Legionella Risk Assessments, your legal duty

Legionella Risk Assessment onsite
Legionella risk assessment undertaken by SMS Environmental

The legionella risk assessment remains the starting point for legionella control and is the only procedure you have an absolute legal duty to perform.

A legionella risk assessment remains the starting point for legionella control; it should be considered a living document and should be reviewed on a regular basis

Revised Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) L8 Legionnaires’ disease The Control of Legionella Bacteria in Water Systems

The Legionella Risk Assessment Process

All our risk assessments will consider the following using the source, pathway, receptor model:

  1. Is Legionella/pathogens present within the system?
  2. Are there conditions or can conditions be created within the system that are suitable for Legionella and other water borne pathogens?
  3. Is there a means of creating and generating a breathable aerosol bacterial transmission?
  4. What is the susceptibility of infection in person within the building?

This model can be used to implement controls.  Whether you need controls, or whether the risk can be reduced in any way. You can also use the model to help with remediation in the event of an incident.

Your 'Absolute' Legal Duty

As an employer or organisation in control of any premises, you have an absolute legal duty to undertake a legionella risk assessment. This duty is a requirement of the following legal framework:

  • The Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations
  • More specifically, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) and;
  • HSE Guidance, The Approved Code of Practice: Legionnaires’ disease: The control of Legionella bacteria in water systems (ACoP L8)

The risk assessment doesn’t have to be complicated but will determine the right precautions that maybe required to reduce the potential risk of exposure to legionella.


Inadequate management, lack of training and poor communication have all been identified as contributory factors in outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. It is therefore important that those people involved in assessing risk and applying precautions are competent, trained and aware of their responsibilities.

UKAS Accredited Legionella Risk Assessments

SMS were the UK’s first water treatment service provider to be accredited by UKAS for the competency of our legionella risk assessments. The crown seal provides the peace of mind you require and demonstrates due diligence in the simplest way.

UK businesses, Government and local authorities requiring third party conformity assessment services should source such services, where they exist, from conformity assessment bodies accredited by UKAS.

HM Government - Conformity Assessment and Accreditation Policy in The United Kingdom

  • Reduces insurance premiums and lowers risk rating
  • Ensures advice is impartial and independent of works
  • Protects your due diligence & ensures competency

All our water system inspections are carried out by our dedicated UKAS assessment team using our compliance system Opuz 12 which plays an important role in our UKAS accredited process.

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Do I need a legionella risk assessment?

For more information on our Legionella Risk Assessment Services please call 0800 138 21 21 or use the form below

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