Legionnaire’s disease - Do hotels need Legionella risk assessments?

Legionnaire’s disease - Do hotels need Legionella risk assessments?

Posted on Apr 16, 2016

Legionnaire’s disease



Do hotels need legionella risk assessments?

If you own, run or manage a hotel, guest house or even a B&B, you have a duty to understand the health risks associated with Legionella.

The last thing you want to do when guests choose your wonderful venue is make an enjoyable stay potentially fatal.

For more information on what Legionnaire’s disease is – including symptoms – check out our previous blog here. 


Did you know Legionella was actually discovered in a hotel?

Legionnaire's Disease got its name in 1976 after an outbreak at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel (Philadelphia) at the convention of the American Legion.

Following the convention, more than 150 Legionnaires were hospitalised and over 25 died. After much investigation, a scientist identified the previously unknown bacteria and traced it back to the air conditioning system at the hotel.


Reducing risk

There are various systems available to supply hot and cold water services that range in size, scale and complexity. All can present potential risk of exposure to Legionella.

Temperatures between 20°C and 50°C present the perfect breeding ground for Legionella bacteria – however the optimum temperature for multiplying is 37°C. Temperature control is the traditional strategy for reducing the risk of legionella in hot and cold water systems.


Identify and assess risk

Carrying out or arranging a risk assessment is your responsibility. If you don’t feel competent to carry out the assessment yourself, you can call on help and advice from a trained professional.

The risk assessment that is carried out should include the following points:

  • Management responsibilities, including the name of the competent person and a description of your system
  • Competence and training of key personnel
  • Any identified potential risk sources
  • Any means of preventing the risk or controls in place to control risks
  • Monitoring, inspection and maintenance procedures
  • Records of the monitoring results and inspection and checks carried out
  • Arrangements to review the risk assessment regularly, particularly when there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid  

We’ve included a risk assessment template in this blog for you – find the link below.


Download your free legionella risk assessment template


Record keeping

If you have fewer than five employees, you don’t need to write anything down, although it’s sometimes useful to keep a written record of what you have done.

If you have five or more employees you will have to record any significant findings, including those identified as being particularly at risk and the steps taken to prevent or control risks. 

Records should include details of:

  1. The name of the person completing the risk assessment, managing, and implementing the written scheme
  2. What your findings were
  3. A written control scheme and details of its implementation
  4. The state of operation of the system, for example if it is or is not in use
  5. The date and results of any monitoring inspection, test or check carried out

Keep hold of your risk assessment records for the time they remain current and for at least two years after that period. Records kept in accordance with point ‘e’ above, should be kept for at least five years.

Ensure the competence and of your staff and keep your guests happy and healthy by registering with flick today and completing our Legionella training.


Buy flick's RoSPA accredited Legionella training


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