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Legionella Risk Assessment

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Author Topic: Legionella Risk Assessment  (Read 258 times)
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« on: March 31, 2021, 11:49:32 AM »

Hello,

I am a landlord of just one property and I am also a Safety Engineer who has worked on many Safety Critical Systems.

My property has now had two Legionella Assessments, 5 years apart, which have raised a few professional questions in my mind and I'd like to hear what anyone else has to say, especially anyone who is involved in these assessments.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that the assessment is not necessary.

My main questions are:

   1. How do assessors and the companies that employ them get an accredited competency? Neither of the two reports I received bear any accreditations and I think there are serious errors in the reports I received.

   2. What are the criteria for classifying risk? Neither of the reports contained any methodology for classifying risk other than by placing them in Low, Medium or High risk classifications. Without some form of numerical classification system or without any other rationale, these are meaningless. I am very aware what HSE has to say about general risk classification but there appears to be no linkage to the legionella risk classifications.

   3. Is there a regulating body that oversees the accreditation of companies that perform legionella risk assessments and are those companies audited?

The safety and well being of my tenants is paramount but I'm not sure that the landlord or the tenant is being well served by these risk assessments.
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2021, 12:12:22 PM »

Don't misunderstand me, I am not suggesting that the assessment is not necessary.

Why? To a person I could guess that almost everyone here thinks they're totally unnecessary... and most don't undertake them. Sure... do some basic free training (Google), then go and identify any obvious dog-legs or dead-ends, but - most importantly - run the water through the system.... you're good to go - that's your risk assessment. It's done. You don't need some certificate (especially not one from someone who makes errors, serious ones at that).
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2021, 01:27:54 PM »

Problem is...I live far away from the house so I have to rely on an agent. They have an assessment company to do this.

Anyone can answer my questions?
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2021, 04:18:39 PM »

The legislation isn't that specific in terms of requiring a certain "score", or the use of a member of an accredited body to carry out the test. If you've taken reasonable care as a landlord, either in assessing the system yourself or taking the advice of your agent, then you're fine. It's a pretty low risk in a domestic dwelling anyway: as long as the hot water's properly hot and the cold water's properly cold, and there's nowhere it can sit and fester (that last one's largely a question of using a competent plumber when you get works done), the risk is minimal to negligible.
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2021, 09:34:56 PM »

https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l8.htm ?
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2021, 11:57:46 AM »

Thanks.
I'm aware of this document. It says:

"It is important that those people assessing risk and applying precautions are competent, trained and aware..."

You can do it yourself, but how do you display "competence"?

It's very easy to say whatever you want, which will be OK until a real problem happens (probably very unlikely) but then someone will start to look closely and the outcome could be unsettling!

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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2021, 01:01:55 PM »

Bear in mind that most of the documentation is for industrial/commercial installations that are much, much larger and more complex than a three bed semi. You really don't need to overthink this. Per the HSE:

"In most cases, the actions landlords need to take are simple and straightforward so compliance does not need to be burdensome or costly.  Most landlords can assess the risk themselves and do not need to be professionally trained or accredited; but if they do not feel competent, or inclined to do so, they can arrange for someone who is to do it on their behalf.https://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/legionella-landlords-responsibilities.htm

There are plenty of other things that are far more likely to kill your tenants than Legionella.

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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2021, 02:11:59 PM »

The OP is already overthinking this. The OP is in regret mode at being conned into paying for two assessments they see no credibility or value in. Displaying competence for this Landlord might be the real challenge, considering the position they're in.
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