Residential and Care Homes Legionella Risk Assessment

All companies, as the person in control of the premises or responsible for the water systems in their premises, have a legal duty to ensure that the risk of exposure of occupants to Legionella is properly risk assessed and controlled. This duty extends to residents of the care homes, guests, tenants and customers

What is Legionnaires’ Disease?

Legionnaires’ disease is one of a group of diseases collectively known as legionellosis. More than forty different species of bacteria are associated with legionellosis, the most dangerous being Legionella pneumophilia. Infection by L. pneumophilia can result in pneumonia and the symptoms are similar to those of flu and include high temperatures, muscle pains and headaches. Legionellosis principally affects those who are susceptible due to age, illness, immuno-suppression, smoking etc. It is also associated with a fatality rate of approximately 12%.


Legionella organisms are widespread in natural water sources and have been found in rivers, lakes, mud and soil. However, Legionella can also colonise man-made hot and cold water systems such as storage tanks, calorifiers, air conditioning systems and cooling towers. The bacteria can live and multiply at temperatures of 20 – 45°C.

Route of Infection

Legionellosis is caused by the inhalation of airborne droplets, which contain legionella bacteria. However, infection can only occur under certain conditions that permit the growth and multiplication of the organism and involve the creation of droplets or aerosols, which can be inhaled and hence deeply penetrate into the lung.

What are your Legal Requirements?

Building owners are responsible for their work premises under Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (sections 2, 3, 4 & 6), Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002 (Regulations 6,7,8,9 &12) and Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to protect the health and safety of not only their employees but for all those who are at risk including members of public. The HSE’s Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) L8 is a guideline document for the prevention and control of legionellosis in water systems and has a special legal status by which the employer can be prosecuted, fined or even imprisoned, if it is proved that you did not follow the relevant provisions of the Code.

The management of legionella in nursing, residential care homes including sheltered accommodation was formally regulated and policed by the Health Care Commissions, Commission for Social Care Inspections (CSCI). CSCI ceased to exist in March 2009.

The new regulator is The Care Quality Commission who also regulate various other establishments including Dental Practices who also now have a clear duty to manage the risk from legionella.

What do you need to have in place?

  • A compliant and up to date legionella risk assessment
  • A written scheme for the management of legionnaire’s disease
  • A planned preventative maintenance regime

How can we help?

Our assessments are conducted in line with Legionnaires’ disease the control of legionella bacteria in water systems (L8), Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations as well as the technical guidelines set on in the HSG 274 documents parts 1,2 and 3.

Our risk assessments include;

  • A clear executive summary outlining the risks associated with your premises
  • A bespoke management plan for improvement and risk reduction
  • A full inspection of your water systems (conditions of cold water cisterns, hot water plants, spray producing devices, cooling towers and other plants.)
  • A temperature profile of the premises
  • Schematic diagrams
  • An asset register
  • Description of your water services
  • Photographic evidence
  • An audit of site management, written scheme procedures and records.
  • An analysis of your training competencies

The assessment will conclude on the condition of plant and advise you of any remediation necessary in order to reduce the risk from legionella bacteria.

For further information contact us on 0151 257 9302 or via email