Legionella Risk Assessment – I wasn’t aware!

Legionella Risk Assessment – I wasn’t aware!

11:48 AM, 30th September 2015, About 6 years ago 31

Text Size

How many of us is aware of this new regulation?Legionella
I have to say I was totally unaware until I received this email from my LA. The safety of my tenants are paramount to me, but I feel dumb that I never read about this on any of the forums

Re: LEGAL WATER HYGIENE CONTROL – IMPORTANT NOTICE from the Health & Safety Executive

We write to inform you of new legislation issued by the Health and Safety Executive in respect of Legionnaires disease. This legislation requires that all rented property is compliant and a legionella risk assessment undertaken.

This is a new legal requirement under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 concerning the risk from exposure to Legionella and compliance with the relevant parts of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. This has now been extended to include rental properties and, as your managing agents, we can be held equally responsible with you as ‘joint duty-holder’. We have a legal obligation to comply with current legislation including carrying out Legionella Risk Assessments, just like gas and electrical safety checks, to ensure the safety of your tenant, occupiers, contractors and staff who visit the property on a regular basis e.g. carrying out inspections.

The fines being imposed for non-compliance can amount to as much as £20,000 for each offence and can potentially include a criminal record. We are also aware that organizations such as Shelter and Help the Aged are paying particular attention to this law to protect tenants’ rights in this area.

It is important that matters relating to tenant’s health and safety are not overlooked. You may find that your insurance as a Landlord now includes a requirement for this and that effective control measures need to be in place.

We have appointed Nlic to carry out this specialist service due to their service providing an annual ongoing duty of care procedure in this area and manage the UK At Risk register of non-compliant properties. They will undertake a full risk assessment and look at all risk areas, taking measures to look for every form of bacteria. Nlic provide full indemnity cover to you and us as the duty holders in a court of law. This firm is a not for profit organization and specialize in working to uphold all aspects of the law for HSE setting industry standards.

What is included in the service package is an end to end risk assessment including the necessary ongoing duty of care throughout the year with tenant and landlord information packs site visits and records maintenance, removal from the at risk register, replacement water tanks and shower heads should there be a deemed risk, no additional charge for no show site visits such as a tenant not being in at time of arranged visit, support in the event of a legal case for legionella illness.
(there are 240 strands of illness)
We are arranging for risk assessments to take place from the 12th of October 2015. The cost of this annual service is £125 plus vat per year per property. Unless we hear from you to the contrary, we will instruct them on your behalf and the cost will show on your next monthly statement of account, if we do not collect your rental on your behalf we will not go ahead unless payment has been received.

You do have the right to decline this service, but we strongly recommend that you allow us to put it into place. To not have these checks carried out will leave you fully liable for the consequences without any form of indemnity whatsoever against the fines and other consequences referred to above. We as your managing agents would not remain liable if you choose to decline this service – but unfortunately the liability will rest with yourself.

If we do not hear from you within seven days from the date of this letter we will proceed to arrange the risk assessment of your property, on your behalf.

We would like to thank you for your understanding and co-operation in this matter and assure you we are acting in your best interest, so that this compliance is met. For your peace of mind, you will receive a full report for your records and we will also keep a record in our files ready for any possible adhoc inspection by the HSE and/or possible tenant litigation in the future.

Finally, please be aware that this legislation is nothing to do with your local council, it originated from H.M. Government’s Health and Safety Executive and the law governing this is enforceable by them.

Antony

Editors Note:

Please see our previous articles –

Legionella scaremongering by some letting agents debunked

and

Legionnaires Disease – Landlords responsibilities



Comments

by Alison King

10:12 AM, 4th October 2015, About 6 years ago

I recently did a risk assessment and gave it to my new tenant. It said the property was low risk because it has a fairly new combi-boiler and no storage tank. It also said that as a precaution, the shower head had been replaced, all the taps had been run for ten minutes, the washing machine had been through a cycle and the central heating had been switched on for half an hour.
This left the poor girl far more worried than if I had said nothing and despite my assurances I got the impression she now thinks this country is a hotbed of legionella infection.

by Ralph Butters

10:13 AM, 4th October 2015, About 6 years ago

yes, indeed it would be good to hear the answer to these questions too.

