Commitment 1 of the LCA's 9 service provider commitments requires that our members ensure their clients are made aware of their legal obligations with regard to Legionella Legislation.

The HSE leaflet: A brief guide for dutyholders - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg458.pdf briefly describes the obligations of a duty holder with regards to legionella.

We recommend you take the time to read this leaflet as a starting point.

The hierarchy of legal, guidance and British Standard documents are outlined below:

Sections 2, 3, 4 and 6 are defined within ACoP L8 as applicable to legionella control. The first 2 sections cover the primary requirements for legionella control: -

(2) It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.

(3) It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.


These regulations provide a broad framework for controlling health and safety at work. As well as requiring risk assessments, they also require employers to have access to competent help in applying the provisions of health and safety law; to establish procedures to be followed by any working if situations presenting serious and imminent danger were to arise; and for co-operation and co-ordination where two or more employers or self-employed persons share a workplace.


Regulations 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 are particularly relevant to Legionella control. Regulation 6, Assessment of the risk to health created by working involving substances hazardous to health, is perhaps the most relevant.

(1) An employer shall not carry out any work which is liable to expose any employees to any substance hazardous to health unless he has -

  1. made a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk created by that work to the health of those employees and of the steps that need to be taken to meet the requirements of these Regulations; and
  2. implemented the steps referred to in sub-paragraph (a).

Legionella bacteria are classified as substances hazardous to health and therefore a Legionella risk assessment can be considered a mandatory requirement in all workplace buildings with water systems.


This regulation requires the notification of evaporative cooling devices.

3. (1) Subject to this regulation and the regulation 4. It shall be the duty of each person who has, to any extent, control of premises to ensure that no notifiable device is situated on these premises unless the information set out in the Schedule to these Regulations has been notified in writing, on a form approved for the time being for the purposes of these Regulations by the Health and Safety Executive, to the local authority in whose area the permises are situated.


Approved Code of Practice

This Code has been approved by the Health and Safety Executive, with the consent of the Secretary of State. It gives practical advice on how to comply with the law. If you follow the advice you will be doing enough to comply with the law in respect of those specific matters on which the Code gives advice. You may use alternative methods to those set out in the Code in order to comply with the law.

However, the Code has a special legal status. If you are prosecuted for breach of health and safety law, and it is proved that you did not follow the relevant provisions of the Code, you will need to show that you have compiled with the the law in some other way or a Court will find you at fault.

Guidance Published in L8

This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance is not compulsory, unless specifically stated, and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and Safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance.

Downloadable as a PDF Free of charge from the HSE website -


The guidance in each part of HSG274 gives practical advice and examples of good practice in how to achieve what is required under L8. HSG274 is published in three parts:

HSG274 Part 1

This document gives specific guidance for evaporative cooling systems. Appendix 1 and 2 give useful practical advice on what should be found in a legionella risk assessment and in a written scheme of control.

Downloadable as a PDF free of charge from the HSE website -


HSG274 Part 2

This document gives specific guidance for hot and cold water systems. Appendix 2.1 and 2.2 give useful practical advice on what should be found in a legionella risk assessment and in a written scheme of control.

Downloadable as a PDF free of charge from the HSE website -


HSG274 Part 3

This document gives some basic guidance for other risk systems that are not covered in Part 1 or Part 2. For other risk systems, assessment and control of risk must be from first principles of legionella control. These systems require the most competent and knowledgeable assessors and contractors.

Downloadable as a PDF free of charge from the HSE website -


This British Standard gives recommendations and guidance on Legionella risk assessment relevant to water systems. It is applicable to any undertaking involving a work activity or premises controlled in connection with a trade, business or other undertaking where there is potential for exposure to water or when water is used or stored in circumstances that could cause a reasonably foreseeable risk of infection by Legionella and contracting legionellosis.

This standard is also available with tracked changes from the 2010 version.

(LCA Members, please refer to the Members Area where you will find a discount code, available for a limited time)