With a growing number of cases of Legionnaires' disease associated with hotels, it's now more important than ever that hoteliers ask themselves the question of what they should be doing to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all guests.
Legionella is a pathogenic bacterium that can cause the potentially fatal condition Legionnaires' disease. While the bacteria naturally occur at low concentrations in aquatic environments likes lakes, ponds, and rivers, it becomes a problem when it enters engineered water systems. Left untreated it can multiply. When water droplets become contaminated with the bacteria and are inhaled into the lungs, humans can contract Legionnaires disease. Initial symptoms are flu-like and can take up to 10 days to appear.Systems that are commonly associated with Legionella contamination include cooling towers, air-conditioning systems and domestic hot and cold-water systems. The systems need to be risk assessed and a control programme established to reduce any identified risk.In hotels, water systems such as spa pools, taps and showers, and hot tubs can all become infected.
The Health & Safety Executive states that lack of legionella training, poor communication, and inadequate management can all contribute to outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease in hotels.
If you own or manage a hotel, The Health & Safety Executive says that your hotel and water system must comply with their legal and statutory obligations under the Health & Safety at Work etc Act 1974, Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations and the Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations.
So, if you manage a hotel in the UK, it's important to appoint someone who will be responsible for the health and safety of the entire organisation. With an abundance of guidance and information available, it's crucial that the responsible person understands what the risks are and what they need to be doing for the risk to be effectively managed. The responsible person needs to ensure that adequate measures are in place to reduce the risk of Legionnaires' disease in hotels and where they need additional support, external organisations like Titan Mechanical can be used.
Legionnaires' disease is entirely preventable. To ensure the safety of your hotel guests, get in touch with Titan Mechanical to see how we could help. We carry out all Legionella remedial works including engineering services such as RPZ valve testing to the highest standard.