Hospital death highlights the risks

The death of a pensioner after contracting Legionnaires’ disease in Bath’s Royal United Hospital has again highlighted the need for specialist training to prevent further outbreaks, an expert training company and consultancy has warned.

Develop Training (DTL) says the case shows that facilities managers in the health sector and beyond must ‘not lift their guard’, and that organisations should ensure that they keep up-to-date with current legislation and invest in effective training to prevent hazards such as poorly-maintained airconditioning units. DTL offers a free downloadable LegionellaPrevention Guide (visit http://tinyurl.com/jlrskao), and various training courses on the subject. 

Lee Yearwood, DTL’s delivery manager of safety training, explained: “Legionella bacteria found in air-conditioning and water systems present a real risk for any facility in health, hospitality, and almost any industry sector. Recent years have seen outbreaks in hospitals, manufacturing facilities, leisure establishments, and garden centres. It’s important that you put in place the right steps and measures to protect both your staff and any visitors from the dangers that surround exposure to Legionella.” 

DTL says it is pioneering ‘training for life’ techniques to ensure that responsible persons are ‘trained more effectively in the maintenance of systems than with traditional, classroom-only training’. It said: “This, coupled with new competency qualifications and compliance processes, gives management flexibility over how and where training is delivered.”

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