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Legionnaires disease

Legionnaires disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia caused by Legionella bacteria. Anyone can catch this disease but people who are over 45, smokers, heavy drinkers, those suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease and those with impaired immune systems are particularly susceptible.

Infection cannot be passed from person to person but is caused by breathing in small droplets of water contaminated by bacteria. These bacteria can be found within cooling towers, evaporative condensers and hot and cold water systems. These systems require a risk assessment to establish the degree of controls that are required, this will range from a small hot water system with high temperature and turnover where no further action maybe necessary, to a large wooden cooling tower that may need a complete water treatment and monitoring programme to control risk.

Guidance on compliance

  • identify and assess sources of risk
  • prepare a scheme (or course of action) for preventing or controlling the risk
  • implement and manage the scheme
  • appoint a person to be managerially responsible
  • keep records and check that what has been done is effective
  • if an employee becomes ill with legionnaires disease after working on a potentially contaminated water system then this must be reported under to the Health and Safety Executive.

The Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992

If you have a cooling tower or evaporative condenser on site you must notify us with details of its location. You must also tell us if such equipment is no longer in use.

Please complete the online application below:

Notification of cooling towers and evaporative condensers

When this content has been updated

Last updated 18 January 2018