Most Recent Blog's
Date Added: 17/12/2017
Group: Legionella
By: Graham Thompson
Legionellosis reported to the National Surveillance Scheme for Legionnaires’ disease in residents of England and Wales in 2016

This report from Public Health England evaluates and summarises data analysed from cases of Legionellosis reported to the National Surveillance Scheme for Legionnaires’ disease in residents of England and Wales with onset of symptoms in 2016.

Graph Legionnaires’ disease in residents of England and Wales 2016

For the full report - Click here

Date Added: 04/06/2017
Group: Legionella
By: Alan Greaves
Deadly Legionnaires bug is lurking in 1.5 million British homes

Article taken from The Daily Mail Online 04/06/2017 - 

Researchers warn killer disease is on the rise - and showers could be to blame

  • Households could be harbouring the potentially fatal legionella organism.
  • Bug causes legionnaire’s disease, can lead to pneumonia and organ failure.
  • Sufferers are infected when they inhale tiny airborne droplets of ridden water.

Showers in homes across Britain are contaminated with a deadly bug that kills dozens of people a year, Government experts warn.
Research reveals up to 1.5 million households in the UK could be harbouring the potentially fatal legionella organism. The bug causes legionnaire’s disease, which can lead to life-threatening pneumonia and organ failure.
Sufferers are infected when they inhale tiny airborne droplets of bacteria-ridden water.
The deadly disease is usually linked with large buildings – such as hotels and office blocks – with complex water systems where the bacteria can spread easily.
But scientists at Public Health England (PHE) have found that the killer organism is on the increase in domestic homes. Experts fear household showers may be to blame for hundreds of cases each year where the source of infection cannot be identified.
The bug thrives in stagnant water above 20C. Showers, taps and wash basins can become contaminated if they are not used for a few days. Even garden hosepipes can harbour the bug if they are left filled with cold water that heats up to the right temperature in the sun.
Legionnaire’s disease strikes about 500 people a year in England, killing around one in ten. A 2012 outbreak in Edinburgh resulted in four deaths and nearly 100 people being treated.

Infection rates are rising across the world as more people take showers rather than baths. The European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says cases have hit record levels on the continent.
Initial symptoms include fever, loss of appetite and headache. But within ten days, sufferers can develop life-threatening pneumonia and kidney failure.
Survivors often have to take antibiotics for months to try to clear the bug from their systems.
PHE infection experts took samples from 99 showers in 82 properties in Bristol, Bath, Oxford, Portsmouth, Southampton and Salisbury. Water was extracted from shower heads left idle for a few hours and swabs were taken from bathroom pipes.

Legionnaire’s disease strikes about 500 people a year in England, killing around one in ten

The results, published in the International Journal Of Hygiene And Environmental Health, revealed that nearly a third of samples tested positive for legionella. Researchers said six per cent of properties had dangerously high levels of the bug – the equivalent to 1.5 million households in the UK.
Three samples included a virulent new strain of the bug not seen before in the UK.
The researchers warned: ‘This study is the first to investigate the prevalence of legionella in UK household showers. It shows they may be important reservoirs.’
They warned that electric showers – originally thought to be safer because they heat water directly from the mains rather than from a tank – are just as dangerous, with similar contamination rates.

Scientists urged the public to use showers as often as possible to prevent water stagnating, and to clean shower heads regularly.
Microbiologist Dr Tom Makin urged homeowners returning from holiday to ‘flush out’ showers for several minutes. He added: ‘Hold your breath, turn the shower on and leave the bathroom. And don’t go back in for a while as contaminated droplets can remain airborne for up to 30 minutes.’
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Date Added: 03/08/2016
Group: Software
By: David Greaves
L8MS Risk Assessment version Upgrade - August 2016

L8MS Risk Assessment Logo Following requests to use our web risk assessment software on different screen sizes and types of devices we have undergone a revamp of the user interface.  The new fluid layout will resize so you should be able to use L8MS risk on any mobile, tablet or desktop device. As much as possible we have retained the same feel and method of operation, so getting accustomed is as easy as possible.

Some additional Features:

  • Open screen; Instead of going through long lists (especially for those using our residential landlord assessment) to open the Client / Site, there is now a filter on the top of the form.  Type in the whole phrase, a single word or just a few letters and the list beneath will only show results matching those criteria.

  • Multiple survey upload; in the previous version (still available in the drop down menu as legacy) you had to upload each individual survey sheet, check it, then save it to the system.  Now you can select multiple survey files and they will upload in one go saving you time.  It is now also easy to open the survey's afterward to check and make small corrections without re-uploading the surveys.

