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What is Legionella Awareness Training and Why is it Important?

It is vitally important that Legionella awareness training is carried out as part of an effective Legionella management control programme. But what is Legionella awareness training and why is it important to have such training as part of Legionella management and control initiatives?

In this guide, we will explain what Legionella awareness training is, why it is important and the benefits it provides, and the types of courses that are available. With our assistance, you will soon understand why you should be considering Legionella awareness training.

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    Legionella awareness training is an essential part of any Legionella control management programme. In essence, it is a safety training course designed to teach individuals more about Legionella bacteria and highlight its associated risks. What will be covered during the specific course will all depend on the type of course chosen.

    Is Legionella Awareness Training a Legal Requirement?

    A duty holder or responsible person is not legally required to complete training to perform their duties. However, it is strongly recommended, since training will normally be necessary for a person to be able to work safely and competently. 

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Approved Code of Practice L8 (ACOP L8) says this:

    “Those specifically appointed to implement the Legionella control measures and strategies should be suitably informed, instructed and trained and their suitability assessed. They must be properly trained to a level that ensures tasks are carried out in a safe, technically competent manner, and receive regular refresher training.” 

    Training Frequency

    Most experts will recommend a training frequency of at least every 2 years, though this may extend to every 4 years depending on the circumstances. Legionella awareness training should also be carried out every time there is a change in legislation.

    Why is Legionella Awareness Training Important?

    Regularly completing a Legionella awareness training course is vital for ensuring individual awareness of the dangers represented by the bacteria. Legionella bacteria are capable of growing in any purpose-built water system. When a person breathes in water droplets from infected systems, there is a chance that they could catch several serious diseases. This includes Legionnaires’ disease, a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.

    All hot and cold water systems that grow sediment, scale, or other types of bacteria also have the potential to hold Legionella bacteria. If the water’s temperature is consistently between 20°C and 45°C, this provides the ideal environment for the bacteria to grow, thrive, and spread. Combined with an aerosol release, this heightens the risk of exposure to the bacteria – and the risk of contracting a potentially fatal disease.

    What is a Legionella Certificate?

    A worker wearing a face mask while holding a clipboard

    What are the Benefits of Legionella Awareness Training?

    Beyond the safety element involved in awareness training, several other benefits come from completing a course. The most prominent is that bringing in experts to help conduct training ensures a “fresh perspective” about best practices. It can help you to review current processes and understand how these may be improved for greater risk reduction. These experts can also answer questions about why some of the tasks involved in Legionella control are carried out as they are.

    What Legionella Awareness Training Courses are Available?

    Both online Legionella awareness programmes and in-person training courses are available to promote safety at work and for employers, property managers, and landlords looking to ensure the safety of their tenants and building occupants. While it is not possible to list every single course available, it is possible to discuss the different types of courses and what they provide:

    Legionella Control for Responsible People

    This course is for staff or individuals involved in the management of building water systems. This particularly applies to those who have been nominated as the responsible or appointed person.

    The course is designed to equip people with essential knowledge about Legionella bacteria and Legionnaires’ disease, which enables them to understand how to best manage the risks within a water system on the premises. The course focuses on the formal management requirements for the control of Legionella bacteria and emphasises the responsibilities of the Statutory Duty Holders, the appointed Responsible Persons, and those involved in water hygiene control.

    Individuals choosing this course can decide between the City & Guilds Accreditation or Highfield ABC Level 3 Qualification.

    Legionella Control for Hot and Cold Water Systems

    This is a type of course for staff involved in monitoring and managing hot and cold water systems, which will ensure the risk presented by Legionella bacteria is minimised. It offers an overview of Legionella control in typical hot and cold water systems and should be beneficial to anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of how to apply the relevant legislation, including the HSE’s ACOP L8, within their day-to-day duties.

    Individuals choosing this course can choose between the City & Guilds Accreditation or Highfield ABC Level 2 Qualification.

    Drinking Water Quality Test For Legionella

    Legionella Awareness in Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers

    These types of courses are for staff involved in managing, supervising, and monitoring cooling towers and evaporative condensers and will ensure the risk presented by Legionella bacteria is controlled. It is designed to raise awareness and reduce the risk associated with the bacteria. Similar to the courses designed around hot and cold water systems, it will be of benefit to those wishing to better apply relevant legislation within their regular duties.

    Individuals choosing this course can choose between the City & Guilds Accreditation or Highfield ABC Level 3 Qualification.

    Safe Water in Healthcare Premises – HTM 04-01

    This is a City & Guilds Accreditation for staff involved in the management of building water systems in healthcare facilities – particularly those staff members involved in operational management.

    The course concentrates on the formal management requirements for the control of Legionella bacteria and other waterborne pathogens in water systems. It provides individuals with an overview of HTM 04-01 Parts A, B, C, and D Supplement and emphasises the holistic approach to water hygiene via the formation of Water Safety Groups and the creation of Water Safety Plans.

    How We Can Help

    We are proud to offer a range of Legionella services. These have all been developed using the skills and expertise we have obtained and honed over nearly two decades, and have been designed to ensure the peace of mind of workers, owners, and tenants of businesses and commercial properties, agricultural sites, or domestic premises across the UK. 

    Our services include the following:

    Our Legionella control services may be of particular interest here, as we can offer advice or a comprehensive plan of preventative measures and regular monitoring. This will help to keep yourself, staff, customers, or tenants safe. It also ensures compliance with current legislation and the new guidance – HSG274.

    Book Testing and Assessments

    If you require specialist services that ensure compliance with health and safety legislation, guarantee peace of mind, and reduce the risk of Legionella bacteria growing on your premises, contact Guardian Hygiene Services today. Our comprehensive services, carried out by fully-accredited and experienced technicians, can provide everything you need to keep occupants safe and help you remain aware of potential dangers on your property.

    You will be taken through every step of the process when you decide to work with us, so you can rest assured that you will never be left wondering what to do to reduce risk. You will never have to wait until a potential risk becomes a reality, as we can step in to help before this happens. Fill out one of our quote forms or speak to one of our specialist advisors to get started and find all the services you need to prevent the spread of Legionella bacteria today.

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