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There are plenty examples of court convictions in businesses and trades that are not immediately identified with traditional Legionella risks. Remember that the Health & Safety Act 1974 is the responsibility that the courts will refer too for hearing a case, it makes no difference if you employ one person or one thousand.
If you are not sure or have never considered a Legionella risk assessment at your place of work, we encourage you to read the information below and then contact us:
- Employers are responsible for all employees welfare at work.
- Employees who smoke or who suffer from an existing chronic disease such as Diabetes or Heart disease have an increased risk.
- The creation of breathable aerosols are common place at work.
- Legislation that protect staff & the public must be complied with by all Companies regardless of type or size. These being: Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 & Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
- Companies must adhere to guidance supplied by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as laid out in the document now known as HSG274 Part 2. Previously this document was known as ACOP L8. There is also further specific information for Dutyholders published by the HSE available here (INDG458).
- All workplaces within the UK come under the Jurisdiction of the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) which is the national independent watchdog for work-related health, safety & illness at work. Its mission is to prevent death, injury and ill health in Great Britain’s workplaces. The HSE will inspect workplaces, especially those who have poor Health & Safety measures, operate in Hazardous industries or have had an incident.
- Employers must report any case of Legionnaires’ that may have been caught at work to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). The duty to do this follows on from a doctor notifying the employer.
Repercussions for Failures
- Risk of death.
- Huge Fines by the HSE (Relative to turnover).
- ‘Special Measures’ enforcement.
- Expensive Court Cases.
- Defamation and Bad Press.
G4S Cash Solutions (UK)
A worker contracted Legionnaires Disease in October 2013, although health officers could not establish if the disease was caused directly from Legionella bacteria on site, the investigation unearthed several serious risks. This included failure to provide a Legionella Risk Assessment for 3 year period, ignored recommendations, slow rectification and compliance with ACOP L8. Chelmsford Crown Court imposed a fine of £1.8million plus £34,000 in legal costs. G4S went onto lose an appeal in July 2017, the attempt was to reduce the fine by redefining the Courts categorisation of G4S’ level of culpability.
JTF Warehouse, Stoke
One 64-year ‘healthy’ man died after a Legionella outbreak in a hot spa retailer in Stoke, 2012. Stafford Crown court imposed a £1million fine for failures in the Legionella control scheme which also affected another sufferer whose life was ‘severally impaired’ by the infection. JTF apologised and stated that they had since appointed a new board of Directors & Senior Management since the occurrence, the case lasted 5 years.
De-Met Colourcoat Limited, Dudley
De-Met Colourcoat Limited, Dudley – A HSE investigation found that workers were exposed to the risk of Legionella bacteria due to failures by the company to have any Legionella control scheme in place. They were fined £10,000 and ordered to pay costs of £5,067.68.
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