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Legionella can be prevented with the use of technology

How shocked can one Google search leave you? Extremely is the answer in my case, after a recent search for Legionella.

Not only did I learn that there have been several cases where organisations are consistently failing to comply with the HSE regulations, sometimes resulting in loss of life but even more concerning it’s happening right here in the UK!

Some of the recent examples I found are below:

  • Tendring District Council has been fined £27,000 by Colchester Magistrates’ Court after a Health and Safety Executive investigation, found problems with the council’s systems for managing the risk of Legionella.
  • A hospital trust in Basildon has been ordered to pay fines and costs of £350,000 for failing to ensure the safety of its patients
  • G4S Cash Solutions has been fined £1.8 million after failing to reduce the risk of Legionnaires’ disease from its water systems.
  • The Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath has been fined £300,000 for health and safety breaches after a patient died from Legionnaires’ disease.

A patient died, how scary is this? In fact, most court cases where the result was loss of life and non-compliance with the HSE regulations (HSG 274) all resulted in hefty fines. Our schools, care homes and hospitals are all significant places of risk to life.

I’ll keep this simple, in order to comply with regulations every single building that is used by the employees and visitors must have undertaken a risk assessment of the water circuit. A plan must then be put in place to take and log the temperatures of both hot and cold-water circuits at the extremities of the system on a regular basis, this should be done at a minimum of once a month. If the temperatures recorded are out of the accepted range then remedial action needs to be taken and formally recorded, normally this could be as simple as a system flush to restore acceptable temperatures.

I think you would agree that this process is hardly complex, however my Google search suggests otherwise.

So, can technology really help?

The remote recording of temperatures is no longer rocket science; this can be achieved by using the Internet of things (IoT). By installing temperature sensors on water circuits, water temperature can be monitored continually alerting stakeholders immediately if there are any temperature anomalies. This generates a task, automatically, for an appropriate skilled person to undertake remedial action. The system would also log all the necessary information into a Cloud based Digital Logbook providing full statutory compliance.

Digital Legionella compliance is one of many IoT solutions, we at Totalmobile, have created to save our customers time, deliver compliance with HSE regulations and more importantly save lives.

This is one of the many subjects that will be debated at WorkNation: IoT Edition on the 19th March at Samsung KX.  We have industry experts in the digital transformation space to help guide you through the technological maze of IoT and help you and your business with your digital transformation journey.

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