BSI revises legionella risk assessment standard

BSI has released a significant revision to the 2010 British Standard for Legionella Risk Control, providing further guidelines for assessing water quality and the risk of Legionnaires disease.

BS 8580-1:2019 provides recommendations and guidance on the assessment of the risk of Legionellosis presented by artificial water systems. Legionellosis is a collective term for diseases caused by bacteria of the genus Legionella, an opportunist pathogen which normally inhabits warm, moist or aquatic environments. The most serious and potentially fatal is Legionnaires’ disease.

Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, employers or those people in control of premises became responsible for understanding the associated health risks and for carrying out appropriate risk assessments such as those for Legionella.

Head of sustainability at BSI, David Fatscher said Legionnaires disease should not be underestimated and that having updated guidance and recommendations for its prevention is as important as ever.

"This revised standard aims to enable anyone with responsibility for the health and safety of others in public premises, across the spectrum from the workplace to hospitals, to undertake the necessary risk assessments and adopt adequate prevention measures," he explained.

The BS 8580-1:2019 is a significant revision of the existing British standard BS 8580 published in 2010. BSI also offers a ‘tracked changes’ version of key standards, to help users see clearly what’s changed and what’s stayed the same.

Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease continue to happen today. Recently, an apartment building in New York City saw 50 casualties and two fatalities, while in England and Wales UK Government statistics reported four cases in 2018.

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