Legionnaires disease risk not managed

LegionellaHospice fined after patient died and employee left in coma

A London hospice has been sentenced after a patient died of Legionnaires’ disease and a worker suffered life changing effects as a result of contracting legionnaires disease.

Southwark Crown Court heard how a man was admitted on 9 July 2012. He was taken to a nearby Hospital on the 12 August 2012 where he died on 17 August 2012. He was subsequently found to have died of Legionnaires’ disease which he contracted during his time at the Hospice.

In December 2012, an orderly worker contracted Legionnaires’ disease while carrying out her duties at the Hospice and spent 18 days in a coma before making a recovery.

Failed to appoint a competent person

The hospice, pleaded guilty to breaching Sections 3(1) and 2(1)of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, and was sentenced to a two year conditional discharge, and ordered to pay costs of £25,000.

After the hearing HSE inspector Matt Raine said:

“The risks of legionella are well known in the healthcare industry. The hospice had implemented some measures in an attempt to control legionella. However, they failed to appoint a competent person to manage the risk of legionella in the Hospice’s hot and cold water system.

The failures in the management of legionella led to conditions in hot and cold water system that favoured the proliferation of legionellae. It was entirely foreseeable that there would be risk of contracting legionnaires disease for patients and employees working at this hospice.”

Source –  http://www.ppconstructionsafety.com/newsdesk/2016/07/26/legionnaires-disease-risk-not-managed/


Key is that the person responsible for managing risks in your workplace must understand your water systems, the equipment associated with the system parts and be able to:

  • identify and assess sources of risk
  • manage any risks
  • prevent or control any risks
  • keep and maintain the correct records
  • carry out any other duties you may have

While under the Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992, you also need to inform your local authority if you have a cooling tower or an evaporative condenser on site.

Biochemica delivers high standard Legionella monitoring and control services, ensuring compliance for control of Legionella in water systems with the UK HSE ACoP L8 and HSG 274 Guidance (Parts 1, 2 and 3).

We offer a wide range of water/air hygiene services that include:

  • Legionella risk assessment and reviews
  • Remedial work
  • Hot and cold water service monitoring
  • On/off site Legionella training packages (includes certification)
  • Cold Water Storage Tank disinfection and cleaning services
    (includes certification)
  • Shower flushing, cleaning and disinfection of heads and hoses
  • Legionella laboratory testing (includes UKAS laboratory accredited certification)
  • Microbiological analysis
  • Drinking water analysis
  • Legionella log book provision, updates and audit capabilities
  • Electronic monitoring (to include asset bar-coding) and online log book access



Contact Biochemica (UK) Ltd on 08455 045440 to find out how we could help you today.