Supporting LegionellaDossier in its work to make the water industry safer
Legionnaires disease is a serious health hazard that warrants due care and attention.
A severe form of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacterium, people become infected when they inhale aerosols from a contaminated source.
They can suffer from a variety of nasty symptoms, including muscle aches, tiredness, headaches, dry cough and fever. In more extreme cases, diarrhoea occurs and confusion may develop, while long-term health problems can also arise from infection.
Although the disease remains an uncommon and mainly sporadic respiratory illness, the annual notification rate increased in the latter half of the last decade, from 1.4 in 2015 to 2.2 cases per 100,000 population in 2019.
In the UK, health professionals must inform local health protection teams of suspect cases, and for good reason. It is widely accepted that around one in every 10 people who fall sick with legionnaires will die due to complications from their illness – that increases to one in four if the disease is caught during a stay in a healthcare facility.
Prevention is better than cure
Fortunately, there are a multitude of innovators actively developing and deploying solutions which are working effectively to nip the problem in the bud and stop Legionella from spreading at its source.
Dutch firm LegionellaDossier is one such innovator. Pioneer of a Legionella control platform powered by automated intelligence, it is the all-in-one digital logbook for all buildings to help maintain documents and perform tasks to ensure compliance with regulations.
With more than 75% of certified Legionella control companies in the Netherlands already using the LegionellaDossier platform, the company is now broadening its horizons by entering other markets, including the UK.
Louis Gane, one of LegionellaDossier’s Business Development Managers for the UK market, explains how the system and process work.
“Our software splits into several sections,” he says. “You’ve got the web portal, which is where everything is set up and managed by specialist water consultancies in collaboration with end users or building owners.
“A risk assessor is sent out to the site where they use a specific risk assessment app to complete the assessment, and that data goes back into the web portal. From there, you can pull out the risk assessment and send that off, which creates a massive time saving of up to 40% versus previous industry standards.
“This risk assessment then becomes a form of blueprint for the controlling and monitoring side of the industry which then happens on a recurring basis. The remedial and ongoing tasks come off the back of that and are managed through a separate app.”
The role of ETI’s Thermapen Blue
Ultimately, LegionellaDossier provides the means for facilities managers to ensure their buildings maintain safe water temperatures, and thus prevent the development of Legionella bacteria.
Legionella bacteria multiply in water at temperatures between 20 °C and 45 °C, particularly if a supply of nutrients is present, such as scale, rust, sludge or algae.
“This is where ETI probes come in, for those temperature checks that risk assessors and maintenance teams perform,” adds Gane. “It is also important to mention infrequently used water outlets, where there could be water just sitting stagnant. Often in these cases, they flush it through, using the probe to record the temperature and the length of flushing time. This builds up a bank of evidence to prove that the tasks have been completed.”
Readings taken from the Thermapen Blue wireless thermometer are fed back into the LegionellaDossier portal, providing building managers with the information they need to remain compliant and make informed remedial decisions when necessary.
These temperature-measuring practices are critically important to this end. Here in the UK, in recent years the Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) issued by the Government’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has been revised. It significantly extends the scope of its guidance on control of Legionella bacteria in water, the code now applying to all hot and cold water systems in the workplace regardless of their capacity.
And with public conscience around health and hygiene being higher than ever in the wake of the covid pandemic, compliance with legionnaires’ regulations is crucial to providing peace of mind to building users that their indoor environment is safe.
ETI’s collaboration with LegionellaDossier is helping this to happen. As the company deepens its presence in the UK market, we stand ready to support more building managers in their health and safety activities.
“A lot of people I sell to have a good relationship with ETI,” Gane says. “It is a trusted and respected brand within the market, and we’re very happy to work alongside them because it’s a very symbiotic relationship.”
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