Is your responsibility?

What Is your responsibility?

In the UK the Health and Safety Executive’s Approved Code of Practice (ACoP) and Guidance document titled "Legionnaires' disease: The control of legionella bacteria in water systems" (L8) gives practical advice on how to comply with UK health and safety law with respect to the control of Legionella bacteria. This Code is important in that it has a special legal status. If you are prosecuted for a breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that you did not follow the relevant provisions of the Code, you would need to demonstrate that you have complied with the law in some other way or a Court would find you at fault.

The importance of controlling the risk of Legionnaires’ disease within any occupied building can never be over stated. 

Legionella pneumophila, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease, occurs naturally within water and therefore all buildings with a water supply can present a risk to the occupants.

The HSE’s Approved Code of Practice L8 ‘the control of Legionella bacteria in water systems’ provides specific guidance on the best way to reduce the risk to the building occupants, reinforced in the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974.  Our tailored Houseman Legionella programmes have been developed in accordance with this legislation, ensuring all our clients receive the most up to date advice and service.

Make Your Responsibility Our Responsibility

Houseman’s approaches the control of Legionella bacteria through a meticulous four stage approach; firstly assessing any potential risks there may be, rectifying any immediate or significant risk areas, ongoing monitoring and sampling and finally any evaluation to ensure the systems are working.

The combination of this thorough approach and proactive management makes our Legionella program process extremely effective, thus minimising the risk to the building occupants and ensuring the building adheres to the current legislation.

Risk Assessment

The HSE’s ACoP L8 (see bottom of this page) states that every building should have a suitable and sufficient risk assessment undertaken.

In buildings occupied by five or more people the results should be formally recorded. This document should be reviewed or updated regularly or at least every two years.

The first step to any water hygiene control programme is to undertake a risk assessment to establish the current site condition and highlight any existing potential risk areas.

The risk assessment will look at all aspects of a buildings water services and record the findings with detailed notes, including schematic diagrams and photographic records.

Finally, the risk assessment will provide straight forward recommendations on what actions need to be taken to reduce the risk and ensure compliance with water regulations.

Remedial Works

Once the risk assessment has been completed, there may be some items of remedial works which will require attention.

This could include the removal of deadlegs, cold water storage tank upgrades or removal of old items of plant.

We at Houseman can undertake these tasks for you using our own, fully qualified engineers, who specialise in the many fields of knowledge that are needed to understand a typical water system design.

Ongoing Monitoring

An integral part of the ACoP’s requirements is the need to undertake regular monitoring and checks on the systems to ensure that they are operating within the guideline parameters.

By using the information gained during the risk assessment process, we can firstly design a bespoke monitoring and testing regime based upon the guideline parameters laid out in ACoP L8 (see bottom of this page).

A site specific water hygiene log book can then be instigated which can be used to record and collate all of the information relating to water hygiene. The upkeep of this log book will ensure your total compliance with current legislation and guidance.


Often undertaken on an annual basis, the evaluation of any water Legionella control programme is essential.

This ensures the systems instigated are working effectively to help reduce the risk of contamination.

This stage provides the opportunity to make any necessary adjustments to the control parameters to ensure total compliance.

Additional Information & Technical Support 

To learn more about 'What the Law States', please download our Document here

For further information, technical support and advice on all aspects of Legionella and legislative compliance please call Houseman on 0845 272 0881 or through our Contact page

HSE - Approved Code of Practice and guidance on regulations - downloads

ACOP L8 4th Edition - The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems

HSG274 Part 1 - The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Evaporative Cooling Systems

HSG 274 Part 2 - The Control of Legionella in Hot and Cold Water Systems

HSG274 Part 3 - The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Other Risk Systems