052 HPM 1012

HPM October 2012

TRAINING/TECHNICAL WWW.HPMMAG.COM Got a story? Ring us on 01732 748041 or e-mail twood@unity-media.com Time to act over Legionnaires’ disease Mark Krull, marketing director for Logic4training, reinforces the dangers of Legionnaires’ disease and the importance of thorough education and training... The chain of the spread of Legionnaires Lofficials increasing worry as confirmed and temperatures, fever, chills, cough, muscle pains an appropriate plan in place to pasteurise anda low turnover for several days in the storagevessel, which could pose an increased threat ofLegionella contamination. Specifiers should putHumans contract the disease by inhaling smalldroplets containing the bacteria and symptomsare similar to those of flu; for example, highegionnaires’ disease was back in thespotlight recently with the outbreak inEdinburgh causing residents and health suspected cases rose at an alarming rate. and headaches; occurring at any time between disinfect against Legionella, as well as Cases usually follow a seasonal trend, peaking two and 14 days after being infected. Severe cases determining a strategy to prevent growth of this between August and October each year as the will see pneumonia, mental confusion, and bacteria in the first place, complying with the bacteria thrives in the warmer waters of the possibly death. Health and Safety Executive ACoP document L8 summer months - the community outbreak in So, if we know what the potential causes of on Legionnaires while making the most of the Edinburgh was linked to an outdoor source, this disease are, why do we continue to see solar thermal technology. possibly a cooling tower, which spread droplets approximately 400 cases in the UK each year? In actual fact, although official figures state of water over a wide area. Only a thorough Cluster cases are nearly always down to poorly that there are approximately 400 Legionnaires’ investigation will ascertain whether negligence is maintained, and/or poorly monitored, cooling cases per year in the UK, experts believe it could to blame. tower, air conditioning, water holding and water be nearer to 9,000 - many cases are not reported To ensure end-users don’t fall foul of this supply systems. In some instances this can be or simply passed off as seasonal flu. unpleasant bacteria it’s important that installers, attributed to inadequate training, complacency, and anyone responsible for the management of a or perhaps due to the budgetary constraints of a REGULAR INSPECTION water system, are trained to be aware of the business, where cutbacks have been made on To help eradicate instances of Legionnaires ’ dangers and precautions that should be taken to relevant checks and maintenance. disease, anyone with the responsibility to oversee prevent the spread of Legionella. Experts are claiming that penny pinching and plan the safe installation, control and tactics as a result of the recession, together with maintenance of water systems in residential POTENTIALLY FATAL the soaring cost of energy, could be putting lives properties should undertake appropriate Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form at risk. Reports suggest that some building training. Regular inspection of air conditioning, of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible but operators reduce the frequency of their risk water holding and water supply systems is key some people are classed as a high risk group, assessments, as well as instances of switching off, with risks being dramatically reduced when including: or turning down, hot water systems overnight combined with an appropriate cleaning and • people over 45 years of age and at weekends, in a bid to save money and disinfection strategy. Records of monitoring also • smokers and heavy drinkers reduce a business’ carbon emissions - essentially need to be kept for five years. • people suffering from chronic respiratory or lowering the temperature of the stored hot water Logic4training offers two Legionella kidney disease and providing the ideal conditions for Legionella prevention courses; one for operatives and one • anyone with an impaired immune system bacteria to thrive. for managers - the manager’s course is suited to The related Legionella bacteria is commonly Plumbing systems are recommended to run at those involved with local authorities, housing found in natural water sources such as rivers, 60ºC - a temperature capable of killing off associations, managing agents and landlords. lakes and reservoirs, as well as purpose-built Legionella bacteria - however, some hotels, Both Legionella courses are aimed at domestic water systems - cooling towers, evaporative hospitals and public buildings are cutting this and small commercial water systems, but not condensers and whirlpool spas. Outbreaks in back to 50ºC, which will not guarantee industrial systems, such as cooling towers. purpose-built systems occur where water is eradication of the bug. In such buildings the Thorough training will pay dividends as severe maintained at a high temperature, encouraging water is pressurised, which creates a fine spray consequences can prevail if a person or persons Legionella to grow. Certain conditions can also that causes infection as it is drawn into your are found to be negligent; demonstrated by the increase the risk from Legionella, including: lungs when you inhale. Legionella outbreak at a council-run civic centre • water temperature between 20-45ºC Relative new comer to the water heating in Barrow back in 2002. A poorly maintained air • creating and spreading breathable droplets of market, solar thermal systems, must be designed conditioning system was to blame for seven water with care because of differently performing heat fatalities, which resulted in the borough council • stored and/or re-circulated water sources acting on one cylinder. facing corporate manslaughter charges, and the • the presence of sludge, scale or fouling, which The characteristics of a solar thermal heating council’s senior architect being fined £15,000 is a source of nutrients for the organism system can involve lukewarm water remaining at and the authority £125,000. 52 OCTOBER 2012 HEATING & PLUMBING MONTHLY enquiry number 138


HPM October 2012
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