  • Multiple photo upload; similar to survey uploads the photo's section now has the ability to upload multiple files in one go.  If the image files have been named correctly the files will upload with the filename already filled out (If you try to load more than about 3.5MB in one go the upload will fail, hit the back button and choose a few less files).

  • Descriptive text; on sections that use standard text, like the executive summary and control scheme, you are able to format the text better including colour and multi-level bullets points. This will allow you to highlight anything which requires immediate attention.

  • Printing your assessment; PDF or Word selection options have been merged to an ‘action’ button. (Many users have not discovered the list of available report formats is not fixed, you can build your own company reports using and ordering sections from the L8MS list).

We hope you like the aesthetic and functional changes, which have been based on feedback, please keep it coming.

Date Added: 01/08/2016
Group: Software
By: David Greaves
L8MS Online Training - New Software release

L8MS Online training LogoL8MS Online Training
L8MS specialise in offering bespoke on-site training courses and accredited qualifications, however sometimes geographical or time constraints make online training a very useful option. L8MS – Online training is derived from our on-site courses put into an easy to use web platform, that can deliver the content at any time to suit your demands. The courses are well tested and developed by Water Hygiene and legionella control experts not web designers or a media company.

How do I book training?

Email us with your training objectives and the number of delegates and we will suggest the best course fit.

What are the costs of L8MS Training?
On-site training days can cost from £500 a group to £500 per head excluding the additional costs of travel and accommodation for your delegates. Access to an online training module such as a ‘Legionella Control for Responsible Persons’ course starts at £60 and discounts are available for large numbers of attendees.

Training is available for:

  •  Competent Persons (Responsible persons)
  •  Building owners / operators (Duty holders)
  •  Property managers
  •  Persons with allocated Legionella tasks
  •  Estates mangers
  •  Anyone seeking an introduction to Legionella management

Training Videos
Each module has a series of powerpoint like videos to explain the topic and the spoken text is also presented. L8MS try to use images and concepts to cover legionella control and do not simply present the paragraphs from HSE ACoPs and Guidance.

View Example 'Temperature conditions required for Legionellabacteria to multiply.'

Most courses have extensive multiple choice questions covering each module which need to be answered in order to print a certificate of completion.

L8MS Online offer each user the ability to reset all answers. A course can then be retaken, allowing a new certificate to be raised demonstrating ‘refresher’ training, without additional charge.

Date Added: 20/05/2015
Group: Legionella
By: Graham Thompson
Brief highlights of the HSE Report on Legionella Intervention Programme 2013-2014

 Of the 5000 sites in GB notified to LAs under the Notification of Cooling Towers and Evaporative Condensers Regulations 1992, only about half were initially allocated for visits. Before any site visits took place, there was considerable effort to cleanse the data. Sites were removed for several reasons:  

  • sites no longer had cooling towers (or they had been replaced with a dry cooling system);

  • sites had changed use /companies had gone out of business; or

  • for operational reasons a visit was inappropriate (eg. a recent inspection, such as in preparation for the 2012 Olympics or an on-going investigation/prosecution).


Note I think this would exclude all cooling towers in Corporation of London & Westminster as well as the more obvious Boroughs local to the Olympics).  


HSE, LAs or ONR considered some 2,500 sites where evaporative condensers or cooling towers were known or thought to be present.

HSE identified material breaches at ~ 33% of sites, meaning that at these sites at least written advice was needed to secure adequate levels of compliance.

HSE served 400 Improvement and 11 Prohibition Notices on the control of legionella risk at 229 different sites. A further 100 Improvement Notices and 8 Prohibition Notices were served on ancillary issues with a possible impact on legionella control, including work at height eg. to maintain drift eliminators.

LA inspectors sent a letter or served a notice at 21% of LA sites. LAs issued Improvement Notices at 9 sites and sent letters to a further 112.

There has been one successful proactive prosecution, Pride Cleaners (2000) Limited, of Dudley Road, Stourbridge, which has ceased trading, pleaded guilty to breaching sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and was fined £100 and ordered to pay £50 costs

Notifications of Contraventions were issued against a number of service providers (water treatment companies outside the scope of this programme). It is reasonable to expect this also to have a gearing effect, with the learning being shared across company regions and with other clients.

Future work

Water Safety Plans and Water Safety Groups (see paragraph 9) represent a holistic approach to managing the risks from HCWS in health care and social care premises, and we plan to explore the potential for collaborative work in this area especially with the LCA, PHE and others. Later, it might also be appropriate to consider auditing standards of compliance eg. in NHS trusts.