Control Schemes

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Control Schemes

The written scheme is separate to the Legionella risk assessment and is a legal requirement identified by the Health & Safety Executive in their ACoP L8 (Fourth edition) Legionnaires’ disease. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems.

A Control Scheme for Legionella is a comprehensive Legionella risk management document that clearly identifies those measures required to control the risks from exposure to Legionella bacteria, and how those measures are implemented and managed so that control over water systems is achieved and remains effective.

The written Control Scheme forms an essential risk management document that should be developed as a practical tool to be used by all parties involved in the Legionella control process.

Our Waterman Consultants can create site-specific Control Schemes for all types of water systems & services to help you comply with ACoP L8 (Fourth edition).

Who Needs a Control Scheme?

If a risk of exposure to Legionella is identified, you must introduce proper controls. Risks from legionella in water systems can be controlled but careful planning, a successful management policy, competent staff and attention to proper control strategies are all essential in preparing a written scheme which sets out how you intend to control the risk from legionella.

The written scheme should include, where appropriate, and with reference to the risk assessment & asset register:

  • an up-to-date plan showing the layout of the plant or water system, including parts temporarily out of use;
  • a description of the correct and safe operation of the systems;
  • the precautions to take;
  • checks to carry out to ensure the written scheme is effective and the frequency of such checks treatment programmes, H&S information, control parameters, emergency procedures etc.;
  • the remedial action to take if the written scheme is shown to be not effective

Water Safety Plan

A Water Safety Plan (WSP) is a risk-management approach to the safety of water that establishes good practices in local water distribution and supply within a Healthcare Organisation. It will identify potential hazards, consider practical aspects, and detail appropriate control measures.

The content of a WSP will depend on the size and complexity of the healthcare organisation’s water system. The plan will include governance arrangements related to the management of water safety.

WSPs include the need to:

  • assess the risks that may be posed to patients (including those with particular susceptibility), staff and visitors
  • put into place appropriate management systems to ensure the risks are adequately controlled
  • ensure there are supporting programmes, including communication, training and competency checks

These are in depth plans that will help you maintain a safe water system and comply with HTM 00 & HTM 04-01.

What should be included?

With respect to physical, chemical and microbiological hazards, the WSP should incorporate various procedures & processes, such as:

  • a clinical risk assessment to identify those settings where patients are at significant risk from waterborne pathogens
  • an engineering and bacterial risk assessment of all water systems
  • operational monitoring of control measures and record-keeping methodology
  • information on the age and condition of the water distribution system and materials of construction (as different materials hold differing risks and react differently to chemicals)
  • links to clinical surveillance
  • early warnings of poor or unsuitable water quality (for example, taste, odour, flavour and appearance if intended for drinking)
  • plans for the sampling and microbiological testing of water in identified at-risk units
  • adequate supervision, training and competency for all levels of staff including housekeeping staff and those employed by facilities management organisations
  • communication and documentation
  • appropriate design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of all components and equipment
  • remedial actions to be taken to remedy high counts for P. aeruginosa and Legionella and other relevant pathogens where appropriate
  • adjustments to clinical practice until remedial actions have been demonstrated to be effective
  • regular removal/cleaning/descaling or replacement of the water outlets, hoses and thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) and other components where risk assessment necessitates
  • amendments when changes are carried out including new builds, refurbishments and recently decommissioned clinical departments or units
  • amendments made when changes are made at the annual review

How We can Help

Our Authorising Engineers & Consultants can create highly detailed Water Safety Plans and/or Written Schemes for all types of water systems & services, bespoke to your business requirements (e.g. matching to company design, policies etc.).

By Waterman carrying these out, it will:

  • help you understand the risks
  • help you minimise the risk of employees, visitors, contractors and public being exposed to hazards created by water systems
  • improve efficiency within your business & sites
  • ensure compliance with Legislation, Regulation and Guidelines
  • Lead you to Complete Compliances

Waterman Compliance Services written schemes of control are developed and implemented utilising the following legislation, codes of practice and guidance

  • Health & Safety Executive: Approved Code of Practice and guidance (ACOP) L8 “Legionnaires’ disease. The control of legionella bacteria in water systems
  • Health & Safety Executive: HSG274 Legionnaires’ disease: Technical guidance Part 1:
    The control of legionella bacteria in evaporative cooling systems
  • Health & Safety Executive: HSG274 Legionnaires’ disease: Technical guidance Part 2:
    The control of legionella bacteria in hot and cold water systems
  • Health & Safety Executive: HSG274 Legionnaires’ disease: Technical guidance Part 3:
    The control of legionella bacteria in other risk systems
  • Department of Health: Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 04-01: The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems Part A: Design, installation and commissioning
  • Department of Health: Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 04-01: The control of Legionella, hygiene, “safe” hot water, cold water and drinking water systems. Part B: Operational management
  • Department of Health: Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 04-01: Safe water in healthcare premises. Part C: Pseudomonas aeruginosa – advice for augmented care units
  • Department of Health: Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 04-01: Supplement. Performance specification D 08: thermostatic mixing valves (healthcare premises)
  • BS 8580-1:2019. Water quality. Risk assessments for Legionella control. Code of practice
  • BS 7592:2008 Sampling for Legionella bacteria in water systems. Code of practice
  • Water Regulations Advisory Scheme (WRAS)
  • The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999
  • The Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2009
  • HPSC National Guidelines for the Control of Legionellosis in Ireland 2009
  • HPSC Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection from Water Systems in Healthcare Facilities

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