Commercial Properties – anyone in control of commercial premises whether you are an employer, managing agent or simply a landlord, you have a duty of care to those using or visiting the premises.

You have a duty of care under the Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) to ensure the safety of employees or anyone affected by activities. Compliance with the ACoP L8 ‘The Control of Legionella bacteria in water systems’ is part of this duty.

Where are the Legionella Risks?

Commercial Properties, whether it be office blocks, retail units or factories, often have multiple elements posing a potential risk of Legionnaires diseases. While properties vary in sizes and scope, the following are some examples of the sorts of elements that can cause risks if not maintained properly:

• Staff & Public Toilets (Plumbing, sinks, toilets, and surrounding areas)
• Shower rooms (Shower head, hoses)
• Thermal mixing valves
• Kitchen Areas
• Water Storage Tanks
• Hot Water Cylinders
• Air conditioning units

Consequences of poor maintenance could include reduction in overall water quality, corrosion and deposition, all of which contribute to a suitable environment for Legionella to proliferate.

What are my Responsibilities?

By law, as a commercial property owner, you are required to carry out a legionella risk assessment and implement any scheme of control resulting from its findings. The risk assessment should also be reviewed regularly and when there is reason to suspect that it may no longer be valid.

The risk assessment is the key first step to compliance and provides you with all necessary information on how you should control and minimise the risk from Legionella bacteria.

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