Legionnaires Disease Legislation, Guidance & Factsheets
Legionnaires Disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia which can affect anybody, but which principally affects those who are susceptible because of age, illness, immunosuppression, smoking etc.
It is caused by the bacterium Legionella pneumophila and related bacteria that can be found naturally in environmental water sources such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs, usually in low numbers. As they are commonly found in environmental sources they may also be found in purpose built water systems such as cooling towers, evaporative condensers and whirlpool spas.
If conditions are favourable the bacterium may grow creating conditions in which the risk from legionnaires' disease is increased. In Ireland about 10 cases or Legionnaires’ disease are reported each year to Health Service Executive.
Legislation in Ireland
Employers and building owners have a duty of care to protect not only their work force but also people using their buildings; The Current Health and Safety legislation is detailed in The Management of Legionnaires' Disease in Ireland is sufficient to allow for preventive measures, enforcement action and prosecution of employers who allow their staff to become exposed to Legionella.
However It is not sufficient to regulate the safety and health of members of the public who may become exposed to spa-pool/jacuzzi aerosol, ornamental fountains, air conditioning systems used in arena’s or other public settings. Recognising this the Legionnaires’ Disease Sub-Committee of the HPSC Scientific Advisory Committee have prepared revised guidelines for the Management of Legionnaires’ Disease in Ireland. These guidelines were available for consultation until September 30th 2008. The implications of this new document will come into effect sometime after that.
- National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland, 2009
- The Management of Legionnaires' Disease in Ireland
- The Control of legionella bacteria in water systems: Approved Code of Practice and Guidance (UK Specific but used by NDSC for guidance)
- Legionnaires' Disease - Factsheet for GP's
- Legionnaires' Disease - Factsheet for the Public
- Legionnaires' Disease - Checklist for Hotels and other Accommodation Sites
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