Ensuring high levels of water hygiene is important for any business. Not only can poor water hygiene lead to prosecution or negative PR but it can also lead to potentially fatal illnesses. Which is why businesses are held responsible for a wide range of governmental requirements to ensure that their workplace water supply is both safe and hygienic.
In this article, we will discuss two major areas of water legislation – the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 and the legislation covering legionella control.
Legionella Risk Management
Legionella is bacteria which occurs at low levels in natural water supplies, which they can multiply to dangerous levels within water systems. High levels of Legionella can cause Legionnaire’s disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.
All businesses have a responsibility to assess and control legionella risk under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulation (1994).
There may be a risk of exposure to Legionella if your business has one of the below:
• Cooling tower or evaporative condenser
• Dry/wet cooling systems (sometimes referred to as hybrid or adiabatic coolers)
• Hot and cold-water systems
• Spa pools
• Other potential risk systems
As an employer or someone responsible for the control of premises (including landlords) you should ensure you:
• Know what you must do to comply with the law
• Reviewing what you do
• Landlords' responsibilities
Water Supply Regulations 1999
The Water Supply Regulations 1999 are in place to make sure that any new plumbing systems are safe and efficient for reducing the risk of waste, contamination or another potential risk.
The following regulations that fall under this act are the design, installation and maintenance of plumbing systems, water fittings and water-using appliances and supersede the previous Water Supply Byelaws that were written by each water company.
Keep on top of your compliance responsibilities
While water regulation can be quite difficult to understand, maintaining compliance doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right advice and a strong strategy, your business could have the skill and confidence that it’s fully compliant with all applicable legislation with a minimum of effort.
For any further information on how your business can ensure their compliance with Water and Health and Safety head over Total Water Solutions, who can provide expert support to identify your business’s areas of responsibility, and help you create efficient, straightforward processes for staying compliant.