Legionella Outbreaks Suggest Further Awareness Needed

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W.E.T Make Information About Legionella More Accessible

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2013 has seen many high profile outbreaks across the UK...It is therefore evident that further information is required to safeguard all from the threat of Legionella.

In a bid to raise awareness of the deadly bacterium Legionella pneumopila, the compliance team at Water Environmental Treatment (W.E.T) Ltd have created a new animated informational-video

This concise four-minute infographic has been released for anyone interested in finding out more about Legionella and specifically where it comes from, how it infects the human body and what measures employers, facility managers and H&S teams can take to prevent future cases of Legionnaires' disease.

Lisa Parkinson, Operations Manager at W.E.T says, "There is already quality information available from organisations such as the HSE, Legionella Control Association and NHS on Legionella, but in this modern, fast paced, information age, we thought an animation would engage a wider audience and raise awareness.”

"There are many common misconceptions amongst duty holders about how organisations should control the risks associated with Legionella and we are determined to be clear about employer's responsibilities and how to manage their systems efficiently and effectively.”

This video is made available only weeks following the announcement by the HSE and Legionella Control Association that more needs to be done to control Legionella and the launch of stakeholder events for duty holders 'Sustained Compliance - Managing The Risk of Legionella'. W.E.T attended a preview event which not only covered the upcoming updates to ACoP L8 and HSG274, but stressed the role of the regulator and the need for an intervention strategy.

Legionnaire’s Disease is caused by the inhalation of water droplets containing Legionella bacteria, which enter the lungs and invade the alveolar macrophages; these are the cells responsible for removing dust particles. They then create a defensive vacuole whereby they evade the body’s defences and multiply before destroying the host cell releasing a large number of bacteria that then continue to invade other macrophages. The effects of this are a pneumonia-like illness which can be fatal, with the high risk group being males aged 45 and over, smokers, heavy drinkers, those with an impaired immune system or chronic respiratory problems.

2013 has seen many high profile outbreaks across the UK, including the widely publicised Edinburgh Cooling Tower & Basildon Hospital outbreaks, with Basildon Hospital being ordered to pay £350,000 in costs and fines. It is therefore evident that further information is required to safeguard all from the threat of Legionella.

Lisa Parkinson, qualified in biomedical sciences and a member of the Water Management Society, had this to say:

“It’s become all the more important for both public and private organisations to maintain their hot and cold water systems to prevent any avoidable outbreaks of Legionella. Our informational-video is unlike any other currently available and we’re confident that it will be a useful tool to raise awareness as to the duties facility managers are faced with whilst highlighting the danger of Legionnaires’ disease – two aspects which if overlooked could prove fatal.”

Water Environmental Treatment (W.E.T) Ltd was first established in 1992, at the same time as the first edition as ACoP L8, with over twenty years of experience working as water hygiene and Legionella prevention specialists, servicing over 2000 sites nationwide. They offer a wide range of effective services from Legionella Risk Assessments, to tank replacements and pipework repairs, in line with current legislation. View their full list of services here.

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