British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS) have recognised the hard work of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) by bestowing the 2020 Peter Isaac Award for outstanding initiative contributing to the reduction of ill health at work for their work on the Cooling Tower Intervention Programme (CTIP). Cooling Towers were a focus due to the HSE viewing them as a low frequency high consequence event (7 outbreaks between 2001 & 2011 resulting in 193 cases and 10 deaths).
The CTIP was launched in 2013 with the aim of improving sustained compliance in Cooling Towers and reducing the likelihood of outbreaks associated with these systems, of which there are over 2,500 sites in Great Britain. After 1,906 inspections and engagement with Stakeholders through events like the LCA conferences the HSE have found on return visits a much higher level of compliance. This increase in standards is in line with stated LCA aims and commitments and the HSE now view the current levels of compliance as a baseline for moving forwards.
The result of the CTIP work has seen a reduction in the number of outbreaks, with a reduced number of Legionella cases and deaths. The HSE spot visited several of these sites to confirm sustained compliance in 2015/16 and in 2017/18 which has given increased confidence that standards have been raised.
For the full interview with Duncan Smith please click here.
HSE Research Report RR1118 – ‘Legionella control in evaporative cooling systems: underlying causes of breaches in health and safety compliance’
Crook et al (2020) peer reviewed paper - https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.113425 ‘Legionella risk in evaporative cooling systems and underlying causes of associated breaches in health and safety compliance’