Revised British standard on Legionella risk assessment

BSI, the business standards company, has released British standard BS 8580-1:2019: Water quality. Risk assessments for Legionella control. Code of practice, ‘a significant revision to the 2010 British Standard providing further guidelines for assessing water quality and the risk of Legionnaires’ disease’. BSI explained: “This standard gives recommendations and guidance on the assessment of the risk of Legionellosis presented by artificial water systems. Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by bacteria of the genus Legionella, an opportunist pathogen which normally inhabits warm, moist or aquatic environments.”

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, employers or those people in control of premises became responsible for understanding the associated health risks and for carrying out appropriate risk assessments such as those for Legionella. In 2010, BSI thus published the first edition of this British standard, BS 8580:2010, ‘offering the necessary recommendations and guidance’.

By 2014, BSI points out, the Health and Safety Executive had restructured and made changes to its Approved Code of Practice and guidance for controlling Legionella bacteria in water systems, ‘ACoP L8’. It then separated ACoP L8 from its technical guidance, which was further developed by industry groups into three distinct parts:

• HSG 274 Part 1, concerned with cooling towers;

• HSG 274 Part 2, regarding hot and cold water services;

• HSG 274 Part 3, focusing on ‘other’ systems.

“Various factors prompted this revision of the original British Standard published in 2010,” BSI explained, “namely the separation of the ACoP L8 and HSG documentation, the shift from a single description of the risk assessment process, and outputs to the recommendations for the frequency of inspection in each of the individual industry group (HSG 274 Parts 1, 2, and 3).” The 2019 standard also takes into consideration new information, published in 2017 as HSG 282 – control of Legionella and other infectious agents in spa pools.

BSI says BS 8580-1 can be acquired either as a simple standard, or as a ‘Tracked-changes package’, where customers receive both the new standard and a tracked-changes version.

Both are available in hard copy or PDF form.



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