Scottish Legionnaires Outbreak Highlights the Dangers of Safety Failings

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Colemans-ctts react to the recent Legionnaires outbreak in Edinburgh, speaking about the rights of the victims to claim compensation, according to The Independent.

The National Museum of Scotland is the latest place in Edinburgh to be issued with an improvement notice as part of an ongoing investigation into the Legionnaires outbreak in the city, according to The Independent- http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/rise-in-legionnaires-disease-cases-7881059.html.

The notice was issued under health and safety law and deals with staff training at the museum. Under the guidelines issued in the notice, the museum must ensure that staff members are given the appropriate training in looking after water systems in the building.

So far, there have been 41 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ Disease in the city, with the illness proving fatal for three individuals. Around 90 people in total have been treated for either confirmed or suspected infection.

Commenting on the issuing of the notice, a spokesperson for National Museums Scotland said: “We employ specialist contractors to regularly test, monitor and ensure the safety of our water systems. Tests have confirmed that there are no issues with Legionella in our cooling towers.”

The group went on to say that staff responsible for hiring contractors will now undergo refresher training.

Other organisations and firms handed improvement notices as part of the outbreak include the North British Distillery and pharmaceutical company Macfarlan Smith.

So far, five people have launched legal action as a result of the outbreak.

Commenting on the situation Steven Astley, Senior Associate at Colemans-ctts, said: “Anyone who falls ill or is injured due to the negligence or fault of another person is entitled to pursue a compensation claim for injuries sustained or any condition they develop. They could also claim compensation for medical costs they have had to absorb, or lost earnings.”

Legionnaires’ Disease is spread when conditions in cooling towers allow Legionella Pneumophila bacteria to move around via condensation. The Legionella bacteria can grow at any temperature between 20 and 50 degrees Celsius but is killed off over 60 degrees Celsius, and the right legal professional will be able to prove negligence on the part of anyone who allowed temperatures to fall to a dangerous level.

Colemans-ctts specialises in helping victims to claim compensation for a situation where someone else was at fault. Visit their website at http://www.colemans-ctts.co.uk.

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Michael Darlington
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