1. when did this NEW legislation come into effect?
2. where did they get the £20,000 fine figure from?
3. can they clarify " HSE exist off fines'

I have a few more but let's start with those.

by

11:04 AM, 4th October 2015, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Alison King" at "04/10/2015 - 10:12":

Hi Alison,
That is so funny, please feel free to message me regarding your Risk Assessment.
Chris
courses@landlordsmasterclass.com

by Neil Radford

11:49 AM, 4th October 2015, About 6 years ago

That's hilarious. Killed more than cycling??!! It killed 31 people in 2013. Their figures are so wrong! He's the head of training?!
90% of the time the landlord is the Duty Holder. Only when the letting agent has responsibility for the safety checks of the building and this is stated in the contract, do they then become the Duty Holder.

by

12:32 PM, 4th October 2015, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ralph Butters" at "04/10/2015 - 10:13":

Pardon me, but I've never heard of ' Nlic ' who are they and where is their material on Legionnaires published.
To be fair, I don't blame anyone who has a misunderstanding of the HSE requirements, as I've sat in on courses that have even got it wrong !
The HSE Guidance is partly to blame as its contradictory in parts.
As regards Ralph's question 1. 'When did this 'New' legislation come into effect, - The legal requirements are the fact that the latest, 4th edition of the HSE Guidance, L8 in 2013 ! received special status of being Approved Codes of Practice, granted by the Secretary of State. This means you Don't Have to follow the HSE ACOP or Guidance, HOWEVER
' The Code has special legal status and if your Prosecuted for a Breach of H&S Law and didn't comply with it, you need to show you complied with the law in some other way or a Court will find you at Fault. '
Re 2. where does £20,000 fine originate from - previously H&Sat Work Act fines were capped at £20k, but from 15/3/15 were Unlimited. In any event, there have been fines of £300k issued for Legionnaires prosecutions.
Re 3. Court Fines are paid into the Treasury, (i.e Government - who funds the HSE ).

by Antony Antoniou

13:50 PM, 4th October 2015, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Chris Daniel" at "04/10/2015 - 12:32":

Hi Chris
Nlic are the company that my LA selected to carry out the "New Legislation", see my 1st post
The other comments that you mention have been quoted by other members on this site, and they have been taken from Nlic website
http://www.nlic.uk
The Double Whammy made me laugh, as it's on their website

Please let's wait a day or so and see if Nlic respond on an open Forum

One good thing that has come out of this is making lots of people like myself aware of our duty of care in regards to Legionella Risk Assessments

by Ralph Butters

13:20 PM, 5th October 2015, About 6 years ago

no response from nlic.uk yet then?

by Suzanne Cleaver Smith

10:03 AM, 7th October 2015, About 6 years ago

by Jireh Homes

11:13 AM, 21st October 2015, About 6 years ago

Whilst for some properties, the H&C water systems may be such that the Risk Ranking is low, the assessment must be carried out by a competent person. This is defined as one with sufficient knowledge of H&C water systems, legislation and risk assessment methodology, which is why engaging a service provider should provide this assurance. The danger of "simple proforma questionnaires" is not being aware of what you do not know. In addition a good Assessor will also highlight any other concerns with the installation, e.g. the water simply too hot!

Also, once prepared, there is no set requirement on how often the assessment has to be repeated (with some Assessors pitching at 5-10 years depending on the system and condition), although it should be reviewed periodically (e.g. change of tenant or 2 years).

by Allan Mazey

12:36 PM, 21st October 2015, About 6 years ago

Jireh,
You are absolutely about competency. There are variables in even the simplest of systems that may go noticed. For instance how many private landlords will know that flexible hoses to taps are considered a serious risk even if all the other controls are in place. Scalding issues are part of the L8 and Water pipes running close together without insulation will produce heat transfer which could proliferate growth. I could go on ( but wont bore everyone).
A pro forma used by a non competent person will never be suitable to cover all the bases.
According to HSE ACoP L8 The assessment should be reviewed every 2 years or if there is reason to suspect that is no longer valid, for example:

Where there have been changes to plant, the water system or its use;
Where there have been changes to the use of the building;
Where new information about risk or control measures has become available;
Where monitoring indicates that control measures are no longer effective.
All the best.
Allan M


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

BECOME A MEMBER