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Swiftclean advocates clear water for holiday park owners

As the lockdown gradually lifts, allowing holiday makers to flock to holiday parks across the UK, leading legionella risk expert Swiftclean warns of the risks of Legionella in static water pipes, taps, showers and toilets. Swiftclean’s legionella expert, David Randlesome, explains the pressing need to take action against the potential threat of legionella bacteria, which causes the ‘flu-like illness, Legionnaire’s Disease.

“This year, because of a long period of enforced shut-down, followed by a sudden rush of bookings as people take advantage of the relaxed COVID regulations, we should be more vigilant than ever,” he warns. “Legionnaire’s Disease, which can develop into pneumonia, is potentially just as fatal as COVID-19 for the elderly and clinically vulnerable. It is essential, at all times, to ensure that the water systems of any static homes that have been unoccupied for more than a week are carefully flushed through before being occupied again, in order to minimise the risk of legionella proliferation. It is always essential to achieve and maintain compliance with the Approved Code of Conduct for legionella control also known as ACoP L8, this year and every year.”

“Each holiday park owner or manager has a legal duty to protect residents, staff and visitors from Legionella. UK legislation concerning Legionella prevention is contained in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1989; Section 3(2) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974; and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR). You must ensure that you have appointed a Responsible Person, a named individual, responsible in law for ensuring that your organisation does everything possible to comply with the Approved Code of Practice for Legionnaires' disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8). This is issued by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) and is legally enforceable.”

The first step, says Swiftclean, is to ensure that you have a current Legionella risk assessment document, which must be accurate and up to date. If there have been any alterations to the water systems since the last assessment, with the addition or removal of a van, standpipe, or even a single tap; a new risk assessment must be carried out.

Similarly, your Legionella risk assessment cannot simply be handed on to a new Responsible Person. If you are a newly appointed Responsible Person and your predecessor conducted the last risk assessment, you must carry out a new risk assessment, to acknowledge the changes in responsibility and reporting. If you do not know how to conduct a risk assessment, or are not sure if you have one, you should call a specialist to help you.

If there is a Legionella outbreak on a site for which you are responsible, you can be prosecuted. If convicted, your organisation may face limitless fines imposed by the court. Any individuals held responsible may face a custodial sentence, especially if there has been a fatality. Therefore, it is essential to be proactive with your Legionella prevention.

As well as static vans, all water outlets in communal toilet or shower blocks must also be flushed through, so if you have additional features such as camping facilities or a central clubhouse or café, the same principles must be applied to these.

Once you are ACoP L8 compliant, it is essential to stay that way. Ongoing testing and monitoring for Legionella is relatively simple and your service provider should be able to provide the training that you need.

Swiftclean will be exhibiting at the year’s Holiday Park Show, where delegates will be welcome to ask questions and seek expert advice from the Swiftclean team. In the meantime, Swiftclean’s experts are available by calling 0800 243471 or by visiting www.swiftclean.co.uk.

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