As a business owner or manager, the day to day running can be a hard slog, from the accounts through to the sales can seem like a continual, non-stop, pressure led list of things you have to do, and for many, the list can seem never ending.
Top issue: Health and safety
When you have a building or premises that you operate from, this list can be huge, as not only do you need to keep your company running, the sales coming in and the endless list of meetings that you need to attend, but you also have to think about the health and safety aspect of where you work, and water hygiene comes into this.
Where the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 applies, there is a requirement to assess the risks from legionella bacteria which could result in the workplace, which is where a water hygiene or a water treatment services company really needs to be consulted.
So, something else to add to the list? It might seem that way, but with a legal responsibility to protect against such outbreaks, it really needs to be near the top.
We took the time to speak to one of the leading Water Hygiene & Legionella Risk Assessment firms, Dantek Environmental, to discuss why your business might need the services of a company like theirs.
Legionnaires – beware!
One of the main aspects of a water hygiene and water treatment company is the prevention, testing and treatment for Legionnaires’ Disease. This disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and is something employers and landlords are legally required to guard against.
Whilst for most people, if you end up contracting Legionnaires’ you might just think you have the flu or a virus, in those with weaker immune systems, the young, elderly and those suffering with ill health, it can be fatal, and if the source is found to be from your business, you could well be liable.
Combating Legionnaires in the business premises
In a place of business, a business premises or rented accommodation, the statutory duty holder or owner is the one responsible for making sure that the building is fully assessed and that regular checks are carried out to make sure, that in the long term, conditions which can lead to the legionella bacteria growing are at all times avoided. As long as the conditions are not in place for the bacteria to grow, there is no risk, but where it is possible for the bacteria to grow, then it can quickly become a very serious problem.
And this is why there is a requirement stipulated by law that if companies do not comply then there can be pretty hefty fines, and also prosecutions for manslaughter, so, this is why it is so important that the risks are assessed and the prevention is always top of the priority list.
The reason this sounds so serious is quite simply the implications of the disease when uncontrolled, as not only can it affect so many people, but it can cause serious illness and fatalities as we have mentioned, but by using a specialist company then the correct preventative actions and assessments can be put into place to make sure that the risk reduced and managed, preventing outbreaks.
One key thing to mention is that even if there has been no outbreak, but the bacteria is found, the HSE can still prosecute the business as the guidance has not been complied with, so the implications are still serious even if there is no outbreak and no complications arising. Therefore regular Legionella Risk Assessments are crucial to making sure that your business is fully compliant and operating within the law, and not only this, it can also stop people ending up very ill as a result of failure to do so.