The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a warning of an increased legionella risk if a building has been closed or reduced occupancy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is because water systems can stagnant due to lack of use, increasing the risk of Legionnaires’ disease. This may particularly affect:
- Hot and cold water systems
- Cooling towers and evaporative condensers
- Commercial spa pools and hot tubs
Employers, the self-employed and people in control of premises, such as landlords, have a duty to identify and control risks associated with legionella.
They should review your risk assessment and manage the legionella risks to protect people when the water system is reinstated or returned to use.
If the water system is still used regularly, maintain the appropriate measures to prevent legionella growth.
You can find out what Legionnaires’ disease is, where it comes from, how people get it and symptoms and treatment by reading HSE guidance- What is Legionnaires' disease?.