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How to Prevent a Legionella Outbreak in your Factory or Warehouse

As with any place of business, directors, duty holders and facility managers in factories and warehouses have a duty of care to their employees and visitors. The Health & Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) offers detailed advice on “identifying and assessing sources of risk, preparing a scheme to prevent or control risk, implementing, managing and monitoring precautions, keeping records of precautions and appointing a manager to be responsible for others”.

Water is an integral part of the production process. Even if your factory doesn’t need to use water in the production process itself, you will need it to clean the machinery, as well as for use in canteens and bathrooms and for ordinary cleaning.

Do Factories and Warehouses Need Legionella Risk Assessments?

It is a legal requirement for duty holders in factories and warehouses to carry out a legionella risk assessment. The ACOP goes on to say: “As well as requiring risk assessments, they also require employers to have access to competent help in applying the provisions of health and safety law; to establish procedures for workers if there are situations presenting serious, imminent danger; and for co-operation and co-ordination where two or more employers or self-employed people share a workplace.”

The ACOP advises businesses to appoint a person, known as the ‘responsible person, to oversee the management of legionella. This means they need to undertake their own legionella risk assessment or organise a specialist water hygiene company to conduct it on their behalf.

Do Factories and Warehouses Need to Carry out Legionella Testing?

It is not a legal requirement to undertake legionella water testing and analysis, but it is advisable as part of your comprehensive risk management strategy. We recommend that all businesses test the water in their commercial premises every two years, whenever changes are made to the water system, after the building has been left vacant for a while, or if they have any concerns that they might be at risk of an outbreak.


If you would like any advice about legionella risk management, please feel free to contact us to see how we can help.


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