Health and safety information on managing and controlling legionella bacteria in water systems has been updated and clarified.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has revised the Legionnaires’ disease Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) (L8), removing the technical guidance which has been published separately online.
Highlighting the benefits of the change, Lorraine Medcalf, HSE’s Legionella policy lead, said: “The revised ACOP provides greater clarity for dutyholders on what constitutes legal requirements and what is guidance. Where possible we have simplified terminology.
“The review also enabled us to update technical guidance to incorporate technological advancements and separate it from general guidance on the regulations, making it available on our website”.
The ACOP, which is aimed at dutyholders including employers; those in control of premises; and people with health and safety responsibilities for others, was one of several identified for review and revision; consolidation; or withdrawal, in line with a recommendation by Professor Ragnar Löfstedt in his report ‘Reclaiming health and safety for all’.
The revised publication was subject to consultation and received HSE Board and ministerial approval. It includes information on identifying and assessing sources of risk; preparing a scheme to prevent or control risk; implementing, managing and monitoring precautions; keeping records of precautions; and appointing a competent person with sufficient authority and knowledge of an installation to help take measures needed to comply with the law.
The revised ACOP is available on the HSE website at: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/books/l8.htm
Legal responsibilities to protect workers’ health and safety are not altered by any changes to ACOPs.
In 2000 a school child nearly drowned whilst at a trip to a council-run swimming pool with her school in Basildon, Essex.
The decision originally reached was that the county council was not responsible for her injuries as she was taught by a private contractor. However, The Telegraph recently reported that the ruling had been overturrned:
But the Supreme Court – overturning previous court decisions which backed the local education authority – unanimously ruled the council was ultimately responsible for Miss Woodland’s care even if it had hired a private company to carry out swimming lessons.
Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “We very much hope this will not affect schools’ preparedness to organise these very often transformative experiences.
“The companies that operate school trips nowadays know that it is the responsibility of schools to satisfy themselves that stringent risk assessment has taken place.
“This is a salutary reminder both to schools and to trip operators that these matters cannot be taken lightly.”
Could this decision lead to Schools and Academies panicking over out-of-school trips? For impartial advice on this and other health and safety matters within schools and academies sign up to Handsam Ltd by calling 0844 335 1737 or via firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Telegraph has recently reported on an incident at a school in West Sussex where a school child injured themselves on a drinking fountain.
In the incident, which occurred in 2010, a school child lashed out at his brother but missed and instead sliced his thumb open on a stainless steel drinking fountain. Through his mum, Annette, he sued education authority, West Sussex County Council, under the Occupiers Liability Act and was awarded more than £3,000 compensation in November 2012.
There are now fears that this could lead to more schools removing drinking fountains out of fear. More on this can be read at The Telegraph’s website.
Do you consider these fountains to be unsafe? Can a school ever be made completely safe? For impartial advice on this and other health and safety matters within schools and academies sign up to Handsam Ltd by calling 0844 335 1737 or via email@example.com.