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Risk Assessment > Overview

Risk Assessment Overview

Here in the UK, the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) published an Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) at the end of 2013, and is labelled as ACOP-L8. This is the latest guidance for the effective control and management of Legionella.

ACOP L8 applies to all premises controlled in connection with a trade, business or other undertaking where water is used or stored. This includes sites that have cooling systems, hot & cold water systems, spa pools, or other plant or systems containing water.

An important update was issued in January 2017 regarding the management of spa pool systems, if you are a health club, gym or hotel with a spa pool, it is essential you evaluate your compliance.


Further to these regulations:

  • COSHH, regulation 6.
  • Regulation 3, The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
  • Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, sections 2, 3 and 4.

The ACOP-L8 stipulates that ‘A suitable and sufficient assessment must be carried out to identify and assess the risk of exposure to legionella bacteria from work activities and water systems on the premises and any precautionary measures needed. The dutyholder is responsible for ensuring the risk assessment is carried out.’
(ACOP-L8 Page 11: 28)

Although it is acceptable for an employer or a person in control of premises to undertake the Risk Assessment task, due to the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to identify, compile and solve problems and potential problems, many prefer to instruct competent specialists. Another heavy influence on that decision is the potential magnitude of repercussions that surround a Legionella outbreak, its disastrous health effects, financial damages/fines, loss of reputation and other perpetual problems.


Once a Risk Assessment has been completed it is considered to remain valid until either of the following:

  • A change in Key Personnel.
  • A change in the water system (any).
  • A change in Legislation or Guidance (Last amended Dec 2015 to include ‘Landlords’).
  • Failure in your current Control Scheme.

ACOP-L8 does not stipulate a specific time frame for validity, however it does call the document a ‘living document’ meaning regular reviews are good practice (suggested every 2 years).


A Risk Assessment needs to consider the whole water system, not just isolated assets. The aim is to identify where there are risks within the system with the objective that a Control Scheme can be drawn up from the conclusions of the assessment.

Implementation of an efficient control scheme and the management of that scheme is just as obligatory as the initial assessment. The larger the site the more complex control schemes become to implement, record and manage.

LCS offer competitively priced Risk Assessments and Risk Assessment Reviews that are amongst the best in the industry. We also offer complete Water Management Contracts for clients whom wish to outsource their Control Scheme to a safe pair of hands.

If you are unsure of the validity of your latest Risk Assessment, please click the button below. Answering 12 simple questions allows us to provide an instant evaluation.