Knowing when to review your Legionella risk assessment, and to what degree, depends on a number of factors which can range from policy or system, personnel and information changes to contractor and contract requirements. Sometimes these changes will see a whole new risk assessment completed and others minor amendments to specific parts of your existing document.
Recognising that your risk assessment is a live document and making relevant changes is always positive, but what are the actual requirements? Paragraph 47 of the Approved Code of Practice & Guidance on regulations (L8): “Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems” states:
“The record of the assessment is a living document that must be reviewed to ensure it remains up-to-date. Arrange to review the assessment regularly and specifically whenever there is reason to suspect it is no longer valid. An indication of when to review the assessment and what to consider should be recorded.
This may result from, e.g:
(a) changes to the water system or its use;
(b) changes to the use of the building in which the water system is installed;
(c) the availability of new information about risks or control measures;
(d) the results of checks indicating that control measures are no longer effective;
(e) changes to key personnel;
(f) a case of legionnaires’ disease/legionellosis associated with the system.”
Depending on the circumstances of these changes will therefore dictate whether a whole risk assessment approach or amendments to the current is needed. At Assurity Consulting our approach is to work with the customer, their policies and procedures and how any changes affect the overall management of Legionella risk. Where policy dictates, there are substantive changes or indications the existing assessment is not reflecting the current level of risk within a system, a whole assessment approach is adopted. Where minor changes to systems occur (e.g. removal of a deadleg), but the overall risk does not increase, these items can be amended, and the existing assessment remains in effect.
Having an assured source of qualified advice also helps allay fears and maintains the levels of compliance you have in place.