Recent prosecutions by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are indicative that the government is taking a hard line on the failure to manage legionella risks by businesses. For example, The Reading Crown Court has fined the local council £100,000 with £20,000 in costs for failure to manage Legionella risks in a care home.
The council’s arrangements to minimise the risks from Legionella bacteria were found to be not sufficiently robust. This was due to a lack of training for key personnel and inadequate temperature checks. Further to this, the showers had not been descaled or disinfected quarterly, and the flushing of toilets also fell short of best practice requirements.
In August 2021, the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union said it will consider strike action over the threat of legionella bacteria found on Thameslink trains, where trace amounts of legionella were found in seven toilets on four trains.
According to Thameslink, the toilets have been drained and bleached since the incident. However, the RMT said this was “half-hearted and inadequate”, and is threatening further action.