Introduction to this document

Risk assessment - legionella

If you have a relatively simple water system, rather than relying on an expert to complete a legionella risk assessment, use our document to carry this out for yourself.

Legal duty

Employing a specialist to complete a risk assessment which identifies whether the conditions are in place for legionella bacteria to pose a threat to the health of your staff and others doesn’t come cheap. If you have a complex water system, cooling towers etc., obtaining expert opinion is your only real option. But, if you only have a few taps and limited water storage capacity, it’s a much simpler task.

Note. Your duty to complete a legionella risk assessment is detailed in the HSE Approved Code of Practice: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems (L8).

What’s covered?

The first part of the document asks you to list some basic details about your premises and who is completing the risk assessment. The ideal person to do this is someone who knows your hot and cold water system well. For example, a facilities manager. Alternatively, if you have a plumber who is familiar with it, you could ask them to complete the process with you.

What to look at?

The next part of the risk assessment is broken up into five sections, “The occupants”,System design”, “Cold water system”, “Hot water system”, and “Management responsibilities”. In each, there are questions which require an answer of “Yes”, “No”, “N/A”. If you wish to provide further information indicate this in the “F/I” column. There is space to do this on the fourth page of the assessment.

Risk rating

The last sections of the document ask you to assess the level of risk. This ranges from “Trivial” where no action is required, to Intolerablewhich will render the property unusable. Finally, there is space provided to list any actions needed to reduce the risks.