Health & Safety guidance recently published by the UK’s Health & Safety Executive has imposed new requirements on Landlords to ensure all premises undergo risk assessments for the potential exposure to Legionella bacteria.
The latest publication recently released by the HSE, HSG274 (part 2) highlights the requirements for the control of Legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems. The new guidance highlights a significant change in the requirements imposed upon Landlords of residential properties who will now be required to ensure all properties have undergone a risk assessment. Recognising the scale of the challenges faced by some larger organisations the guidance goes on to state.
‘It may be impractical to risk assess every individual residential unit, eg where there are a significant number of units under the control of the landlord, such as Housing Associations or Councils. In such cases, a representative proportion of the premises for which they have responsibility should initially be assessed, on the basis of similar design, size, age and water supply, with the entire estate eventually assessed on a rolling programme of work.’
While welcomed by many the changes have raised concern in some quarters with water management and legionella professionals raising concerns that the demand within the residential letting sector will encourage ‘cowboy’ organisations to flourish as sub standard service providers scramble to take advantage of the increased demands.
Chris Senior, Director of Euro Environmental Ltd a firm specialising in Legionella management said ‘ While the new guidance is welcome, its imperative that landlords and letting agents seek advice and guidance through organisations such as the Legionella Control Association to ensure competent specialists are employed to conduct the risk assessments.’