Each commercial organisation, including the whole education sector in the UK, has the same duties under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 and the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice ‘L8’.
These can be summarised as:
• Conduct a risk assessment
• Appoint someone to be managerially responsible for controlling the risk
• Ensure that a plan for controlling the risk is formulated and documented
• The plan must be implemented and the required checks be completed
• Keep records of all those checks
• Make sure that all involved are competent
In terms of the risk of Legionellosis, the education sector in general has the advantage that the huge majority of the exposed population are young and would not ordinarily be considered in the at risk demographic, although the same cannot always be said for staff and visitors.
Usage: Term Time vs Holidays
Risk assessment can be a tricky in terms of access around schools or colleges during term times and it is often a good idea to schedule surveying type work for half terms of holidays otherwise the risk assessment can be littered with limitations.
Which leads to one of the main stumbling blocks of the sector in terms of usage of outlets vs closures and holidays. A lack of the use of facilities during school holidays can be a major issue as it can give rise to the colonisation of the water system(s) with Legionella bacteria, particularly in the warmer summer months. The building can quickly move from being empty to being full with water facilities getting high levels of use, if precautions are not taken while the buildings are empty, the occupants will be exposed to the stagnant water lurking within. A thorough flushing regime, at least weekly is the best answer as it will maintain water hygiene and remove the need for costly disinfections.
One final area where we can help a school save money is with the bespoke training courses we offer. In 2-3 hours we are able to impart the fundamentals of Legionella control to a duty holder, responsible person and site manager and also physically show a site manager how to complete the required checks and maintain the standard of records required for compliance.
The Legionella course was very informative I would recommend anyone to do this, especially if new in site manager job, or even requires a refresh as things do change.Mark Kalisz, Christ the Sower Ecumenical School
I would recommend you to other site mangers that I meet if they are looking for someone to do their Legionella risk assessments or sample testing.