HSE Cooling Tower Intervention Programme RR1118

The LCA would like to draw attention to the recent Health & Safety Executive Cooling Tower Intervention programme that took place between 1stApril 2013 and 31stAugust 2014. The HSE inspections found 33% of sites inspected had material breaches including 12 Prohibition Notices served.

The full report and HSE statement can be found below:

Legionella control in evaporative cooling systems: underlying causes of breaches in health and safety compliance

Evaporative cooling systems, such as cooling towers and evaporative condensers, are susceptible to colonisation by Legionella bacteria. Previous evidence has demonstrated that they can be responsible for sporadic outbreaks of infection, ranging in scale both in terms of numbers infected and severity. When outbreaks occur, they frequently infect members of the public rather than workers and, in many cases, are a major public health concern.

HSE inspected 1,906 premises with evaporative cooling systems between 1st April 2013 and 31st August 2014. While the majority of sites required no enforcement, material breaches were found at 625 sites (33% of those inspected), including 409 Improvement Notices (INs) and 12 Prohibition Notices (PNs) served at 229 sites (12.0% of those inspected).

Underlying causes of breaches of health and safety compliance were analysed. The main ones were lack of training, failure to maintain the cleanliness of cooling towers and the water within them, absence of, or inadequate, risk assessments, and absence of, or insufficiently detailed, written control schemes. Further analysis looked into the reasons why cooling towers were not cleaned properly.

Full Report link -> http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/rrpdf/rr1118.pdf