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Legionella Risk Assessments – A Landlords Guide

Legionella risk assessments are required to be conducted by landlords. This is to prevent the risk of infection to tenants living in the landlord’s property.

What is Legionella?

Legionella is a harmful pathogen that thrives in water and infects the lungs. The bacteria grows at a quick rate in mild to warmer temperatures of 20°C to 45°C. Individuals most commonly get Legionnaires disease by inhaling water droplets (when water becomes aerosolised). Less commonly, Legionella can be caught via water ingestion however the water still needs to enter the lungs. Legionella can be fatal to those that catch the disease. Those infected with the disease can have symptoms of a high fever, cough, headache, and shortness of breath. Symptoms usually last up to 10 days and should be treated with an antibiotic.

Do you have to carry out a Legionella risk assessment?

Landlord regulations across the UK vary in regards to conducting Legionella risk assessments. In Scotland, it is a legal requirement to conduct a risk assessment thereby testing is critical. Whereas England and Wales are not legally required to conduct a specific Legionella test. However, the assessment of safe household water falls under a ‘duty of care’ hence it needs to be carried out to protect both the landlord and tenants. This aspect falls under multiple legislation acts including Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, and L8 Approved Code of Practice.

What is a Legionella risk assessment?

A Legionella assessment involves the sampling of water and testing it to see if the disease is present. Risk assessments generally involve identifying the potential risk, identifying who is at risk, evaluating current control measures, and recording the findings. For accurate results, a professional examination should be carried out. Providing water samples in a sterile bottle to a specialist water testing laboratory will enable fast, precise and reliable testing. This will also ensure the test fits the necessary criteria of a Legionella assessment.

Legionella testing at Andersen Caledonia

Andersen Caledonia provides specialist Legionella testing services at both of our UKAS approved laboratories. We supply you with a sampling kit to gather water which our laboratory will analyse. View our Legionella testing.