Did you know…Legionella

Legionella affects around 500 people a year, and can lead to death. 

But there is still little understanding amongst the wider public of this disease, or how to prevent it.

So here’s 10 facts about legionella.

  1. So why is it called Legionnaires’ disease? Well, it is named after the American Legion, some of whose members caught it while attending a convention at a Philadelphia hotel in 1976.
  2. The legionella bacterium causes Legionnaires disease in humans, which is a type of pneumonia that produces inflammation of the air sacs in the lungs. These sacs then fill with liquid making it difficult for the lungs to transmit oxygen around the body via the bloodstream.
  3. Legionnaires’ can be contracted by inhaling droplets of legionella bacterium from a source that has been contaminated. However, it isn’t contagious and cannot be passed from person.
  4. About 90 percent of people who contract Legionnaires disease recover fully after a course of antibiotics.
  5. Legionnella grows in water between 20 to 45C. It multiplies quickly in artificial water supply and air conditioning systems, particularly those which have been maintained properly or are outdated.
  6. Symptoms of Legionnaires disease include tiredness, muscle aches, dry coughing, shortness of breath, chest pains, headache and fever. Life-threatening complications can include organ failure and septic shock, and kill around 10 percent of normally healthy people who contract the disease.
  7. People usually become ill between 2 to 14 days after being exposed to the legionella bacterium. Those with weakened immune systems are most at risk, along with smokers and heavy drinkers. It affects people over 50 more commonly, with with most deaths occurring in those 70 or over.
  8. Larger buildings with more complex water systems are more vulnerable, such as hospitals, office blocks and hotels. However, Legionnaires’ disease can also (more rarely) be found in showers, sprinkler systems and spas.
  9. A third of Legionnaires’ disease cases in the UK are contracted while overseas, mostly in the Mediterranean and tropical countries.
  10. Legionnaires disease is a notifiable disease, and there is a national surveillance scheme to detect clusters and outbreaks in England and Wales.

Want to know more about legionella? Check out our qualifications at https://www.highfieldqualifications.com/qualifications/compliance/legion

How to…with Highfield: Legionella

Legionella is a killer. Here’s three top tips on how to reduce the risk.

1. Control the temperature. Hot water storage systems should store water at 60°C or higher. Distributed hot water should be 50°C or higher. Cold water delivered to the tap should be below 20°C.

2. Maintain and clean. Legionella will grow where water is allowed to stand unused above 20°C. This most often happens where services have been removed but pipework remains, or where services are used infrequently. Flush outlets regularly (including taps and showers), remove dead ends and clean cold-water tanks regularly.

3. Test and monitor. Water samples should be taken and analysed annually, or as defined during your risk assessment. Pay attention to high risk water sources such as stagnant water, as well as sentinel outlets (outlets that are closest and furthest from the mains entry point or storage tank).

You can find our more on our Legionella awareness qualifications here.

#askhighfield #saferworkplaces #legionella

Updates to legionella qualifications

Legionella HABC imageHABC has recently undertaken a full review of its legionella qualifications to ensure they still meet the requirements of the industry, our regulators, our Centres and, of course, the learners taking these qualifications.

We have taken this opportunity to make improvements to the assessment pack and increase the guidance supplied to Centres in relation to the delivery, assessment and internal quality assurance (IQA) processes required for these qualifications.

New assessment materials
The assessment packs and accompanying tutor, assessor and IQA (TAI) packs have been updated, so some of the tasks are now even more relevant to learners. Additionally, more guidance has been provided on acceptable answers from learners, as has further guidance on delivery options, assessment and quality assurance processes.

The updated documents for both the assessment and TAI packs have now been placed on the relevant qualification pages on the HABC website. Please note that you will need to be signed into the website with your membership profile to be able to access them.

The assessment and TAI packs for each of our legionella qualifications are available via the links below:

It is recommended that Centres running any of these legionella qualifications start using these new packs immediately.

If you have any queries relating to the contents of this email, please contact your account manager who will be pleased to help.

Gold Standard for Water Conditioning Services UK Training Academy

water conditioning servicesThe Water Conditioning Services UK Training Academy was celebrating in May after being awarded one of the top accolades for training in the science-based sector.

The Daventry-based organisation, which is a HABC Approved Centre, was recognised as a Cogent Gold Standard Training Provider for its high standards and commitment to quality learning in life-sciences and water treatment sectors.

Cogent skills are an employer-led organisation, which uses government funding to meet the skills gaps within the sector through working in partnership to design fit for purpose apprenticeships, formal qualifications and training courses. The accolade of being awarded a Gold Standard by Cogent Skills firmly positions the Training Academy as a centre of choice in the delivery of science based training solutions.

Being awarded the Gold Standard by Cogent Skills marks Water Conditioning Services UK Training Academy out as one of the centres of choice for delivery for the delivery of science-based training solutions.

The Water Conditioning Services UK Training Academy (formerly B & V Training Academy) provides robust, formal training in controlling water-borne pathogens within water systems, in particular Legionella control. Water Conditioning Services UK has always firmly believed that they can best support their customers through providing comprehensive training programmes to ensure they get the most out of the services and chemicals supplied to them.

Part of the Training Academy’s commitment to delivering high quality training solutions led to partnerships with external awarding organisations, including Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) to develop brand new formal qualifications in Legionella control.

The development of new formal Ofqual accredited qualifications for legionella control has also grabbed the attention of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) who have recognised the value that SUEZ environnement have provided to the industry in the development of regulated training solutions.

The Training Academy has already been recognised as finalists for a H&V News Award and a Northamptonshire Business Excellence Award last year, and were successful in winning the Medilink East Midlands Collaboration with the NHS Award.

Sarah Pallett, Head of Training Academy Water Conditioning Services UK, said, ‘The Training Academy has a clear focus and commitment to being the best provider of training and development within the water industry. As we expand our portfolio of qualifications and courses we recognise that our expertise lies firmly within the water treatment industry and will not deviate from this core provision. We are committed to working collaboratively with key stakeholders, regulators and customers to provide innovative new training solutions in water hygiene and water management’.