Many landlords and letting agents choose to employ a specialist firm to handle the control of Legionella in their rental properties. However, there is a growing market in Legionella training courses aimed at property owners who wish to handle risk assessments and control measures themselves, or at least have a working knowledge of basic water hygiene. However, due to the growth in demand and the proliferation of courses it can be difficult to choose the right Legionella training course for you.
Firstly, make sure that the training provider is reputable and accredited. If in doubt, choose one of the 200+ approved organisations from the Legionella Control Association’s list of suppliers of training services (of which our parent company, Urban Environments, is one).
The second thing to consider when choosing a Legionella training course is suitability for your needs. Do you just want to get a general awareness of Legionella and the risks or are you aiming to equip yourself to be the ‘responsible person’ or ‘duty holder’ with responsibility for water hygiene and health and safety?
A duty holder is the person responsible for complying with health and safety, taking ultimate responsibility for managing the risk of Legionella. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) defines a duty holder as follows: “Carrying out a risk assessment is your responsibility and will help you to establish any potential risks and implement measures to either eliminate or control risks. You may be competent to carry out the assessment yourself but, if not, you should ask someone with the necessary skills to conduct a risk assessment. This can be done by someone from within your own organisation or from someone outside, e.g. an external consultant.” The HSE also publishes leaflet INDG458 entitled ‘Legionnaires’ disease: a brief guide for duty holders’
At this level, training courses should be fairly in-depth to ensure that all necessary aspects of Legionella control are covered and will be aimed at managers of large property portfolios as well as site engineers and facilities managers. The contents of the course are likely to include the following:
- Background, history, microbiology and legislation relating to Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease.
- Managing risk and how to comply with health and safety regulations, including updates to ACoP L8 and technical guidance HSG274.
- Compliance requirements: risk assessment and competence, written scheme and management and control.
- Specific controls in: domestic hot and cold water systems in the workplace, cooling towers and other systems.
- Practical training in temperature monitoring and inspection of various items of equipment, as appropriate, such as cooling towers, control and dosing equipment.
It may also include a written exam.
General awareness courses
General awareness courses are usually aimed at landlords with a fairly small portfolio, or people who are intending to delegate responsibility for risk management to a third party but nonetheless want to have a basic understanding of the issues.
General awareness Legionella training courses are likely to include:
- Legal responsibilities
- Legionella bacteria and aspects of infection
- Water system design
- Basic risk assessment
- Implementing a control regime
Here at Compliance for Landlords we offer a range of courses from general awareness to high level specialist training. You can find out more and enquire about our Legionella training via our website.