Legionellosis (Legionella, Legionnaire’s Disease)

Legionellosis (Legionella, Legionnaire’s Disease)

Who should read this?

Duty holders, including employers or person(s) in control of premises and those with Health and Safety responsibilities for others, to help them comply with their legal duties in relation to legionella

What is Legionella?

Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria. This includes the most serious legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. However, some people are at higher risk, including:

  • people over 45 years of age;
  • smokers and heavy drinkers;
  • people suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease; and
  • anyone with an impaired immune system.

Legionairre’s Disease starts with flu-like symptoms — tiredness, high fever, headache, muscle aches and dry cough. It can then develop into lung infections or pneumonia, which can prove fatal in one in ten patients.

Where can Legionella bacteria be found?

Legionella bacteria can grow in hot and cold water systems and can be harmful to health if inhaled. Legionnaires’ disease is normally only contracted where water is sprayed and small droplets (aerosols) of water containing the bacteria are inhaled, Example: in a shower.

Who is the Duty Holder?

The Duty Holder is the budget holder, employer, or someone in control of premises (E.g. Chief Executive, Landlord etc.).

Who is the Responsible Person?

The Responsible Person is the person who is appointed by the Duty Holder to manage the day-to-day issues of complying with The Approved Code of Practice (ACop) for Legionella Control: L8 and BS8580 (E.g. Head Teacher).

What is required by the Responsible Person?

  • The Responsible Person must employ a Council approved Legionella Contractor to carry out Legionella risk assessments in accordance with ACoP L8 and BS8580. Council’s approved contractor meet this requirement
  • A Council approved Legionella Contractor should provide and update a site specific log book compliance with the HSG 274
  • The site specific log book should identify the frequency and responsibility of each task required in accordance with HSG 274
  • The Responsible Person must ensure all recommendations or remedial works are addressed by the appropriate person/contractor once identified by the approved Legionella approved Contractor after each visit or completion of a task
  • The Responsible Person may use an on-site Legionella trained responsible person (Competent Person) for monitoring purposes only (E.g. Caretaker)


For a copy of the above HSG274 Checklist please click on the following lick and download -  HSG274 Checklist for Hot and Cold Water Systems

What could happen if you do not fulfil your Statutory Duty?

  • A person(s) could contract the Legionnaire’s Disease, with one in ten cases resulting in death
  • Buildings could be closed, disrupting the delivery of education
  • Head Teachers, Governors and Building Custodians etc. could face legal action
  • Head Teachers, Governors and Building Custodians etc. could receive a large fine along with court costs
  • Reputations could be damaged

Please refer to;

Duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) extend to risks from legionella bacteria, which may arise from work activities. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (MHSWR) provide a broad framework for controlling health and safety at work.  More specifically, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) provide a framework of actions designed to assess, prevent or control the risk from bacteria like Legionella and take suitable precautions. 

The Approved Code of Practice: Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (L8) contains practical guidance on how to manage and control the risks in your system.

ACoP states that suppliers, contractors, service providers and consultants could also be held responsible for failures, therefore we strongly advise schools to procure council approved contractors only.


Who should I contact?

As part of the Built Environment Service Level Agreement, the Authority can support you by providing the following:

  • Legionella Monitoring Service
  • Administration of the contract and maintenance of test date records
  • A report of items tested and the results
  • Technical support and guidance on any changes to legislation and regulations
  • Access to our preferential rate through our approved contractor
  • Legionella responsible person training.


Contact Razwana on E: razwana.mahmood@bradford.gov.uk to enquire about the Legionella Monitoring Service or any other building related services you may require

Further information

And for further information visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires/

The Authority Legionella specialist is Darren Briggs E: Darren.briggs@bradford.gov.uk T: 01274 431768

Page owned by Fatima Greenwood, last updated on 15/07/2024. This page has been viewed 13,755 times.