Legionnaire’s Disease during Covid-19 Shutdown and Returing to Work
Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic many business and their premises are temporarily closed. Therefore there is a risk of legionella developing in water systems that remain dormant. Business owners, landlords and any property managers must be aware of this and put into place procedures to control that risk.
In order to manage the risk you must implement a suitable flushing regime which is recommended to take place on a weekly basis or other measures such as draining the system if the building is to remain unused for a long period of time.
If there are any lapses in flushing regimes, systems may need to be cleaned and disinfected prior to building reoccupation.
Health and Safety Enforcement
Officers of the Food Health and Safety Team of the Environmental Health Section may visit to undertake checks on offices, shops, warehouses, places used for leisure activities and other non-industrial premises. Health and safety enforcement is a split responsibility with the Health and Safety Executive who deal with factories and other industrial operations.
Health and safety legislation applies to all workplaces. If you employ staff then you will need to ensure that they are suitably protected whilst they are at work. Even if you do not employ anyone, you still have a duty to ensure that members of the public are not at risk of injury or ill health when on your premises. This is done by a called called 'risk assessment which involves identifying health or safety hazards and taking steps to prevent or control them.
You can find advice on information on all aspects of health and safety on the Health and Safety Executive website.
Safer Workplace Better Business (SWBB) pack
Complying with health and safety law can be difficult, especially for small businesses that may not have the necessary expertise in-house.
The Safer Workplace, Better Business (SWBB) pack produced by Torbay Council aims to help small businesses comply. The SWBB pack aims to ensure that small businesses comply with requirements of current Health and Safety standards. Each section explains the employers duties, the actions required, and allows the employer to document policies, controls and procedures they implement within their business.
Once completed the pack will enable the business to identify key hazards in their workplace, introduce suitable control measures and have a documented system available for inspection by enforcement officers. The pack is available to download from the Torbay Council website.
Health and safety inspection
Officers of the Food Health and Safety Team of the Environmental Health Section may visit premises where enforcement is allocated to the local authority. These inspections are to check that safe and healthy working conditions are provided for all employees, the self-employed and members of the public visiting these premises. Inspections are carried out without prior notification. During an inspection, officers will need to be satisfied that:-
- Any hazards to peoples' health, safety and welfare, which arise out of or in connection with work have been identified and the associated risks adequately controlled.
- The level of health and safety training of managers and employees is suitable.
- Structural and environmental conditions are satisfactory and that plant and equipment are safe.
Where work practices or conditions fall short of what is regarded as satisfactory, every attempt will be made to resolve the situation by informal means. If this is not possible, or if the danger posed gives rise to a risk of serious personal injury, then officers may take formal action. This could involve either the service of a legal notice, prosecution, or in situations where serious personal injury could arise, a prohibition notice requiring immediate action.
In performing our duties we adhere to Central Government Codes of Practice and guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). We also follow our own internal quality procedures.
Health and Safety Complaint Investigation
Complaints about working conditions will be investigated sensitively and the complainant's confidentiality maintained. Such matters are usually resolved by giving advice to the employer if necessary formal action will be taken.
If you wish to report an issue regarding health and safety, please contact us at the address given below.
Employers have a legal duty to report certain types of accidents to staff and members of the public specified within the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulation 1995 (RIDDOR).
Comprehensive information and advice on RIDDOR is available from the Health and Safety Executive RIDDOR webpage.
Notice and Prosecution Register
If a business has been subject to a notice under health and safety legislation which may affect the public or have been prosecuted for health and safety breaches by Erewash Borough Council, a register entry is made. Details of the register is available by contacting us at the address below.
If a business has been subject to formal action by the Health and Safety Executive, the details are available on the Health and Safety Executive's Public Register of Convictions website.
Environmental Health, Merlin House, Merlin Way, Ilkeston. DE7 4RA
Telephone: 0115 907 2244 ext 3820