Legal Obligation


The Approved Code of Practice gives practical advice on the requirements of the acts and regulations illustrated above. It applies to the risk from legionella bacteria (the causative agent of legionellosis including Legionnaires’ disease) in circumstances where the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 applies.

To comply with their legal duties, employers and those with responsibilities for the control and maintenance of water systems of premises should:

(a) identify and assess sources of risk – this includes checking whether conditions are present which will encourage bacteria to multiply, e.g. is the water temperature between 20–45°C; there is a means of creating and disseminating breathable droplets;

(b) prepare a scheme for preventing or controlling the risk;

(c) implement, manage and monitor precautions – if control measures are to remain effective, then regular monitoring of the systems and the control measures is essential. Monitoring of general bacterial numbers can indicate whether microbiological control is being achieved. Sampling for legionella is another means of checking that a system is under control;

(d) keep records of the precautions; and

(e) appoint a person to be managerially responsible