What are the consequences of lack of legionella control?
Often when we are out and meeting operators and other building technical personnel the question comes up; “What do the regulations say?”. Then comes the follow-up question; “What is the penalty if you do not follow the regulations?”
“We didn’t think it was us…”
The Borregaard outbreak in 2005, where ten people tragically died, is a classic example of what can be the worst-case consequence if you do not follow the regulations. Here, Borregaard had to pay NOK 3.5 million in compensation to those who had lost someone or been infected by Legionella from their treatment plant.
What do the regulations say?
All businesses and properties with facilities that can directly or indirectly spread Legionella via aerosol (water dust) to the surroundings, outdoors or indoors, are required by the Environmental Health Protection Regulations to carry out a risk assessment in connection with the prevention of Legionella.
Simply explained, this means that you are required to carry out a risk assessment if you have a public building with devices that can form aerosol (water dust).
What measures must I take?
Based on the carried out risk assessment, routines must be established which ensure that operation and maintenance provide satisfactory protection against Legionella. It is the business’s owner and management who are responsible for ensuring that the requirements in the regulations are complied with.
What happens if I don’t follow the regulations?
So to the last question; What happens if I choose not to follow the regulations?
The Institute of Public Health writes;
“Breach of regulations on environmental health protection, chapter 3a, Requirement to prevent the spread of Legionella via aerosol, can be punished according to Section 18 of the Public Health Act, with fines or imprisonment for up to 3 months”.
Our advice is to carry out a risk assessment, either together with professional personnel or under their guidance, and to document that regular routines and measures are carried out.