Prepared using the HSE publication ‘Managing legionella in hot and cold water systems’
1. POLICY STATEMENT
Activeplay Nursery will undertake to ensure compliance with the relevant legislation with regard to the Control of Legionella in hot and cold water systems for all pupils and staff and to ensure best practice by extending the arrangements as far as is reasonably practicable to others who may also be affected by our activities.
2. THE LAW
As legislation is often amended and Regulations introduced, the references made in this Policy may be to legislation that has been superseded. For an up to date list of legislation applying to nurseries, please refer to the Department for Education website at www.education.gov.uk/schools and the Health and Safety Executive website www.hse.gov.uk.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.
Legionella is a generic term for a type of bacteria which is common in natural and artificial water systems. Legionellosis is the name given to a group of pneumonia-like illnesses caused by Legionella.
The risk of contracting Legionella an this nursery is considered equal or less than in any domestic dwelling, due to the absence of any showers, and the fact that water is heated as it is used and not stored in any tank.
The nursery will ensure that:
- Relevant risk assessments are carried out and that control measures are implemented (see below).
- The nursery owner/manager is informed of any problems with water or the water system.
- Monitor disinfection procedures where necessary
- Records are kept for each water outlet of flushing and testing and any disinfection procedures.
LEGIONELLA COMPETENT PERSON
The nursery owner Jacquelin Curtis is the nominated competent person for Legionella on the premises.
In her absence the role reverts to Michelle Sharp.
In addition to this advice will be sought from a registered plumber when necessary.
5. GENERAL INFORMATION
What is legionella?
Legionella bacteria is commonly found in water. The bacteria multiply where temperatures are between 20-45°C and nutrients are available. The bacteria are dormant below 20°C and do not survive above 60°C.
Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal type of pneumonia, contracted by inhaling airborne water droplets containing viable Legionella bacteria. Such droplets can be created, for example, by: hot and cold water outlets; atomisers; wet air conditioning plant; and whirlpool or hydrotherapy baths.
Anyone can develop Legionnaires’ disease, but the elderly, smokers, alcoholics and those with cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory or kidney disease are at more risk.
HSE’s Legionnaires’ disease page provides information on managing the risks.
Legionella is a generic term for a type of bacteria (legionellae) which is common in natural and artificial water supplies. The bacteria thrive at temperatures between 20°c and 45°c but can be killed by elevated temperatures or chemical treatment.
Infection is only a risk when there is inhalation of very fine water droplets that are contaminated with high concentrations of legionella bacteria. Healthy people are unlikely to contract an infection and outbreaks are rare though well publicised.
6. RISK ASSESSMENT
Assessment of risk is mostly confined to:
- Monitoring whether control measures are being carried out.
- Correct water temperatures are being maintained.
- Engineering measures, such as temperature control valves, are working properly.
- The nursery has no showers on the premises, and water is used only for hand washing and dish washing. There should therefore be no exposure under normal circumstances to water droplets in spray.
- The nursery does not store hot or warm water, but has a combination boiler that heats water as it is used, and distributes hot water above 50°C.
- Children are protected from scalding by controlling the delivery temperature of hot water from a tap to approx 43°C by the use of thermostatic mixing valves.
- All taps are regularly descaled during cleaning of the nursery.
7. CONTROL MEASURES
To achieve ongoing control of legionella, thorough flushing of the water system is required if water has stood for more than 4 days. Flushing will last for at least two minutes at a reasonable flow rate.
Where water outlets are routinely used, then this acts as the flushing routine and additional flushing is not required. However, flushing will always be required for all water outlets during periods of none use which exceed 4 days. Flushing is only required at the end of the period of non use.
We will therefore monitor any water outlets that are not in regular use. In practice, this occurs only once a year, between Christmas and New Year.
We will record the flushing of all water outlets on the return from the Christmas break.
We will record the temperature of hot and cold water outlets on a weekly basis.
A single cold and hot tap on the main hot and cold water systems, which are not connected via a thermostatic mixing valve, are each to be run for at least two minutes so that a temperature can be taken using a thermometer and recorded on the Water Temperature Check List.
The cold water outlet temperature should be below 20 degrees C after two minutes running.
The hot water outlet temperature should be above 50 degrees C after two minutes running.
If these temperatures cannot be maintained, then professional assistance will be sought immediately
8. TESTING ARRANGEMENTS
Testing of the water temperature will form part of the kitchen opening checks on a weekly basis, and will be carried out by the nursery cook, or in her absence, by the member of staff deputising for her. The results of this test will be recorded in our ‘safer food, better business’ folder.
This policy will be reviewed and revised by the nursery manager on an annual basis.
Revised May 2022
By: Jacquelin Curtis
Adopted as the policy of the nursery
By: Jacquelin Curtis Director,
Activeplay Nurseries Ltd