Advice for those with water system responsibilities under the current COVID-19 pandemic
25th March 2020
We would like to inform all our clients that we are taking the COVID-19 pandemic extremely seriously and the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients and employees is of utmost importance.
As a Water Undertaker we are in regular contact with Government and we are also following industry guidelines.
Whilst the immediate focus is on the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 it is important to remember that the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is still in place.
With regard to water use:
..an employer or those in control of premises must continue to manage any risks arising from their activity and this includes legionella control.
Legionella bacteria still pose a risk to water system users. In order to demonstrate control of the risks from the water systems it is useful to be creative in the way control measures are undertaken. It is important to remember that many of the control measures are that of monitoring as opposed to direct interventions.
To prevent the Corona virus from spreading we must all minimise day to day contact. In domestic environments, to protect both employees and clients alike it is vital that any information on those that are self-isolating are made aware to us before the visit. Our employees will confirm in person at the time of appointment on the health status of the site contact whilst maintaining a 2 metre distance. All employees are equipped with sanitiser and wipes and will continue with stringent hand washing whilst keeping the work tasks as short as possible. We are in daily contact with our employees to ensure they are not showing any symptoms.
We will encourage, where possible the taking of water temperatures from plant/tank rooms and unoccupied areas such as laundries and first aid rooms to further reduce person to person contact.
Some tasks such as lower-risk Legionella risk assessments could be put on hold until the current situation improves.
A key control measure in Legionella control is that of turnover, this is not always possible if buildings are shut down. Remember in non-healthcare premises all outlets must be used as a minimum once per week. If they are not, then a simple intervention such as a planned flushing programme should be put in place. If this is not possible, it is crucial to follow the correct mothballing procedures.
If all outlets have not been flushed weekly, then they should be treated like a new system i.e. flushed and disinfected before being brought back into use. For specific guidance please consult HSE advice document HSG 274 Part 2. If water use has significantly changed then consideration should be given to reviewing and updating the current risk assessment.
It is also vital to continue to monitor chemical control measures such as Chlorine Dioxide and keep chemical levels topped up.
We will work with our clients and offer as much support as possible during this difficult time. Please use our 0800 028 3557 then Option 3 if you have any questions.
We will be constantly reviewing any changes/updates from government, HSE and LCA and will update this blog with the information.
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