minds, Dutyholders and Responsible Persons must still perform tasks and undertake precautions to reduce the risk of Legionella spreading. There is no agenda that suggests any leniency from a prospective prosecution: meaning if the necessary steps are not taken to control Legionella, COVID-19 cannot be used as justification.
There is no concrete evidence to suggest any priorities have changed in the legislation or that there has been any leeway offered for those responsible for Legionella control. Compliance should still be adhered too, and should still be a top concern for Duty Holders.
Duties for those responsible
Here are some examples of tasks and whether COVID-19 could understandably change their methodology:
- Evaporative Cooling systems MUST be maintained as usual
- Emergency Services that are supplied via Water Systems are still operating so these systems MUST be maintained as normal
- Stagnation must be addressed in Hot and Cold Water Systems, this can be done via: Weekly Flushing, Decreasing levels of Stored Water, Temperature monitoring, consideration of Potable Dosing, Weekly Legionella sampling, Point of use Filters.
- Some buildings will have been permanently or temporarily shut down, this should be clearly signposted as to deterrent any visitors.
Legionella Control during COVID-19
As members of the LCA, it is our duty to inform yourselves of these requirements, and we are happy to be on hand to answer any questions you may have. The general consensus is that when it comes to elements of Legionella control where monitoring is involved, there is some level of flexibility and this can be done slightly less frequently.
Other situations do require the influence of your Water Treatment Specialist (such as ourselves) and these should be contacted in order to come up with a plan for the foreseeable future. We have to remember that every single business and the situation they are in is unique and it is the Duty Holders job to make the decision. We also provide a full face fit mask testing service if needed.
All works completed, whether it be done by employees from the company itself, or from a Water Treatment provider need to follow the Government’s advice regarding Social Distancing. There should be a distance of at least 2 metres from person to person when carrying out any tasks (and in general) to decrease the opportunity for the Coronavirus to transmit.
Further Details surrounding your duty can be found on the letter below we sent to all of our existing Customers.
Hydro-X Water Treatment Services
Hydro-X is proud to support the UKs key services during this unprecedented time, with the backbone of our business supporting the NHS, Distribution, Food Production and IT and Communications through Data Centres. Where many other water treatment companies are furloughing their operatives and engineers – Hydro-X are not – We are proud to be operating at 100% service level across our group.
If you require any guidance on how you can manage your water and air systems through the COVID-19 pandemic please feel free to get in touch and we will be happy to help you as a business owner/duty holder on both an advisory level and with implementing the actual work amongst this pandemic.