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There are legal regulations in place in the UK that cover the area of legionella control and water systems, and they are enforced by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). Any organisation with public access to their water system has a duty of care to ensure there is a risk assessment in place to ensure legionella does not become a danger to health. Compliance is required and any incidence of a legionella outbreak where such risk assessments, monitoring and maintenance cannot be evidenced will be dealt with very severely.

There are several Acts that cover legionella legislation and compliance, including:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1999 (COSHH)

The HSE provides much advice and written reports that cover legionella regulations in the UK and they have produced an Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) document pertaining to legionella and the ongoing compliance of monitoring it. This L8 document provides employers, statutory duty holders and industry operators with clear advice on the regulations covering legionella and in how to ensure compliance and to meet legal responsibilities.

The legislation in the UK for legionella control should be researched and adhered to by all organisations providing a water supply. Failure to meet with the required compliance requirements may result in prosecution and litigation.


The HSE introduced a new programme on 1st October 2012 called Fees For Intervention. This allows them to recover the costs of a visit to your premises where a 'material breach' has been found. The charge for this is £124 per HOUR. To March 2013 the HSE has invoiced £2.67 million to businesses and organisations in the UK. The average invoice value is £464.

Why does this affect your business? The HSE considers the following a 'material breach':

  • Lack of a Legionella Monitoring Programme
  • Signs of organic contamination or scale in a water system
  • No risk assessment in place, or appointed person in place to manage equipment with a legionella risk


This clearly has a financial impact and the remedial work will still need to be done and paid for. To prevent this make sure that you are not at risk to a material breach by calling Clearwater Services UK today.